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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Mar;83(3):416-22.

Pediatric physiatry in 2000: a survey of practitioners and training programs.

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Children's Rehabilitation Services, Dept of Pediatrics, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 N State Street, Jackson, MI 39216-4505, USA.



To assess the current status and future prospects of the field of pediatric rehabilitation medicine (PRM) physiatry by detailing the demographics, training, research interests, and other characteristics of physicians currently practicing in that field and to determine the availability of training programs in PRM.


A printed survey of members of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Pediatric Rehabilitation Special Interest Group (PRSIG) and a separate questionnaire directed to departments of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) concerning their PRM training programs.


Not applicable.


PRSIG members and PM&R training programs listed by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.


Between July 1998 and April 2000, a survey was sent to PRSIG members, with follow-up mailings to nonresponding members. Between April and July 2000, a survey on PRM training practices was sent to 82 PM&R departments with fax and telephone follow-up to nonresponders and to those departments that had discontinued their training program.


Instrument measures of physicians practicing PRM, including demographics, geographic distribution, practice sites, training, academic participation, special interests, and research interests along with willingness to participate in collaborative research, association in other organizations, and communication preferences. Data on training requirements as well as availability of PRM fellowships and combined pediatric and PM&R residencies indicate that the number and scope of these training opportunities are declining.


There is little uniformity in the amount of exposure to pediatric rehabilitation required by PM&R residency training programs. There are discrepancies in the reported numbers of PRM fellowships and/or combined pediatric and PRM training programs. Projecting the number of physicians who will be practicing in this subspecialty in the future is difficult because there are no reliable data about the number of graduates or trainees in the field.


The rehabilitation needs of children are met by physiatrists with specialized pediatric training. Our survey provided a demographic overview of the PRSIG membership. Given the decline in PRM training programs, it is imperative that the remaining programs be strengthened through communication and organization among physiatrists who practice PRM. We believe that a national database and an interactive Web site are feasible means with which to facilitate this goal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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