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Contempo 1999
September 8, 1999

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (Drs Press, Lawler, and Smith), Center for Spine, Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation (Dr Press), Chicago, Ill.


Edited by Thomas C. Jefferson, MD, Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 1999;282(10):925-926. doi:10.1001/jama.282.10.925

The field of physical medicine and rehabilitation or physiatry (the practitioner is a physiatrist) has continued to grow since its formation in 1947. One of the major concerns of the physiatrist is the improvement in the patient's activities that add quality to life. Major shifts in providing care for patients with disabilities have occurred with more emphasis on outpatient and day rehabilitation services. Continuums of care have developed to provide care for patients from intensive inpatient rehabilitation to subacute hospital-based services to day-long outpatient programs to single modality (ie, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy) treatments. The physical medicine or musculoskeletal medicine aspects of physiatry continue to grow, as do some subspecialty areas like those that focus on women's musculoskeletal health issues.