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June 13, 1986

How Far Should a Physiatrist Go?

JAMA. 1986;255(22):3117. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370220079022

To the Editor.—  I have received numerous telephone calls and letters from constituents in my academy responding to the review by Edward A. Edwards, MD,1 of the book Medical Rehabilitation, edited by Lauro S. Halstead and Martin Grabois. Following four rather lengthy paragraphs complimenting the book comes a fifth paragraph that I and my constituents hardly believe belongs in a book review section.The reviewer questions whether a physiatrist should perform diagnostic tests such as electromyography, nerve conduction studies, or electrocardiography and suggests that primary care physicians such as the neurologist, the cardiologist, and others should perform the medical care for the rehabilitation patient. This pejorative opinion does not relate to the book but rather seems to be the ruminations of an extraordinarily uninformed observer. The education and training of physiatrists is now a four-year program approved by the Accreditation Committee for Graduate Medical Education and reviewed by the