DEV SITE     Join/Renew | Online Learning Portal | PM&R Knowledge NOW ® | PhyzForum | PM&R Journal
banner-placeholder (1)

About AAPM&R

Making PM&R Essential, Now and in the Future


2020 Annual Report

AAPM&R is where PM&R physicians come together. Academy members receive access to this valuable PM&R community—10,000+ physiatrists to build your network, educational resources across all career stages, advocacy efforts to influence the future of the specialty and opportunities to advance your practice to position yourself for success.

This community is shaping the future of physiatry and we are stronger when we act together.

Explore a digital copy of the 2020 Annual Report to the right.

Act now by renewing your membership or joining AAPM&R!

2020 Annual Report Cover Image 

Click image above to view PDF.

You can also explore the 2020 Annual Report by video!

Annual Report Header_Essential

AAPM&R is an organization like no other. As the leading medical association focused on advancing the practice of PM&R across all clinical areas and practice settings, we’re a community of thought-leaders who advocate for PM&R physicians and your patients, a provider of cutting-edge learning opportunities and much more. We’re dedicated to advancing the physiatric approach of optimizing function, performance and rehabilitation outcomes with a clear focus on specialty advancement and the success of every member.

2020 has been an unprecedented year with unique challenges, but together, the PM&R community united. We recognize the clinical, practice and institutional challenges that you have experienced throughout this year, and we want to continue bringing the specialty together, now and for the future of PM&R. As we reflect on learnings over this past year and look to the future, we stay strong in our commitment to advancing PM&R’s BOLD vision…advancing YOUR future.

The diverse perspectives of our PM&R community all work within the Academy toward our shared mission—to lead the advancement of physiatry’s impact throughout healthcare. PM&R physicians are ESSENTIAL to healthcare and our efforts will continue to work toward proving the value of our community.

In 2021, we will continue to support you by providing resources for community building, ongoing education, advocacy and practice and career development.

Explore Why Physiatry is Essential:

Check out AAPM&R's 2020 President Dr. Michelle Gittler's Presidential Address:

Artboard 3 copy 8

Together, the specialty of PM&R boldly discussed its future. Together, we envisioned new practice models and areas of opportunity to expand the impact of our care. Now, we’re working to advance the specialty; focused on action to make the vision for physiatry a reality.

AAPM&R will ensure that….

  • Physiatrists are the essential medical experts in value-based evaluation, diagnosis, and management of
    neuromusculoskeletal and disabling conditions.
  • Physiatrists are indispensable leaders in directing rehabilitation and recovery, and in preventing injury and disease.
  • Physiatrists are vital in optimizing outcomes and function early and throughout the continuum of patient care.

We are working to advance PM&R BOLD through:


Your peers developed the envisioned future and strategic plan for pain management and spine rehabilitation, adding this as a fifth practice area along with musculoskeletal care, rehabilitation care continuum, cancer rehabilitation medicine and pediatric rehabilitation medicine.


Recruiting early adopters into AAPM&R’s Registry to collect ischemic stroke and low back pain data to harness traditional EMR data with patient-reported outcomes data, which our Registry accurately and efficiently captures.

Our Specialty Brand Expansion Committee focused their 2020 efforts on the creation of grassroots materials and an eye to the future of influencing awareness of PM&R across healthcare stakeholders.

The Medical Education Committee has made supporting the needs of members in training, in fellowship and in practice a key focus in order to meet the vision for our specialty. Workgroups in both musculoskeletal care and cancer rehabilitation medicine have been focused on developing core curriculum and training frameworks for the future.


Our focus is on physiatry-led, patient-centered, team-based care. This year, volunteers gathered in workgroups to discuss several workforce impacts and define our role in new settings, including PM&R physicians in private practice, pediatric rehabilitation medicine, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and skilled nursing facilities.

Whether it be meeting with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to advocate for PM&R’s role in upcoming payment models or fighting scope of practice expansion battles to defend your role as the indispensable leaders in directing rehabilitation and recovery, our advocacy efforts remain a focal point of advancing PM&R BOLD.

PM&R BOLD has always been driven by member input and experiences. Continue to learn and collaborate by visiting PhyzForum.


Explore more about our BOLD efforts.


Artboard 3 copy 10

2020 has been the year no one expected, but one that everyone will remember. The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the world, not to mention how you practice medicine and support your patients. So many challenges and obstacles emerged, but PM&R physicians rose to the task.

Many jumped into the frontlines to directly treat COVID-19 patients. Many transitioned their practices to accommodate the nation’s rising telehealth needs. You transformed your practice to stay dedicated to your patients. One thing is clear—everyone was affected, but community brought us together. In challenging times like these, it’s the people you surround yourself with that lift you up and support you. Our PM&R community proved that we continue to be strong, positive and encouraging. Throughout the pandemic, we have grown to become an even more collaborative society than we were before. The power of collaboration is strong within the Academy and YOU are the reason.

