Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians (Physiatrists) lead the rehabilitation teams. The Physiatrists evaluate patients on admission. They prescribe the therapy program and identify precautions for treating therapists. They also adjust the individualized rehab plan as needed based on their medical judgment, patient and family input, and team insight.
In planning personal treatment programs, the Physiatrist focuses on preventing avoidable medical problems, promptly identifying and treating medical problems that present at admission or arise during the stay, and on maximizing the patients’ potential in order to assist in improving their quality of life. Each patient is seen daily by the physiatrist and their progress is reviewed at the weekly multidisciplinary team conferences.
In planning and implementing treatment and managing medical problems, the physiatrist may employ a number of techniques including:
- Daily re-evaluations to identify new problems early and to address them promptly to minimize potential time lost from therapy.
- Communication with referring physicians to optimize treatment and continuity of care.
- Prescription of a variety of therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, behavioral medicine, and recreational therapy.
- Counseling, educating, and supporting patients and family members.
- Use of electronic devices for testing or treatment of muscles and nerves (e.g., electrical stimulation, biofeedback, EMG).
- Management of various associated medical problems (e.g. spasticity).
The Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center offers a medical director and staff physicians who direct medical care for all patients. These medical doctors are board-certified Physiatrist who specialize in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Physicians from other specialties are available for consultation as needed.