Inequity in access to health care cuts across medical specialties. In a recent conversation with Patient Care®, physiatrist Atul Patel, MD, who practices in Kansas City, MO, suggested that physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) is no exception.
In this short video, Patel suggests that the small number of PM&R physicians in many areas can make access even more challenging and he urges primary care clinicians of all backgrounds to keep PM&R on their referral dashboard. A quick phone consult with a physiatrist nearby may open access to physical therapy for a patient with hypertension who can't exercise because of arthritis-related pain/immobility. The patient may never otherwise get this type of care, and the hypertension may benefit. More thoughts and suggestions from Patel follow here.
Atul Patel, MD, is a physiatrist and current treasurer of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Before joining the Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic, he was an associate professor in the department of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Patel's clinical areas of interest include musculoskeletal medicine, neuropathic pain, spasticity, Parkinson’s disease and dystonias, stroke rehabilitation, multiple sclerosis, nerve and muscle diseases, geriatrics, electrodiagnostic medicine and general rehabilitation medicine.
For other conversations in our series with Dr Patel: