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  Published: 28/03/2018





Rehabilitation medicine is concerned with the assessment and ongoing management of activity limitations (disability) and participation restrictions (handicap) arising from illness and injury. The specialty encompasses all aspects of clinical medicine and covers a wide range of conditions that include traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, orthopaedic trauma, amputation and many other conditions. The goal is to achieve the highest level of recovery and function possible for each patient, including physical compensatory mechanisms and psychological adjustment, educational as well as vocational and avocational (leisure) considerations.

Training in rehabilitation medicine includes (beside general medicine and surgical basic training): therapeutic exercise, physical modalities, prosthetics and orthotics, gait analysis, neurological, spinal and general rehabilitation interventions, psychosocial support and rehabilitation management. Specialists usually work in rehabilitation centres or units that are either stand-alone centres or attached to hospitals, and collaborate in multidisciplinary teams that include medical colleagues and nursing and allied health staff. 1

1 The Health Workforce: A Training Programme Analysis, CTA, 2001, 97