Our History


Our Society was initially founded in 1921 as the New York Electrotherapeutic Society

In 1933 the name was changed to New York Society of Physical Therapy

The term Physical Medicine was adopted and favored over Physical Therapy in 1944 and the Society’s name was eventually changed to its current New York Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (NYSPMR) by early 1945

The 25th anniversary of the Society’s founding was celebrated at the Liederkranz Club, in New York City, on March 16, 1946

The New York Academy established the section of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 1965

The Society’s Resident’s Night became an annual event starting in 1966 and continues to be an anticipated NYSPMR event to this day. 

In 1973 the NYSPMR was formally incorporated into the State of New York. 

For the following years, the tradition of regular monthly meetings on the 1st Wednesday of each month has continued. Meetings were held at the New York Academy on East 103rd Street, then were transitioned to the modern facilities of the Hospital for Special Surgery. In Fall 2013, the Society in joint sponsorship with NYU Post-Graduate Medical School moved to NYU Medical Center for future lectures and meetings. 

Following the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in New York, our Society worked on restructuring itself, and a new modern and integrated website was created by the end of 2020, to serve as a virtual platform for our lectures, workshops and other NYSPMR activities and meetings.

New York Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is an educational specialty organization of the New York Academy of Medicine that is governed by its own Executive Committee members. Meetings continue to be held on a monthly basis on the first Wednesday of each month with the exception of July, August, and holidays. Society meetings consist of lecture topics relevant to the field of rehabilitation medicine which are presented by nationally and internationally renowned invited speakers. Business meetings conducted by the NYSPMR Board members are also held on a monthly basis and are usually open to all active members.

The Society’s social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) share information such as upcoming society and specialty related events, member achievements and awards, and legislative topics.


The field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), also known as Physiatry, is a medical specialty that advocates the process of restoring function to individuals who have been disabled as a result of a disease, inherent disorder, or injury. The term physiatry originates from the two Greek words: Physikos, meaning physical, and Iatreia, meaning the art of healing.

A physiatrist is a licensed MD or DO who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation and who has completed four years of undergraduate training, four years of medical school (allopathic or osteopathic), one preliminary (or transitional year), and three years of residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. One to two year fellowship training options are also available in Pain Medicine, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, Brain Injury Medicine, Neuromuscular Medicine, Sports Medicine, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Physiatrists treat patients with such medical diagnoses as spinal cord injury, traumatic and non-traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, orthopaedic injuries both pre- and post-operative, musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain syndromes, nerve injuries, symptomatic manifestations of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and others. Due to the integrated approach of physiatry and broad scope of diagnoses, physiatrists often work very closely with other medical professionals including neurologists, orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, family practitioners, pediatricians, radiologists, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, and social workers.

In essence Physiatry enables patients to achieve their maximum functional capacity by utilizing an integrated multidisciplinary approach.


Please contact NYSPMR for more information.

Education & Research Committee

Clinical Education & Workshops Committee


  • We cherish our memories. Please drop any photo with the NYSPMR that you’d like to share with us HERE