Postgraduate training and certification of physiatrists (rehabilitation physicians) in Japan
- S. Izumi
- Jpn J Rehabil Med
In 2013, the Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine (JARM; http://www.jarm.or. jp/english/) celebrated its 50th anniversary. The concept of rehabilitation medicine in Japan dates back to the 1920s, in an era when rehabilitation primarily focused on disabled children. In 1963, JARM was inaugurated. A brief history of the Association is outlined in Table 1, and its successive leaders are listed in Table 2. JARM is accredited as one of the 122 member societies of the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences and is one of 19 societies that possess a specialty board. In 2012, JARM was approved as a public interest incorporated association by the Japanese government. In addition to gaining social credibility, public interest incorporated associations are exempted from taxation for activities related to the public interest. Japan has a population of 128 million, with more than 22% aged 65 years or older. The density of physicians is 225 per 100,000 population. As of April 2014, JARM has a membership of 9998, including 2002 board-certified physiatrists and 3445 board-certified rehabilitation physicians. The requirements for board-certified physiatrists are 5 years of training after graduation from medical school, including a 3-year residency in rehabilitation medicine, and successful completion of written and oral examinations. Certification must be renewed every 5 years. The requirements for board-certified rehabilitation physicians are 5 years of training after graduation from medical school, including a 1-year residency in rehabilitation medicine, and successful completion of a written examination. Certification for board-certified rehabilitation physicians also must be renewed every 5 years. An accredited institute of rehabilitation medicine is defined as a hospital where training curricula are in place under the guidance of at least one certified physiatrist. The previously described 3-year or 1-year residency training requirements should be fulfilled in these accredited institutes for a medical graduate to become board-certified physiatrist or rehabilitation physician, respectively. In 2014, the total number of accredited institutes is 574.