Who We Are and What We Are Focused On
The NJ Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is the state medical society representing specialists in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). They are called physiatrists (fizz ee at’ trists). Physiatrists focus on restoring function. They care for patients with acute and chronic pain from musculoskeletal problems such as back and neck pain, headaches, tendinitis, pinched nerves and fibromyalgia. They also treat people who have experienced catastrophic events resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputation, or traumatic brain injury; as well as those who suffer from orthopedic conditions such as arthritis, sciatica and herniated discs, and neurologic disorders such as strokes, multiple sclerosis, polio, cerebral palsy, and ALS.
Physiatrists are Medical Doctors, just like a surgeon or a family doctor. Residency training includes one year spent developing fundamental clinical skills and three additional years of training in the full scope of PM&R.
There are 80 accredited residency programs in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the United States. Many physiatrists choose to pursue additional advanced degrees (MS, PhD) or complete fellowship training in a specific area of the specialty. Fellowships are available for specialized study in such areas as musculoskeletal rehabilitation, pediatrics, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and sports medicine.
To become board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, physiatrists are required to pass both a written and oral examination administered by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPM&R). The ABPM&R also has agreements with each of the boards of pediatrics, internal medicine, and neurology to allow special training programs leading to certification in both specialties.
Why Choose a Physiatrist? Physiatrists are specialists in Physical Medicine. This involves diagnosing and treating problems of the musculoskeletal system. They perform thorough histories and physical examinations to find the source of your pain, injury or disability, even when standard diagnostic tests don’t reveal specific problems. Like Neurologists, Physiatrists are trained to perform neurologic tests such as electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies, and somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP’s).
In addition, physiatrists direct your Rehabilitation team. This often involves direct contact with other physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, nutritionists, psychologists, & social workers. This unique perspective allows the Physiatrist to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. This team approach to care is unique to Physiatrists.
They employ a wide variety of treatment methods to reduce or eliminate your conditions. They also teach you about your conditions which decreases the possibility of a recurrence. This comprehensive approach produces not only cost-effective results, but also a high degree of patient satisfaction. Patients can become an active agent of their own healing. Because physiatrists offer an aggressive, non-surgical approach to pain and injury, these physicians are the ideal choice for the treatment of a wide variety of diseases and conditions. Through integrated focused care and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, physiatrists add quality to the lives of millions of patients each year.
The goal is to get you back into the game – not just watching from the sidelines!!