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Annual Assembly

Plenaries—Thought-Provoking Topics to
Unite PM&R

No other PM&R conference brings together high-profile thought leaders who’ve made significant and enduring contributions in both their respective fields and throughout the world. Listen as our experts share their insights. Don’t forget about your peer presenters on Sunday. Stay and listen to our “PhyzTalk All-Stars” who will leave a lasting impression well after the conference ends!

Dr. Gittler and Bolte Taylor

Presidential Address and Plenary Keynote—Michelle S. Gittler, MD, FAAPMR and Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD

Thursday, November 12

AAPM&R President Michelle S. Gittler, MD, FAAPMR, will officially launch #AAPMR20 and welcome attendees. Then, Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist, will provide an inspiring talk. 

In 1996, a blood vessel exploded in the left half of Dr. Bolte Taylor's brain and over the course of 4 hours she watched her mind completely deteriorate until she could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of her life. It took 8 years for her to completely recover all function.

In 2008, Dr. Taylor gave the first TED talk that ever went viral, she was the premier guest on Oprah’s Soul Series, and she was named one as of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008. In 2020, Dr. Taylor will publish book #2 about Insights Into Whole Brain Living, and she is committed to educating the public about neuroplasticity and the ability of the brain to recover from stroke or brain trauma.  

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Keith Barry 

Friday, November 13

As the world’s leading TV hypnotist, mentalist, and brain hacker, Keith Barry has been blazing a trail across the globe for many years. His mind-blowing skills have been showcased in more than 40 international television shows, including his most recent series, Hypnotize Me and The Keith Barry Experience.

Keith has written, produced, and performed many of his own stage shows over the last 15 years and has sold out venues in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Spain, South Africa, the UK, and of course, his native Ireland. Keith’s TED Talk has been in the top 25 TED Talks since 2008 and it currently boasts more than 25 million views.

In his keynote presentation ‘Mind Magic’ Keith will reveal to attendees how to tap into their subconscious minds to break through barriers, disrupt unhealthy thought patterns, and exceed expectations, both in their business and personal lives. As a leading expert in influence and persuasion, he will also share information on how to communicate ideas more effectively using neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) strategies such as modelling, pacing, leading, and yes-setting. Amazing and informative, this plenary has something for everyone!

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52nd Walter J. Zeiter Lecture and Awards Video Presentation—Will Waller

Saturday, November 14

Will Waller is the CEO of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA), after a 20-year career in human resources at 3 Global, Fortune 150 companies. He has performed a variety of global business partner roles, as well as led large scale change initiatives.

In 1992, a bullet pierced Will’s spine and kidney in a gang-related shooting. He suffered a mixed conus cauda equina injury to his lower back, which left him with some sensation feeling and slight movement, as well as other functionality. As a result, Will has chronic leg pain, and eventually, his kidney had to be removed. In helping him through his physical and emotional challenges, one of his doctors at the Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital eventually persuaded him to apply to junior college.

He eventually joined the Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers and performed at the highest level for team USA, having won 2 Paralympic Bronze Medals and 2 World Championships. The NWBA leadership role has allowed Will to leverage his blend of business and sporting.

Prior to Will's presentation will be our AAPM&R Awards Video Presentation! On Saturday, November 14, our 2020 award winners will be recognized for their significant contributions to both the specialty and to people with disabilities. 

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Brunch and Closing General Session featuring PhyzTalks

Sunday, November 15

Wrap up your Annual Assembly experience before you hop on your flight home at the Brunch and Closing General Session featuring PhyzTalks on Sunday. You'll spend the morning eating great food and listening to the outstanding top submissions from our “Call for PhyzTalks”—and we'll wrap up by 10 am. PhyzTalks are TED™-style talks, which feature stories that are compelling and impactful to physiatrists. Brunch is included with your registration!

View the 2019 PhyzTalks Finalists here.