Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is a unique field that focuses on the treatment of individuals suffering from dysfunction due to illness or injury. While other medical fields deal with disease diagnosis and treatment, rehabilitation medicine complements treatment to minimize the impact of physical damage to body functioning. Practitioners in this field also seek to alleviate the medical complications that a patient may suffer. Attention is given to bring the patients to maximum functional improvement so they may achieve independence and integration back into society, both improving their life expectancy and quality of life.
Knowledge required for this field includes an understanding of the complex combinations of physical defects, their range of severity, and the various functional disorders that they may cause. Students will learn the potential range of functionality at every level of injury and the ways to reduce the gap between the performance seen and the potential function.
The process of rehabilitation results from a convergence of different fields of medicine and health, psychology, sociology, education, engineering and others. The physician plays a key role on the rehabilitation team and is responsible for setting treatment goals and setting the process in the right direction.
The main areas of rehabilitation medicine include:
- Rehabilitation of stroke: after traumatic and nontraumatic brain injuries
- Rehabilitation of the spine and peripheral nerves: after disease or injury to the spine, spinal cord or peripheral nerves
- Orthopedic rehabilitation: after injury or disease of the pelvis or extremities, including amputations, complex fractures, inflammation of joints and ligaments and degenerative conditions
- Rehabilitation of special populations: pediatric rehabilitation, geriatric rehabilitation
The department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Sackler School of Medicine was established to promote study, training and research in the field. The Department offers a continuing education program, the only one of its kind in Israel in medical rehabilitation. Faculty members are active in research.