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SMHS Announces New Department Name, Department of Neurology & Rehabilitation Medicine

Change Reflects the Growth of Rehabilitation Medicine in Health Care and at GW

The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) recently announced a new name for its enterprise, the Department of Neurology & Rehabilitation Medicine. The change, according to Geet Paul, MD, vice chair for rehabilitation medicine and assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine, represents the “growth in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) at GW and acknowledges that rehabilitation medicine is a separate field that has a strong partnership with neurology.”

“The Department of Neurology began overseeing the GW Acute Rehabilitation Unit (ARU) in 2013,” explained Paul. Since then, he said, the unit has improved operations, achieved nationally recognized quality metrics, and seen tremendous expansion in traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputee care, pain management, sports medicine, and spasticity management services.

Paul and Department Chair Henry Kaminski, MD, the Meta Amalia Neumann Professor of Neurology, have been looking to build on those efforts and expand services. They have made a concerted effort to recruit faculty members, enhance the ARU presence in the Washington, D.C., area, and develop rehabilitation services at GW Hospital and plans expansion to other area hospitals.

In recent years, PM&R faculty members have collaborated with departments of anesthesia and critical care medicine and emergency medicine to help establish new fellowships in pain management and sports medicine. Faculty have served as mentors for medical students interested in pursuing PM&R, and an increasing number of students have begun taking PM&R as an elective. In recent years an increasing number of students also have applied for residencies.

“We will continue to work closely with our colleagues at the GW Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Center,” added Paul. “Our collaborations in the past have led to the development of a Running Clinic as well as a robust Limb Optimization Clinic. We hope to continue to work together in future projects.”