Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
The mission of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at New Jersey Medical School and The University Hospital is to maximize the capacity of individuals with physical disability so as to resume their life roles through excellence in patient care, education, research & community service.
Patrick Foye, M.D. ,
Professor and Interim Chair,
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
As Interim Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), I welcome you to our home page. We hope it will provide you with an informative introduction to our specialty and our department.
Our PM&R department here at New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) is the academic hub for our affiliated clinical care sites (e.g. Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, the VA New Jersey Health Care System, Children's Specialized Hospital, etc.) and for our affiliated research sites (e.g. the Kessler Foundation Research Center).
PM&R is a medical specialty that brings a unique approach to caring for patients with a wide variety of acute and chronic disabilities. PM&R physicians (physiatrists) are experts in caring for patients with musculoskeletal and neurologic disorders. Common examples include treating patients with musculoskeletal/sports injuries, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, amputations, and so much more. The goal of the physiatrist is to restore patient function and relieve pain, often using a non-surgical multidisciplinary treatment approach. Many physiatrists perform diagnostic and therapeutic injections of the limbs and spine, often using fluoroscopic guidance or ultrasound guidance, to treat painful and disabling musculoskeletal and neurologic conditions.
Our PM&R department is involved in teaching medical students at NJMS within all four years of the NJMS medical school curriculum, as well as welcoming an extensive number of students rotating here from other schools. Our PM&R residency program has a strong national reputation.
Our faculty, resident physicians and facilities create an environment for excellence in patient care, medical education and rehabilitation research. We welcome your inquiries about our outstanding opportunities for medical student rotations or our residency and fellowship programs (call 973-972-3606).
Please learn more about the research done in our department, and in collaboration with faculty at Kessler Foundation Research Center (KFRC) [formerly Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation (KMRREC)], by viewing the Spring 2006 edition of UMDNJ Research.
The Physiatric Approach to Pain and Disability
Physiatrists manage patients with pain and disabling disease. Disability is manifested by an inability to perform independently those functions (physical, psychological, social, vocational and avocational) that may be desired by a patient or required by the environment and the social structure. No one-to-one correlation exists between the disease or the extent of irreversible pathology and the disability spectrum produced. Further, disability problems can be removed, even though pathology may not be altered.
More than 10 percent of the U.S. population are disabled from chronic disease. While neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems dominate, disease within all systems contributes to the burden. Public awareness of disability has increased with the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This law provides for equal opportunities in employment and access to public services and transportation for persons with disabilities. Rehabilitation for this segment of the population is expensive, therefore it is extremely important that all healthcare professionals are aware of the proper and most efficient utilization of these services.