Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation


The Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) is unique to the Department of Medicine.  PM&R is a medical speciality concerned with the comprehensive diagnosis, medical management and rehabilitation of persons of all ages with neuromusculoskeletal disorders and associated disabilities.  We are a patient-centered, team-based speciality that resides within the care versus the cure medical model – opposite end of the acute medical spectrum.Our work aims at improving our patients’ quality of life and fostering safe and independent living.

Our Physiatrists work in an interprofessional, interdisciplinary model of care to meet the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of patients. Our teams pride themselves on treating patients with dignity and respect in an environment that fosters health and wellness as well as the advancement of knowledge of effective and comprehensive physical rehabilitation practices.


Research in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa covers multiple domains:  basic/translational and clinical research to impact various national/international programs, government policy and Medical Education.

PM&R is the only academic group which deals with the acquisition and transmission of knowledge in the management of persons with disability. This area of scholarship is often overlooked as it is on the opposite end of the research spectrum.  Our members provide significant contributions in the areas of traumatic brain injury and stroke rehabilitation, which align well with the U of O Brain and Mind research mandate.

Through our Institute of Rehabilitation Research and Development, and with the support of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, our members are involved in team-based scholarship addressing key and innovative research areas including:  disability and driving, use of virtual reality in facilitating rehabilitation treatment, contracture management, and effects of immobility.

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Patient Care

Clinically, our Division is the primary regional specialized rehabilitation services provider in the Champlain LHIN.  Our Division links with every Department from all Champlain LHIN hospitals as one of the pathways to discharge for a large number of patients from acute care.  Our program provides care to patients from Nunavut, as well.

The Division of PM&R provides tertiary and quaternary rehabilitation in a broad range of programs:  stroke, amputation, acquired brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, complex orthopedics, complex neurologic, respiratory and chronic pain.  Our inpatient beds are located at Bruyère Continuing Care, St Vincent’s Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital General Campus and The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre.

In June 2007, the expansion of the Acquired Brain Injury at The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre program was completed, thanks in part to more than $800,000 in donations by individuals and organizations in our community. This expanded, modern facility will allow the professionals at TOHRC to assist individuals with brain injury in maximizing their independence and quality of their lives.  To learn more about our clinical programs, please visit: Rehabilitation at Bruyere Continuing Care and The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre


University of Ottawa Physiatry Mission Statement

“We strive to provide comprehensive training of the highest quality, tailored to meet the educational needs of individual residents.  We prepare our graduates to be competent and respected physiatrists in the practice they choose – be it general, sub-specialty, academic or community-based.”

The University of Ottawa Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency training program is a direct entry 5 year program fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).  The U of O PM&R program has been hailed as a “model for the country” by the RCPSC accreditors.

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Recent Honours and Awards

  • Dr. Jeff Blackmer received the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics 20th Anniversary Outstanding Alumnus Award, the first of its kind.
  • Dr. Shawn Marshall was the recipient of the Health Care Provider of the Year as awarded by the Ontario Brain Injury Association.
  • COPD outreach program was on the Honour Roll for the Minister’s Medal for quality improvement in patient outcomes.
  • The Rehab Program was recognized at the Leadership Development Institute (LDI) for senior leaders for how we managed our budget crisis and achieved our requisite 10% reduction through collaboration between program physicians and administration




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