The rehabilitation training in National Taiwan University Hospital could be traced back to 1958 when American physical therapists were invited to Taiwan to help children suffered from disabilities caused by poliomyelitis. The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine was established in 1963, which is the first formal rehabilitation institute in Taiwan.
For decades, the department offers top-qualified outpatient, inpatient, and specialty services including physical, occupational, speech therapies, as well as prosthetic and orthotic fitting. The department also acts as a service team to integrate patients, physiatrists and therapists, in order to promote the functional recovery of disables. Each year, more than 45,000 patients visit the PM&R clinics and most of them suffer from strokes, brain injury, spinal cord injury, orthopedic injuries, sports injuries and other related disorders. There are also 60 beds available for referrals from acute care units and other healthcare organizations.
In addition to clinical services, the PM&R department has a commitment of training and education for fellows, residents, interns, medical students, and students from physical, occupational, and speech therapy departments. The comprehensive training programs make them fulfill the practical and academic requirements of their future careers and cultivate the leadership in their specialty.
Moreover, the department dedicates to clinical and basic research regarding new intervention modalities, advanced diagnostic technology, rehabilitation engineering, and other related topics in the field of PM&R. The fruitful results of research lead to numerous publications in international scientific journals. For example, the series research on elastography was published in the best journal of clinical imaging, Radiology. The basic research in physical modalities, including the bioeffects of ultrasound, shockwaves and electricity, also has good publications.
The PM&R department is proud of being the leading institution of physical medicine and rehabilitation which provides the best clinical services, medical training and scientific research in Taiwan. The departmental also led many important reformations in Taiwan, including rehabilitation education, international disability classification (ICF), cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, early intervention of disabled children, disability Olympics, and long-term care policies. The department is also famous internationally especially in the research of clinical ultrasound, both diagnostic (musculoskeletal) and therapeutic ones. Each year, numerous foreign doctors visit us to learn musculoskeletal ultrasound.
In the future, the department will dedicate in the renew and expansion of facilities, development of subspecialty training, early intervention and generalization of the rehabilitation services in Taiwan.