• Vol. 36 No. 1, 1–1
  • 15 January 2007

Of Rehabilitation Medicine and the Rehabilitation Physician


Rehabilitation Medicine or Physiatry (as is known in North America) is the medical specialty dealing with “restoration of function in people affected by physical disabilities”. The disease categories with which the specialty is mainly concerned are neurological conditions like stroke and brain injury, spinal injury, musculoskeletal disorders and limb amputation. The rehabilitation paradigm differs from the curative one in many ways. It is an individualised, patient-oriented activity focused on disability rather than disease. Rehabilitation moves from impairment towards helping the patient find “ability” in the presence of obvious disability.

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