Plenary Speakers

Annual Assembly




No other PM&R conference brings together high-profile thought leaders who have made significant and enduring contributions in both their respective fields and throughout the world.

During four exciting plenaries, our speakers will share their insights on how they’ve overcome adversity to leave a lasting impact.

Opening Plenary and Presidential Address

Thursday, November 11, 11 am - 12:30 pm (CT)

  • Stuart M. Weinstein, MD, FAAPMR, AAPM&R President
  • Erik Antonsen, MD, PhD, FAAEM, FACEP, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine with a co-appointment as Associate Professor of Space Medicine at the Center for Space Medicine, both at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas
    • Dr. Antonsen will discuss how the effects on human health and function from deep space travel can inform and enhance physiatric care on Earth.
Stuart M. Weinstein, MD, FAAPMR

Stuart M. Weinstein, MD, FAAPMR

Erik Antonsen, MD, PhD, FAAEM, FACEP

Erik Antonsen, MD, PhD, FAAEM, FACEP

Presidential Address 

Functional Challenges in Human Spaceflight

Plenary Session

Friday, November 12, 3:45-5 pm (CT)

  • Ayanna Howard, PhD, Dean of the College of Engineering at the Ohio State University
    • Dr. Howard will discuss her career in robotic science and how robotic technology can be incorporated into rehabilitation to enhance functional outcomes.
Ayanna Howard, PhD

Ayanna Howard, PhD

Navigating the Hype: Understanding the Role of Robots in Healthcare and Rehabilitation


    53rd Annual Zeiter Lecture and Awards Presentation

    Saturday, November 13, 1-2 pm (CT)

    • Julie K. Silver, MD, FAAPMR, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School; Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
    Julie K. Silver, MD, FAAPMR

    Julie K. Silver, MD, FAAPMR

    Addressing Patient Care and Workforce Disparities

    In this lecture, Dr. Julie Silver will discuss patient care and healthcare workforce diversity and inclusion. Many reports have demonstrated disparities for both clinicians and patients—particularly women or people who identify with one or more underrepresented group. Although there has been progress, studies show that many gaps persist.

    Dr. Silver will identify key barriers and suggests solutions that will accelerate progress. She will use a combination of research, advocacy, strategy and innovation to overcome barriers. Dr. Silver will describe how to identify crucial tipping points that will have far-reaching effects. Participants will be inspired and armed with new knowledge and skills to advance their careers and support others.

    At the conclusion of this lecture, participants will be able to:

    • Identify new research studies on disparities in PM&R.
    • Recognize the value and potential pitfalls of diversity structures.
    • Identify key tipping points that may accelerate diversity, equity and inclusion.
    • Describe new innovative solutions to old diversity problems.

    Closing General Plenary

    Sunday, November 14, 9:30-11 am (CT)

    • PhyzTalks Finalists, who will share their compelling and inspirational physiatry-focused stories with the PM&R community.