Throughout the spring and summer, we came together to create resources to aid our community. Despite the challenges of working virtually, you helped create the resources that your peers needed most. Take a look at some examples below of the valuable efforts we moved forward together:

  • Dedicated Web Content—We created the COVID-19 Physiatrist Member Support and Resource Center to keep you updated on the latest news and provide in-depth resources created for physiatrists.
  • New Dedicated Forum for Member-to-Member Support—We created the Care in the Time of COVID-19 forum on PhyzForum to help members share their experiences, challenges and advice.
  • Hosted 20+ COVID-19 Specific Webinars—We held more than 20 webinars as an opportunity for you to hear from other physiatrist members and experts across healthcare on their experiences and ask them questions.
  • New Physiatrist-Specific Resources—We developed timely educational resources based on member feedback.
  • Concentrated Advocacy Efforts—We advocated for the federal support, legislation, regulatory relief and resources that you needed at the time you most needed them.
  • Graduate Medical Education-Focused Support—We created a forum specifically for program directors to allow them to discuss their unique challenges in trying to form their residency program virtual curriculum. To assist residents in their programs, we also offered special access to educational resources for resident members who were no longer receiving hands-on training at their program.

Artboard 3 copy 9

YX8A2760Thousands of PM&R physicians have found value, confidence and power in AAPM&R’s community. Community is the basis for everything we offer our members, providing spaces for you to learn, network and advance your careers, while fostering a sense of belonging across all backgrounds and areas of expertise.

One of the opportunities we offer you to meet a diverse group of PM&R physicians is through Member Communities, which allow you to connect with fellow physiatrists across the country in clinical-, practice- and identity-focused communities. We offer more than 40 Member Communities and about 5,000 (50% of Academy membership!) of you are involved in at least one of them! During this year alone, you have contributed to more than 300 Member Community discussions on PhyzForum, truly getting into your peer-to-peer collaborative spirit!

AAPM&R Members are Shaping the Future of PM&R

Throughout the summer, we spoke to physiatrist members across the country who pivoted their practices due to COVID-19. Several of you shared your stories with us, of working in your communities, helping treat COVID-19 patients, innovative ideas you have advanced and more. YOU are making a difference in your communities and our specialty. Read their stories here.

Bringing PM&R Physician Members Together

Our commitment to community is the pillar of our brand. We strive to provide space for you to connect, learn and advance your career. In 2020, we created the following new opportunities for you to come together with your peers:

  • Virtual Town Halls with our Board of Governors, which gave you an opportunity to connect with the Board to ask questions and share your perspectives, experiences and challenges.
  • Hosted a Pediatric Rehabilitation Lecture Series, which included more than 20 educational webinars to help you stay current on important clinical knowledge.
  • Held a summit for PM&R department chairs and division chiefs to discuss the rapidly-evolving and increasingly-complex environment they work in. We provided a space to address these new challenges and share strategies for success.
  • Developed a research workgroup of member volunteers who had valuable dialogues with us about the research opportunities available during COVID-19 and how that research can take place.

Artboard 3 copy 3

AAPM&R’s advocacy provides what individual PM&R physicians cannot easily do alone—and we are stronger when we work together—to influence the trajectory of PM&R in healthcare and help advance the future of the specialty. We are fighting scope of practice expansions that threaten patient safety and PM&R physician practices. We track and influence state and federal legislation and health policy issues; advocating on behalf of our members and positioning PM&R physicians as essential leaders across the healthcare continuum.

threeAAPM&R Leads Effort to Unite Team Physiatry to Score an Enormous Advocacy Win

We led multiple efforts to advocate against a CMS proposal that would allow non-physician practitioners (NPPs) to perform any of the inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) coverage service and documentation duties that are required to be performed by a rehabilitation physician.

Our leadership efforts resulted in a BIG WIN for physiatry! By bringing together the unified voice of 2,377 PM&R physicians, 122 patient advocacy organizations, state and medical specialties, and prestigious IRF hospitals, as well as 97 of your patients, and gaining support from key Congressional offices, we successfully defeated this CMS proposal that would have had a detrimental impact on patient care, the specialty and the future of inpatient rehabilitation.

Team Physiatry’s success is driven by you. Thank you for being a #PMRAdvocate and getting involved! We couldn’t do it without you.

