Physiatry is More Than...a Glass Coffin

Members & Publications


May 4, 2017


“Earle, what is the square root of 25?”

Earle Powdrell had been in a community hospital in Dallas for 3 days, in what appeared to be a vegetative state. Unable to move his eyes to the right or left, Earle could only—at the time—blink.

It was with 5 blinks that Earle saved his own life.

As an aerospace engineer, Earle designed procedures that are used today to train astronauts and cosmonauts to dock to the International Space Station. The question posed to him was simple, but it allowed him to finally express to the physicians and his family that he was fully conscious and aware of his surroundings.

To his wife, Kathy, Earle would later describe those 3 days in the hospital as a “glass coffin.” He was diagnosed with Locked-in syndrome, a rare neurological condition, aware of his surroundings but unable to communicate physically or verbally due to paralysis.

Read the full article in the May issue of The Physiatrist.

Legislation Introduced to Alleviate Impact of Conversion Factor Cut for 2021

Nov 09, 2020

Last month, two bills were introduced in the House proposing solutions to the estimated 10.6% Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor cut expected to go into effect January 1, 2021.  The bills offer some relief to the cut, but do not reflect a comprehensive or long-term solution.  AAPM&R has therefore chosen to remain neutral regarding these bills. 

Your Academy continues to advocate for a permanent solution to the conversion factor cut while maintaining the important payment increases to office and outpatient evaluation and management services.