The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) of the National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Medicine includes well-recognized faculty responsible for various teaching, research and service programs. The complete rehabilitation team provides a wide range of both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services to patients with different types of physical disability, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychological rehabilitation, and prosthesis fitting and training. In recent years, the Department has aggressively developed a bed-side rehabilitation scheme for the management of acute patients in order to promote the prevention and treatment of disability in early stages. The Department continues to receive funding to perform academic research in the field of rehabilitation medicine from the National Science Council, the NTU College of Medicine, NTUH and related organizations and achieve great success. In the teaching aspect, the Department provides programs of clinical training for medical students, and students from the schools of physical therapy and occupational therapy. In addition to this, a comprehensive resident training program has been designed to foster the development of physiatrists.
The Department was formally established in August 1st, 1987. However, teaching, research and service activities had already begun in 1960’s. In 1963 an independent Department of Physical Therapy Rehabilitation was established in National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) and started outpatient clinics. In 1965, the Department became the first rehabilitation facility with inpatient services in Taiwan. In 1967, occupational therapy and speech therapy were added. A prosthetic and orthotic unit was established in 1971, and a psychological rehabilitation unit in 1974. In August 1981, the Department of Physical Therapy Rehabilitation revised into the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in NTUH. In August 1987, the Department of PM&R was officially established as part of the NTU College of Medicine, becoming a well-recognized teaching, research and service unit. A reorganization of the Department of NTUH was implemented in 1993. In July 2001, after approval by the Examination Yuan, the Division of General Rehabilitation, the Division of Neurological Rehabilitation, the Division of Orthopedic Rehabilitation, the Division of Physical Therapy Technology and the Division of Occupational Therapy Technology were established in the Department.
(1) The teaching evaluation of the PM&R programs is considered as one of the best in the medical school. The chart quality has also been recognized as one of the best in the hospital for many years.
(2) Prof. Jin-Shin Lai is leading a research group focusing on the areas of rehabilitation, biomedical engineering, electrical engineering and informatics. This research group achieves great success.
(3) Prof. Chein-Wei Chang explored the four primitive reflexes using electrophysiology methods and a self-invented technique, which became an important objective neurophysiological tool for examining various brain disorders.
(4) Prof. Yen-Ho Wang is engaging in the research of improving the life quality of the patients with spinal cord injury.
(5) Prof. Tyng-Guey Wang set up a soft-tissue ultrasound diagnostic laboratory. This lab is performing research on soft-tissue related disorders.
(6) Associate Prof. Wen-Shiang Chen started an acoustic lab to perform the research of high-energy ultrasound.
The Department provides clinical training for 6th-year medical students and interns as well as fourth-year students of the Schools of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. A comprehensive resident training program has been designed to foster the development of physiatrists. Residents are not only trained in inpatient and outpatient medical services, but are also required to rotate among different examination rooms to acquire various examination skills from visiting physicians. Residents are also dispatched to other related departments for in-depth clinical training. For the past decades, the training programs ran well and all the trainers passed the board examinations successfully.