Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

What Is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R)?

Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), also known as physiatry or rehabilitation medicine, is a medical specialty that restores functional abilities and quality of life to a person with physical impairments or disabilities affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. These conditions may be the result of a disease, disorder, or injury, and impact people of all ages.

performing physical therapy

Make an Appointment

Make an appointment at one of our locations:

Newport Hospital

20 Powel Avenue, Turner Building, 1st Floor
Newport, RI 02840
Phone: 401-845-1652

Providence Office

766 Allens Avenue, Suite 110
Providence, RI 02905
Phone: 401-606-4150

What Is a Physiatrist?

Physiatrists are physicians who have completed specialized training in physical medicine and rehabilitation. At Lifespan, our physiatrists treat the whole patient, not one part of the body, which helps to maximize patients’ independence in activities of daily living and improve quality of life. 

These doctors may be certified in a variety of subspecialties, such as brain injury medicine, hospice, palliative medicine, neuromuscular medicine, pain medicine, spinal cord injury medicine, oncology, pediatrics, and sports medicine.

How Physiatrists Treat Patients

Physiatrists are liaisons between patients and other providers. They focus on safety and coordination of care for the patient, provide functional consultative services, and guide the patient’s rehabilitative journey from the hospital, to rehab, and ideally, back to everyday life. Physiatrists build long-term relationships with patients, helping them reach their goals. 

Physiatry provides integrated, multidisciplinary care aimed at recovery of the whole person by addressing the individual's physical, emotional, medical, vocational, and social needs. 

Patient Care

Physiatrists are experts in designing comprehensive, patient-centered treatment plans. Working in partnership with an array of rehabilitation professionals, they utilize cutting-edge as well as time-tested treatments to maximize each patient’s function and quality of life.

By assessing a patient’s needs early in their hospital stay, physiatrists can recommend the most effective path forward through rehabilitation, with the potential for speeding recovery and a quicker return to home and work life. Additionally, a patient’s care team may include occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, and other clinicians.

Meet the physical medicine team

Kelly Regains Flexibility

Home health aide for the elderly was herself having difficulty walking

Kelly first saw Mustapha Kemal, MD for treatment at a hospital in Connecticut, and found his care so valuable that she followed him to Newport Hospital.

Read Kelly's story

Lifespan Locations

Over 1,620 hospitals and clinics throughout Rhode Island, here are some featured locations: