Tolbert Rehab
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History and Background of PMR

PMR, a relatively new medical specialty, arose after World War II. The specialty developed in order to address the needs of injured veterans, and polio survivors.

The field of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) began in the 1930s to address musculoskeletal and neurological problems, but broadened its scope considerably after World War II.

As thousands of veterans came back to the United States with serious disabilities, the task of helping to restore them to productive lives became a new direction for the field. There was a need for a medical specialty to address the complex and numerous needs of persons with disabilities—medical, emotional, social, as well as physical. Consequently PMR Physicians are trained in medicine and rehabilitation/therapies.

The American Board of Medical Specialties granted PM&R its approval as a specialty of medicine in 1947.

Unfortunately with the closing of acute rehabilitation hospitals (daily physician visits, coupled with therapies, and team meetings), medical rehabilitation is provided in alternative settings such as nursing homes.