About AAPM&R

About Us


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

You're invited to participate in a series of thoughtful discussions on racial equity, access, and inclusion in today’s world.

Upcoming discussions in this series will examine topics including:

  • Racial Disparities in Patient Care Highlighted by COVID-19
  • Multicultural Leadership in PM&R
  • 2020 Assembly of Delegates Focused on Advancing Inclusion Within Our Communities

We are committed to creating space for these often-difficult discussions and learning from them. We are listening and continuing to work toward enhancing a welcoming environment for all members.

AAPM&R’s Diversity and Inclusion Journey

Thursday, October 1, 2020
6 pm (CT)

The Academy’s Inclusion and Engagement Committee, chaired by D.J. Kennedy, MD, FAAPMR, and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, chaired by Carla Watson, MD, FAAPMR, invite you to join us as we reflect on our diversity and inclusion journey that is underway. We will review efforts that led to the creation of the diversity and inclusion strategic plan, recap the goals of the plan, unveil the Academy’s new Principles of Inclusion and Engagement, and share new initiatives on the horizon.

Reaching our diversity and inclusion goals will require the engagement of all sectors and perspectives of the PM&R community – a united effort that reflects the necessity of, and our commitment to, our D&I pledge

Join us for this critical conversation on Thursday, October 1 at 6 pm (CT). Register now* and share this event with other members.

More information on how the Academy advances diversity and inclusion can be found here.

*Registration and webinar compatibility between Internet Explorer and GoToWebinar may vary. If you experience a technical issue, please try another web browser or visit https://support.goto.com/webinar for additional support.

D.J. Kennedy, MD, FAAPMR

D.J. Kennedy, MD, FAAPMR

AAPM&R Inclusion and Engagement Committee Chair

Carla P. Watson, MD, FAAPMR

Carla P. Watson, MD, FAAPMR

AAPM&R Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair

Understanding the African American Physiatrist Experience

Our first critical conversation in this series, Understanding the African American Physiatrist Experience, was held on Tuesday, July 14. The AAPM&R Board of Governors wanted to listen and understand how racial inequities have impacted African American members of our PM&R community through your professional journey. Members came together in a safe space to share experiences to increase the Academy Board’s understanding and future planning to provide ongoing support for our members and advance this critical need for the specialty.

Learn more about the Academy's Diversity & Inclusion efforts, including our strategic goals and initiatives.

A Letter from Our President

"We have a fundamental obligation to not only acknowledge institutionalized racism, but insist that recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic does not mean a return to “normal,” but a conscious rebuilding of a Society in which we truly believe all persons “are created equal..."—Michelle S. Gittler, MD, FAAPMR 

Read her full editorial on PhyzForum.


AAPM&R's Recent Statement 

AAPM&R Remains Steadfast in its Commitment to Equity, Inclusivity, and Respect for Human Dignity 

Rosemont, IL, May 31, 2020 – With the recent deplorable acts of racism in our country, we, as the Board of Governors want all members of the PM&R community to know that AAPM&R remains steadfast in its commitment to equity and inclusivity, and respect for human dignity. To our African American members, we stand with you as a community during this time of extreme pain in a country in utter turmoil.

“The ongoing crisis of institutional racism in our country and the COVID-19 pandemic show us that previously accepted “norms” of the U.S. healthcare system and within society must be critically examined and structurally changed to enable a path for healing. It will require difficult and uncomfortable dialogues, but it is the only way for us to create an inclusive path forward that is different from the past,” Michelle Gittler, MD, AAPM&R President.

As of today, your Academy has united with our peer primary medical associations in the Council of Medical Specialty Societies to release the following statement:

With more than 800,000 physicians across 45 specialties, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) deplores the negative impact of racism in our nation and of racial inequities in our healthcare system. Racism undermines public health. CMSS steadfastly supports its member specialty societies working to promote equity and reduce the adverse impact of racism systemically. We are committed to using our platform to improve the health of every patient we serve.


Dr. Camara Jones

2019 Plenary Speaker: Camara P. Jones, MD, MPH, PhD—Achieving Health Equity: Tools for a Campaign Against Racism

We encourage you to watch Dr. Camara Jones' presentation from the 2019 Annual Assembly, "Achieving Health Equity: Tools for a Campaign Against Racism." Dr. Jones was one of our plenary speakers and is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on naming, measuring, and addressing the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation. She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to high-quality health care, but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and of equity (including racism).