Professionalism goes beyond maintaining an active, unrestricted license to practice medicine. It also means prioritizing patient needs, staying current in your field, and holding to the highest ethical standards.
Celebrating 75 Years of the ABPMR
“It is about time for the establishment of a certifying board in the field of physical medicine.”
This was the declaration made in 1936 by Dr. Louis B. Wilson, president of the American Medical Association’s Advisory Board for Medical Specialties, to Dr. Frank Krusen. A decade later in 1946, Dr. Krusen led a group of physicians to gain approval of the American Board of Physical Medicine as a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties. Physiatry was officially recognized as a distinct medical specialty, and now the ABPMR is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2022!
Dr. Frank Krusen, founder of the ABPMR
How did the ABPMR get to 75 years? Our story began with Dr. Krusen, who contracted tuberculosis in the 1920s. Dr. Krusen then dedicated his professional life to developing physical medicine after experiencing the lack of physical rehabilitation for tuberculosis patients. The need for PM&R grew as WWII veterans returned home seeking treatment for pain and function, and the importance of the specialty was finally recognized.
The first certificate issued in 1947
After 10 years of work by Dr. Krusen and 14 pioneer physicians, the board was incorporated in Illinois on February 27, 1947, and the first exams were administered in September 1947. Nearly 15,000 physicians have been board-certified in PM&R since the founding of the ABPMR, and the ABPMR now offers six subspecialty certifications with almost 5,000 diplomates subcertified.
The first board of directors for the ABPMR in 1948
75 years is an important milestone worth celebrating with ABPMR physicians and volunteers— we would not be here without you. Thank you for the care you provide to improve the lives of patients!
Is your doctor certified?
When you need to put your health into a professional’s hands, you want to be confident in your physician’s evaluation, advice, and treatment plan. One of the best ways to be assured you’re getting good care is to choose a doctor who is board certified.
For Our Diplomates
Making Continuing Certification Matter
The ABPMR Continuing Certification (CC) Program helps you keep your knowledge current, your practice improving, and your clinical skills sharp throughout your career — but it’s not really about you. It’s about your patients. When applied to your practice effectively, CC helps you continue raising the bar of excellence in patient care.
Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits are the backbone of the CC Program. By completing about 40 CME credits a year, including 8 Self-Assessment CME credits, you’re ensuring your clinical knowledge is always current.
Longitudinal assessment is designed to assess knowledge while helping physicians learn and improve over time. Questions may be answered at your own pace and are customizable across five domains.
Quality improvement (QI) projects offer a chance to demonstrate how you’re continually improving for your patients — and to give you the tools to measure and quantify that improvement. (Tip: This requirement may be more straightforward than you think.)
Your Roadmap to Certification
Welcome to the start of your journey to PM&R certification.
Board certification demonstrates your knowledge, skills, and competence to your employer, your peers, and your patients. Once you reach the end of residency, your certification journey begins. The ABPMR is here to give you a roadmap to certification and beyond.
We're Here To Help
At the ABPMR, we know you need specific information for your employer, but every ABMS member board and every state licensing board has a slightly different way of doing things. We want to make your job easier.
Search Our Physician Database
Our Physician Verification Tool can help you find the information you need quickly to verify certification and more.
Review Certification Requirements
To help you find the most current certification requirements for PM&R and all our subspecialties, click to download the latest Booklet of Information.
Questions? Contact Us
We are here to make your job easier. Can’t find what you need? We can help. Give us a call or send us an email.