What’s next? We are aware that, even though this is a major win for our specialty, it has not fully closed the door to future scope of practice concerns in the coming years. We recognize, value and respect that the entire multi-disciplinary team is essential for quality patient care. By working with and welcoming multidisciplinary team members, we optimize the role of the PM&R physician and extend the opportunities and influence of PM&R physicians and the specialty. That’s why we are continuing to work with stakeholders and actively asserting our position that physiatry-led, patient-centered, team-based care is essential to providing optimized medical rehabilitation care for patients. We remain committed to defending the unique skills and experience of PM&R physicians.

Guiding PM&R

Throughout the year, we tracked and influenced legislative, regulatory and policy issues, participating in more than 25 coalitions to advocate on behalf of members and positioning PM&R practitioners as leaders in the future of healthcare. In 2020, we have been pushing ahead, setting the agenda for the specialty at large and positioning AAPM&R at the forefront:

  • Issued a Position Statement on the Proper Use of ‘Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’ and Derivatives—We released this position statement to combat the inappropriate use of the specialty’s name and protect those seeking care from the spread of misinformation about the specialty. We encourage you to use this as an advocacy tool.
  • Advocating Against Proposed Physician Reimbursement Cuts in CMS’ 2021 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule—CMS proposed an almost 11% cut to the conversion factor, which determines payment for services. We are strongly advocating against this proposal and will keep members updated.
  • Helping You Ease Burnout—We have long advocated to reduce burden for PM&R physicians by streamlining administrative documentation. We’re thrilled that CMS decided to remove the post-admission physician evaluation (PAPE) documentation requirement in its finalized IRF Prospective Payment System Rule for 2021. CMS’ decision to remove the PAPE is a direct result of our ongoing advocacy.
  • Advocating for Improvements to Evaluation and Management (E/M) Coding—Our efforts have resulted in new office and outpatient E/M code descriptors, documentation guidelines and increased relative value units (RVUs), which will go into effect on January 1, 2021.

Learn more about our 2020 advocacy wins for Team Physiatry, our 2021 advocacy priorities and how you can get involved at

Artboard 3 copy 4

Principles of Inclusion and Engagement

Members of our Inclusion and Engagement (I&E) and Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committees have been collaborating this year to create our Principles of Inclusion and Engagement, which further advances our diversity and inclusion strategic goals and initiatives. We are committed to embracing diverse backgrounds and perspectives of those with whom we work and serve and creating space for the difficult conversations.

Valuing Diverse Group Composition

  • Recognizing that a diverse group that is more representative of our overall member composition can result in enhanced group outcomes.
  • Volunteers can be selected as a member of a particular community to enhance diversity of thought and experiences, but they should not view their role as a member for that community. Instead, they represent the entirety of PM&R.

Mutual Respect

  • Demonstrating respect for differing opinions and viewpoints.
  • Cultivating a receptive space for differing opinions and viewpoints.

Talent and Skill-Based Selection for Leadership Opportunities

  • Ensuring that broad criteria of diversity of experience, talent and knowledge are incorporated.
  • Removing barriers to involvement to further support an equitable environment to assure that all future leaders have the opportunity to contribute where needed.

Comprehensive Collaboration

  • Building community between various member constituents is essential as a physiatric member association.
  • Bringing different perspectives together will enhance innovative thinking and achievement.

Critical Conversations on Equity, Access and Inclusion in PM&R, Healthcare and Society

We reached out to members to gather feedback on advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our community. From listening to your insights, we kicked off our critical conversation webinar series in July with, Understanding the African American Physiatrist Experience. Our series of critical conversations included topics such as racial disparities in patient care, multicultural leadership in PM&R and the Academy’s diversity and inclusion journey.

Our D&I Committee has also worked to update our demographic data questions to help understand more about our members, how we can better support you and how we can help members feel included. You’ll see those questions as you renew your 2021 membership dues.

Explore more about our I&E and D&I efforts.

Artboard 3 copy 5

11983A-790Decision-making demands data—factual evidence that your skills and services improve your patients’ outcomes and are deserving of an institution’s referral or a payer’s reimbursement. You asked for data to prove your value and we answered. The accurate documentation of rehabilitation through data involves all of PM&R, and we are leading the effort through our Registry.

Together with member volunteers and technical expertise, we developed and refined the architecture to collect the specific data points you need to seamlessly and effortlessly prove your value as a physiatrist. Using a unique framework, which harnesses traditional EMR data with patient-reported outcomes data, our Registry accurately and efficiency captures essential data, transforming it into real-world evidence through smart analytics and intuitive, flexible reports.

Empowering PM&R

This year, our Registry welcomed six early adopters (as of September 2020)—Brooks Rehabilitation, Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates, Lifespan Physician Group, NYU Langone Health, Shepherd Center and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab—organizations that are committed to quality improvement through clinical and patient-reported data collection in both ischemic stroke and low back pain. We started off with these two areas, but plan to expand soon, knowing PM&R impacts outcomes for many other patient populations. Our early adopters and BOLD strategic areas will help us decide which areas to focus on next.

