The University of Michigan Health System was among the first major institutions in the nation to organize and develop an independent Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The department was established in 1950 by James W. Rae, MD, who saw a need for hospital-based research and education related to people with disabilities. The department now has more than 50 faculty, including over 30 physiatrists. In addition, there are more than 20 faculty members who have Ph.D.s in rehabilitation psychology, engineering and rehabilitation sciences. The department also employs more than 450 allied health professionals, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, exercise physiologistsm, rehabilitation engineers, orthotists, prosthetists, nurses, physican assistants, trainees and other support staff.
The department is nationally and regionally recognized as a leader in advancing the subspecialties of pediatric rehabilitation, pain management, spinal cord injury medicine and sports medicine. Our physicians, psychologists and other rehabilitation specialists have received national and international recognition for excellence in spinal cord injury medicine, neck and back pain, chronic pain, amputation care, brachial plexopathy, traumatic brain injury management, pediatric disabilities, musculoskeletal problems, neurological problems, electrodiagnosis, rehabilitation engineering, orthotics and prosthetics, sports injury and other a myriad of other problems related to pain and disability. Our excellence extends to the way we provide clinical care, train future health care professionals, and conduct research into the greater understanding of and new treatments to aid disabled individuals.