A Conversation between Past and Present Chairs of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Four Decades of History and the Future of Board Certification

John F. Ditunno, B. Stanley Cohen, John L. Melvin, Joel A. Delisa, Nicolas E. Walsh, Margaret A. Turk, Dennis J. Matthews, Teresa L. Massagli, Karen J. Kowalske, Anthony E. Chiodo, James T. McDeavitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

On the 75th anniversary of the founding of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 11 of the surviving chairs of the board convened virtually to reflect on the past 40 years of major trends for the accrediting body of physiatrists. The field rapidly expanded in the 1980s, driven by changes in the reimbursement environment. This rapid expansion drove an improvement in the caliber of residents choosing the field and in the quality of training programs. As physical medicine and rehabilitation evolved from a small- to medium-sized specialty, the board addressed many challenges: securing a credible position within the American Board of Medical Specialties; addressing a rising demand for subspecialty certification; improving training and exposure to physiatry; enhancing the quality of the accreditation process; and reducing the burden of accreditation on diplomates. The future development of physiatry includes improving diversity, equity, and inclusion, while restoring provider morale, well-being, and meaningfulness in work. Although challenges remain, physiatry as a field has grown to be well established through the board's efforts and respected within the larger medical community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S5-S9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume101
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Keywords

  • Accreditation
  • Certification
  • Leadership
  • Specialty boards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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