Medical rehabilitation, or restorative medicine, as it has sometimes perhaps more aptly been called, emerged from the general background of clinical services as an answer to a long-felt need rather than as an arbitrary separation of a specialty. It is concerned with the medical care of all those who, as a result of illness or trauma, are left with a permanent impairment of their physical functions.
The broadened concept of rehabilitation has resulted in more than the creation of a new medical specialty. It has redefined and broadened the physician's responsibility to his patient. It has called upon the physician to extend his services to activities which, by conventional standards, had not been considered strictly a medical responsibility. The physician's responsibility ends only when he has restored his patient to the best and most productive life possible, as judged by two primary criteria— ability and disability.
With the recognition that
Rusk HA, Dacso MM. REHABILITATION AND RESTORATIVE SERVICES. JAMA. 1957;165(4):360–362. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.72980220009016
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