To encourage other practices and institutions to participate, we hosted a series of critical conversations to engage with members on the need and importance for PM&R to define what quality care means to the specialty, as well as how to overcome barriers to working together on a unified data collection initiative.

Our Registry is currently recruiting institutions and practices for this robust data collection effort. Join these trailblazers who are working together to define physiatry’s value across the healthcare continuum. Explore more.

Artboard 3 copy 2

AAPM&R plays a critical role in your success every day. We support our PM&R physician members by providing practice and career advancement resources that create everyday value for you and help position you for success in the future.

Our member volunteers are stepping up as PM&R leaders and are driving the specialty forward. For example, several of you are getting involved with us to discuss the value of PM&R and how we can best support physiatrists in marketing the specialty. Our Specialty Brand Expansion (SBE) Committee has been focused on developing grassroots marketing support for members and creating strategies to increase PM&R’s brand value with key stakeholders: primary care and hospital/healthcare administrators.

The grassroots marketing support in 2020 has included helping refresh PM&R Knowledge NOW® by creating patient-facing content and PDFs on conditions and treatments that members can distribute to their patients. These templates cover a wide variety of clinical topics along with an explanation of what PM&R is and what makes PM&R physicians unique. We highly encourage you to utilize these templates in your practices! Additional strategies are being discussed and we will keep members updated. Learn more.

Your Career is Our Specialty

2020 has thrown us curveballs left and right, but our support for you has stayed constant. We recognize that advancing your career is a priority, which is why we continue to improve the resources we offer you: View all of our career resources for you.

  • Job and Fellowship Board—New positions are regularly added. Browse the Board to see what’s available or post your job opening.
  • Job and Fellowship Fair—Offered each year during the Annual Assembly.
  • PM&R Journal—New research is published monthly and sent to your mailbox.
  • The Physiatrist—Our official membership newsletter delivered to your mailbox, which contains the latest career resources and job openings.
  • Career Corner—Our monthly professional development e-newsletter designed to help connect you to your dream job.

Helping Early-Career Members Transition into Practice

We also understand that early-career PM&R physicians face unique challenges as they navigate new work responsibilities and juggle work life balance. That’s why we offer the Early-Career Pathways as a special membership option for those graduating from residency and fellowship. It’s a great option to stay connected with 1,500+ residents and early-career physiatrists in the PM&R community. Learn more.

Artboard 3 copy 6

12310A-448Education is a fundamental offering that affects PM&R physicians across clinical focuses, practice areas, career stages and levels of expertise. As part of Academy membership, we provide top-notch education and other innovative learning resources across a variety of delivery mechanisms.

A combination of online education, virtual courses and live events keep the specialty on the cusp of healthcare changes and medical advances, supporting members in their pursuit of ongoing education and preparing them for practice and career advancement.

Digital Learning

A NEW exciting offer is our online education subscription! When you add a subscription to your membership, you receive 24/7 access to online educational resources, including instructional videos, podcasts, case studies and more—all for a special introductory rate of only $100 when you renew your AAPM&R 2021 membership dues by December 31, 2020. After this date, the subscription fee is $150. Additional educational resources are also available, including complimentary self-assessment exams and Journal CME for all members in the new Online Learning Portal.

Virtual and In-Person Learning

We also offer a variety of STEP Certificate Programs to keep PM&R practitioners at the top of their game, supporting early-career physicians and seasoned professionals who want to represent the highest standard in the field. Designed by physiatrists for physiatrists, Concussion and Mild TBI join the highly-regarded Ultrasound and Spasticity Certification Programs with both online and live learning formats in 2021.

Introduced in fall 2020, National Grand Rounds are monthly webinars to connect PM&R physicians of all specializations, from across the country, for stimulating discussions on topics that represent the intellectual, practical and/or spiritual aspects of the specialty. AAPM&R President Michelle Gittler kicked off this informational series in September. These monthly forums cover topics including telehealth and the evolution of patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of mentorship, how much physiatrists have to offer to cancer patients and survivors and much more.

We are committed to bringing you the best and most relevant continuing education. Learn more.

Artboard 3 copy 7

Thanks to YOUR engagement in 2020, you’ve helped make our PM&R community extra special:

2020 Annual Report Engagement Stats

Continue showing your PM&R spirit in 2021 by maintaining your Academy membership! View your benefits and renew/join today.

To All Members of Team Physiatry: Thank You!

The complexities of today's changing healthcare landscape require collaboration and dialogue. AAPM&R wants to thank all of its members for their support and ongoing engagement in the Academy to help advance the specialty.