Spring 2023

Members & Publications


Dr. Maneesh Tiwari Interviews AAPM&R President Dr. Steven Flanagan


1. How does leadership play a role in the future of PM&R?

Effective leadership is an essential component in achieving our BOLD vision. While the Academy has taken decisive steps in advancing PM&R BOLD, we need our members to join us in advancing the vision, both locally where our members practice and on a national level. Physiatrists are natural leaders given our training in directing a broad spectrum of healthcare providers on rehabilitation teams. To further enhance leadership skills, the Academy offers many venues our members can take advantage of, including various in-person training courses, toolkits and enduring webinars. Our Future Leaders Program provides comprehensive education and leadership development opportunities. We also offer educational sessions at the Annual Assembly, a diversity of volunteer opportunities our members can engage in and lead and are planning to offer medical directorship training programs.


    2. What is your vision for the future of the specialty? What challenges might be ahead?

    The Academy, in conjunction with our members, developed envisioned futures for physiatry. These are embedded in our PM&R BOLD initiative in many of the clinical areas our members’ practice: musculoskeletal care, cancer rehabilitation medicine, pediatric rehabilitation, pain management and spine rehabilitation and the rehabilitation continuum of care. Although they differ in specifics, each envisioned future emphasizes the immense value physiatry brings to patient care, by improving population health, patient experiences and enhancing efficiencies (i.e., the Triple Aim of Medicine).

    My goal for PM&R is the realization of these collective visions, which are embedded in our PM&R BOLD initiative. Physiatrists are essential experts in value-based evaluation, diagnosis and management of neuromuscular and disabling conditions, indispensable in directing rehabilitation and recovery and vital in optimizing outcomes and function early and throughout the continuum of care. Collectively, we will need to address challenges, such as awareness of our value, data supporting our contributions, workforce shortages and leadership on a local and national level. It is critical to advance PM&R BOLD and inform key stakeholders of our value to medicine.   

    What impact can residents have within the Academy and the future of the specialty?

    First and foremost, maintain your membership and get involved! Our residents and fellows are the future of physiatry. Our PHiT Council is an incredibly vibrant and active group of early-career physiatrists with tremendously valuable insights, energy and passion to ensure the future of physiatry. We need all of our residents and fellows to join the effort to secure our future, for the benefit of our patients, ourselves and medicine in general.

    4. How have your leadership roles impacted you personally and professionally?

    I’ve been extremely fortunate in my career to serve in several leadership roles, both in my practice as well as for the Academy. It has given me the opportunity to grow professionally and to contribute to a field that I am passionate about. I’ve been able to assist in advancing PM&R education and advocacy with colleagues across the country and overseas. The ROI for the effort it took to volunteer and lead has been immense both personally and professionally. I encourage all of our members to volunteer and lead physiatry to secure our collective vision for the specialty. The rewards will be tremendous!