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June 7, 1995

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Author Affiliations

Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, Calif

JAMA. 1995;273(21):1710-1712. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520450080042

The specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation (physiatry) has undergone remarkable growth during the past few years. At the end of 1994, there were 4642 certified physiatrists, a 124% increase in the past 10 years. Two main factors have stimulated this growth. First, there has been an increased demand for physiatrists accompanying the expansion in the volume of rehabilitation services available for patients recovering from trauma or disabling illness. Second, the role of the physiatrist has broadened. Besides directing inpatient rehabilitation programs, many physiatrists now provide definitive care for patients with musculoskeletal or neuromuscular disorders, ie, they have broadened their participation in the physical medicine aspect of physiatry. Other physiatrists have opted to pursue subspecialty practice within physical medicine and rehabilitation, especially pediatric rehabilitation and spinal cord injury medicine. In pediatric rehabilitation, the trend has been for trainees to achieve dual-board certification in pediatrics and physical medicine and rehabilitation. For

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