Dr. Stephen Levinson Receives Spinal Cord Injury Certification

January 04, 2001

Stephen F. Levinson, M.D., chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, has become certified to practice spinal cord injury (SCI) medicine. He is the first physician in the Rochester area and among a handful of physicians in the Upstate area, to become certified in this subspecialty.

This new subspecialty is provided through the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. It is open to those with primary certification in a closely related area, including neurology, neurosurgery, and orthopaedics. To earn the SCI certification, applicants must complete a two-year fellowship in spinal cord injury medicine.

Spinal cord injury medicine encompasses the entire medical management of persons with a spinal cord injury. This involves not only the acute phase of their rehabilitation, which begins immediately following their injury, but also the life-long needs of the individual. Spinal cord injuries can result in profound changes in bladder and bowel function, skin integrity, cardiovascular and body temperature, sexuality, and bone calcification, all of which can lead to potentially life-threatening complications. The SCI specialist coordinates care through a team of professionals that can include rehabilitation nurses, urologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, recreational therapists, orthotists, and speech/language therapists.

The University of Rochester Medical Center has long been a leader in SCI medicine, having served as one of the original 10 model SCI centers nationwide. The program has been instrumental in bringing state-of-the-art technology to the region, including an implantable pump for management of severe elasticity and electroejaculation for SCI men who wish to father children.

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