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Board of Directors: Election of New Director

The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is pleased to announce the election of a new director. Lawrence R Robinson MD will begin his first six-year term on August 1, 2009.

Dr. Robinson completed his physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago / Northwestern University. After spending three years on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, he was recruited to the University of Washington (UW) as assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. In 2000, Dr Robinson was appointed Professor and Chair of the UW Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. In 2005, Dr Robinson was appointed Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs for the UW School of Medicine, and in 2006 he moved to the latter position full-time.

Dr Robinson was awarded the 2004 Distinguished Academician Award by the Association of Academic Physiatrists and the 2005 Distinguished Researcher Award by the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM). He has worked with the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine (ABEM) since 1991 serving as an examination committee member, chair of the examination committee, and chair of the Maintenance of Certification committee. He currently serves as Chair of ABEM.

Temporary Criteria available for subspecialties

Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine

On March 18, 2008, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) approved the ABPMR request to extend the temporary criteria for the Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM) subspecialty examination through the 2011 exam.

The eligibility criteria may be met by:

  • completing two years of an ACGME-accredited PRM fellowship after PM&R residency or a one-year ACGME-accredited fellowship in PRM after PM&R/Pediatrics combined residency training;
  • being evaluated semi-annually by the program director, using evaluation forms supplied by the ABPMR, which the program director submits directly to the ABPMR; and
  • being recommended for admissibility to the PRM Subspecialty Examination by the fellowship program director upon successful completion of the training program in PRM.

The temporary eligibility criteria (through 2011) may be met by completing:

  • completing a two-year PRM fellowship after PM&R residency or a one-year, PRM fellowship after PM&R/ Pediatrics combined residency training;
  • being evaluated semi-annually by the fellowship program director, using evaluation forms supplied by the ABPMR; the program director must submit the completed evaluation form directly to the ABPMR; and
  • being recommended for admissibility to the PRM examination by the program director upon successful completion of the PRM fellowship
- OR -
  • having at least three years of verified practice experience primarily in PRM beyond completion of residency training, and submitting appropriate documentation using forms obtained from the ABPMR. As an option, completing a one-year PRM fellowship program may satisfy one of the three years. The practice requirement must be completed by August 31 of the examination year.

Neuromuscular Medicine

In September 2005, the ABMS approved a joint application by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) and the ABPMR to develop subspecialty certification in Neuromuscular Medicine. The ABPN is responsible for examination development, administration, scoring, and analysis. The ABPMR will credential and issue the subspecialty certificates for ABPMR diplomates.

The next examination is scheduled for fall of 2011.

All applicants for subspecialty certification in Neuromuscular Medicine must be current ABPMR Diplomates in good standing and have a current, valid, and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine or osteopathy in a United States or Puerto Rico licensing jurisdiction, or licensure in Canada.

The educational requirements in Neuromuscular Medicine can be fulfilled by either:

  • satisfactory completion of 12 months in an ACGME–accredited fellowship with at least six months spent in clinical care of patients with neuromuscular disorders. The remaining six months of the fellowship will be flexible and may be spent studying related fields such as medical genetics, muscle pathology, electrodiagnostic medicine, or research. Physiatrists interested in this subspecialty may satisfy the requirements with six months’ training in clinical neuromuscular medicine and six months in an EMG lab.
- OR -
  • meeting temporary criteria (available though the 2012 examination) whereby ABPMR Diplomates who consider themselves neuromuscular medicine specialists by virtue of time and effort may take the subspecialty examination by verifying a minimum of 25% of professional time devoted to neuromuscular medicine for a minimum of two years, or one year of non–ACGME–approved training in Neuromuscular Medicine.

Beginning with the 2013 examination, all applicants will be required to complete one full year of training in neuromuscular medicine in an ACGME–accredited program.



*Certification is a voluntary process by which the ABPMR grants recognition to a physician specialist who has met predetermined qualifications specified by the ABPMR. Many qualities are necessary to be a competent physician, and many of these qualities cannot be quantified or measured. Thus, certification is not a guarantee of the competence of the physician specialist.