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November 7, 1959


Author Affiliations

Washington, D.C.

Professor and Chairman, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Dr. Shields) and Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine (Dr. Hussey).

JAMA. 1959;171(10):1359-1361. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.73010280023018

Rehabilitation is a word that denotes restoration or improvement in condition. In medicine it is concerned with a type of practice which places broad social responsibilities on the physician. Physical medicine and rehabilitation is directed toward treatment of disability. It is concerned not only with medicine but with social, educational, and vocational opportunities for patients. The services of nurses, therapists, counselors, and teachers are utilized. The dedicated assistance of these coprofessional groups has done much to elevate standards of medical care. Individuals preparing themselves for medical practice today must be taught the methods and techniques of rehabilitation, along with their obligations and responsibilities to the numerous allied groups with whom they are associated in practice.

A New Medical Responsibility  The United States Army, in World War I, developed methods to shorten convalescence, provide vocational training, and return the soldier to work or to the highest level of self-care.1 To