Rehabilitation medicine is concerned with the evaluation and treatment of physical impairment and disability. It is an interdisciplinary field where the physiatrist (rehabilitation physician specialist) works with a team of health professionals (rehabilitation psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists) to develop and manage individualized treatment plans to maximize the functional recovery of the disabled individual following a catastrophic illness or injury. Rehabilitation embodies the concept of adding quality to longevity, and emphasizes a holistic approach to the patient with respect to psychological, social, vocational, and avocational adaptation to disability. Students interested in experiencing first-hand the interdisciplinary approach learn which patients can benefit from rehabilitation and have the opportunity to participate in patient evaluation and team management of appropriate inpatients and outpatients on a regular basis. Students who desire this type of experience find the skills and knowledge thus gained useful in many aspects of medical practice. Students may participate in patient evaluation and clinical discussions of patients in this department as part of the clinical process.
The student will have the opportunity to participate in the traditional evaluation and management of disease and disability as well as being oriented toward the impaired performance of function as a result of these conditions. The student will obtain histories from and perform physical examinations in both an inpatient and outpatient setting with particular emphasis on evaluation of function, e.g., neurologic, kinesiologic and self-care function. He/she/they will be involved in the analysis and management of musculoskeletal disorders common to many situations encountered in internal medicine, family practice, neurology, psychiatry, orthopedic surgery, and neurosurgery. In addition, the student will demonstrate an understanding of methods for functional restoration. Evaluation in the course will be based upon evaluation of clinical competence and written examination. Prerequisite: Medical Basic Sciences; 1 required clinical clerkship.