Content » Vol 42, Issue 3

Special report

Hannover model for the implementation of physical and rehabilitation medicine teaching in undergraduate medical training

Christoph Gutenbrunner, Jörg Schiller, Monika Schwarze, Volkhard Fischer, Volker Paulmann, Herrmann Haller, Gerald Küther
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0513


As any patient may require rehabilitation and physical therapies, all physicians need to acquire at least a basic knowledge of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM). In 2005 PRM teaching was implemented in all phases of the curriculum for medical students in Germany. The curriculum includes, among others, the following topics: principles of rehabilitation; the model of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF); principles and
effects of physiotherapy and occupational therapy; indications and contraindications for PRM interventions. Teaching of PRM topics is implemented from the first week in all phases of the curriculum, as: (i) lectures in the module “Introduction to Medicine (Propaedeuticum)”; (ii) a cross-­sectional course entitled “Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Naturopathic Treatment (RPMN)”; (iii) single lectures on PRM in other fields; (iv) elective mandatory courses on the social model of rehabilitation, balneology, and others; and (v) the option to choose PRM as a subject for practical training. All modules are evaluated regularly by the students. Global ratings of the module “Propaedeuticum” were good, and of the cross-sectional course “RPMN” very good. The advanced part of the practical training was rated highly by the students. In conclusion, the implementation of teaching of PRM and other rehabilitation topics in undergraduate medical education is a successful concept that fulfils the criteria for education in medical school set out by the American Association of Academic Physiatrists.

Lay Abstract


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