Rehabilitation medicine is a constantly varied and dynamic specialty dealing with the needs of complex and, sometimes, challenging patients. This can encompass a wide range of clinical skills from the assessment of cognitive changes following traumatic brain injury to the prescription of computerised prosthetic components in amputees.
Unlike many of the organ-based specialties where discrete pre-determined pathways are followed in managing well-defined diagnoses, rehabilitation medicine is about treating individuals. Being able to bring medical expertise to bear in ameliorating the impact of physical and psychological impairments is immensely rewarding and has a real and ongoing effect on improving the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses.
Trainees in rehabilitation medicine will be able to acquire various personal and clinical skills, including hands-on procedures in managing complex patients with physical and cognitive impairments. Examples include working with an interdisciplinary team of nurses and therapists, leading the team, ability to deal with challenging patients, tracheostomy and respiratory management, tissue viability and pressure areas, amputees and complex trauma, spinal injuries including autonomic dysreflexia and autonomic disorders and botulinum injections, nerve blocks and intra-articular injections.
Entrants to specialist training in rehabilitation medicine must have successfully completed Core Medical Training including the MRCP(UK) examination, Core surgical training including the MRCS examination, core psychiatry training including MRCPsych or General Practice specialty training including MRCGP.
Current specialists in RM have had diverse basic specialty training in medical, surgical, psychiatric or general practice, and the intention is to continue to recruit medical practitioners from a wide background of expertise.