Physikalische Medizin, Rehabilitationsmedizin, Kurortmedizin 2009; 19 - A11
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1238185

The European Bodies on Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine – Structures and Policies

C Gutenbrunner 1
  • 1Medizinische Hochschule, Hannover

The activities of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine focus on the actions within the European PRM-bodies and in the framework of European and regional congresses and seminars. Within this framework the main activities are defining and/or describing the specialty for Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine and to improve scientific communication and cooperation.

The European Society for Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine is the European scientific society in our field ( It aims at improvement of knowledge of fundamentals and the management of activities, participation and contextual factors of people with a disability. It intends to support the idea that research is inextricably bound up with clinical practice in PRM. Within this scope the ESPRM organizes biennial congresses. For the organization of these congresses recently standards have been developed. The first congress organized according to these standards was the 16th European Congress of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine held in Brugge, Belgium, 3–6 June 2008.

In 2007 a new Executive Committee has been elected consisting of Prof. Alessandro Giustini (President), Prof. Henk Stam (Past president), Prof. Christoph Gutenbrunner (Treasurer), Prof. Elena Ilieva (General Secretary), Prof. Alain Delarque, Prof. Pedro Cantista, Prof. Alvydas Joucevicius (Deputy treasurer) and Sasa Moslavac (Deputy secretary).

The Section and Board of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine represent specialists in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine within the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) ( 30 coun-tries are full members of the UEMS PRM Section, being 27 countries of the European Union plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. Turkey and Croatia are considered as „Associated Countries“ and Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia are invited to our general assemblies as „Observers“.

Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine is recognized as a full specialty in all the member countries of the UEMS PRM Section. In this population of 500,000,000 inhabitants, more than 14,000 specialists in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine practice. More than 1,500 trainees are getting ready for practicing our specialty.

The activities of the UEMS PRM Section are organized under the supervision of three main committees:

The European Board of PRM (Committee for Education; President: Prof. Franco Franchignoni, Italy). It deals with Initial and Continuing Medical Education (Training curriculum and logbook, certification of specialists, trainers and training sites, accreditation of European CME/CPD events and others). A new activity is the World Action Plan for Initial Education (WAPIE) in which courses and seminars for trainees who are registered to the European Board.

The Committee for Clinical Affairs (Chairman: Dr Georges de Korvin, France). It deals with the Quality of Care in PRM, and developed a European Programme of Accreditation of the Quality of Care in PRM (

The Committee for Professional Practice (Chairman: Prof. Christoph Gutenbrunner, Germany). It deals with the domain of competence of PRM Specialists. Recent activities are the publication of the white book and developing position papers on the rehabilitation teamwork, rehabilitation in acute hospitals, balneology in PRM and manual medicine.

The European Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine is a body with of up to 50 senior doctors in the spe-cialty across Europe was created in 1969. Academicians are invited on the basis of their distinguished contribu-tion to the specialty, particularly its humanitarian aspects. The aim of the Académie is to improve all areas of rehabilitation for the benefit of those who need it. It thus promotes education and research across Europe, acting as a reference point in scientific, educational and research matters, exchanging ideas and information, facilitating the exchange of PRM doctors between different countries and engaging in moral and ethical debate.

Recent activities are – among other – publication of a series of booklets on special topics of PRM, e.g. „Assessement in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation – Views & Perspectives“ and „Vocational Rehabilitation“.

Additionally to these trans-European bodies regional societies and initiatives organise biennial congresses. These organisations are the Mediterranean Forum on Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, the Baltic & North Sea Forum on Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine and the Four-Countries Meetings on Physical and Rehabilita-tion Medicine. The latter includes Italy, Austria Swiss, and Germany.