At the TJUH Pediatrics / PM&R Residency, our ultimate goal is to create passionate physicians who are committed to maximizing and fiercely advocating for the functional potential of children of all abilities.
Becoming an excellent pediatric physiatrist requires lots of hard work and support along the way. Here, you'll find the individualized and challenging learning atmosphere you have been hoping for. You will also find mentors and peers who are dedicated to seeing you grow as a physician and individual.
We are privileged to teach residents from around the country, offering a unique curriculum that will prepare them for careers in pediatric physiatry. Our commitment to excellence and our sense of community make training at TJUH Pediatrics / PM&R Residency a rewarding experience, one that will last many years after graduation.
A MESSAGE FROM DR. A
Dr Michael Alexander is considered one of the founders of pediatric rehabilitation. He is the co-author of the Pediatric Rehabilitation textbook that is used by pediatric physiatrists around the country. While retired from clinical duties, he still returns to duPont weekly to lecture residents and students on rotation and share his wealth of knowledge.
Pediatric Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children
Prior to 1986, there were no rehabilitation beds and there had never been a Pediatric PM&R specialist at the Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children. Dr. Richard Bowen, a pediatric orthopedist was the primary physician in charge of these patients, who were mixed in with the surgical population. There were a few medical patients at that time. With his agreement and that of the medical director Dr. Robert Doughty it was decided to recruit a Pediatric PM&R physician. After an extensive recruitment process I was offered the position. Within a year of the opening of the new hospital, I assumed my responsibilities at the beginning of that year. My initial goals were to bring two concepts family centered care and strong team dynamics, both of which I had learned at The Ohio State University from my chief Dr. Ernie Johnson. Dr. Nina Steg and I work in tandem serving as primary physicians on two 20-bed units comprised primarily of children with traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy.
Within a few years, we had our first fellow, Dr. Maureen Nelson, who had done a traditional PM&R residency and spent one year with us. At that time her training was sufficient to be able to consider herself a pediatric PM&R physician and to eventually take the subspecialty exam. We continued to except one-year fellows for several years. At the point when the PM&R board decided that fellows needed two years of training, we collaborated with Thomas Jefferson University to develop a combined residency in Pediatrics and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. I am quite proud that in all the years that we trained fellows or combined residency physicians, they have all successfully passed the sub-specialty pediatric PM&R board exam on their first try. I am proud of their success in the field and proud that we have alumni of our own program on staff here in Wilmington.
When the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) looked to develop standards for pediatric rehabilitation programs and facilities, we were asked to host the meeting. Strong standards were developed around my initial goals; these standards are still an integral component of what an excellent pediatric program should encompass. While the mix of diagnosis and acuity has changed over the years, the division has prospered and the concepts of team rehabilitation and family centered care established in 1986 continues to this day.