News New Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program Approved for Six Hospitals

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AUSTIN, Texas - (April 5, 2012) - The newest medical residency program in Central Texas will train medical school graduates in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) at University Medical Center Brackenridge and five other Seton Healthcare Family hospitals.


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The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's Residency Review Committee has approved the application, announced Dr. Christopher J. Garrison, UMC Brackenridge PM&R physician who also serves as associate professor and director for the residency. In this latter role, Garrison is associated with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, a respected leader in medical education and cutting-edge research.

PM&R is the branch of medicine that seeks to enhance and restore optimal functional ability and quality of life to patients with physical impairments or disabilities. PM&R patients often have injuries to their muscles, bones, nervous systems or other tissues. A physician completing training in this field is referred to as a "physiatrist."

Medical residents' clinical experiences will range from sports injuries to devastating trauma, such as spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. They also will staff continuity clinics, providing further experience in office settings managing complex cases.

Besides UMC Brackenridge, residents will train in Austin at Seton Medical Center, Dell Children's Medical Center, Central Texas Rehabilitation Hospital (CTRH) and Seton Northwest Hospital and in Kyle at Seton Medical Center Hays. When a new 50-bed CTRH opens in Austin's Triangle area later this year, this program will offer residents the chance to work with complex, post-acute care cases not seen elsewhere in Central Texas.

Officially called the UT Southwestern Austin Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program at Seton Family of Hospitals, this new residency is authorized to train up to six medical residents at a time over the next three years, the maximum duration for a new program. The first two PM&R medical residents will start their three-year residencies in July. Two will be added in both 2013 and 2014. Seton plans to seek renewal of the PM&R program so that six residents can be maintained in 2015 and beyond.

Seton now offers residencies in 11 medical specialties and plans to add more. The other current residencies are in child and adolescent psychiatry, dermatology, emergency medicine, family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry.

"The new PM&R residency program helps to train the next generation of medical specialists while enhancing Austin's reputation as a center for medical education and research," said Garrison. "As all of our departments at UMC Brackenridge become more academically oriented, we're laying the clinical foundation for a medical school."

Like other residencies, PM&R will be housed primarily at UMC Brackenridge, the only Level I adult trauma center in the Austin area.

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