Rajeev K. Patel, M.D., division chief, Non-Operative/Interventional Spine, URMC Spine Center and associate professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, has been named interim chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, effective February 1, 2018. The appointment is pending Board of Trustees approval.
"Dr. Patel is a highly experienced physiatrist and clinical leader. He has creative ideas that will strengthen PM&R and all of the disciplines that contribute to and collaborate with the department," said Jeffrey Lyness, M.D. senior associate dean for Academic Affairs, who served as chair of the recruitment committee.
Patel joined the faculty in 2001 and was an assistant professor in the Division of Spinal Surgery from 2001-2010. As a fellowship-trained interventional spine subspecialist, Patel has served as director and primary clinical instructor of the Interventional Spine Fellowship program from 2009-2012. He has been chief of the Non-Operative/Interventional Spine division of Spine Surgery in the Department of Orthopaedics since 2007.
Patel earned his medical degree from the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy. He completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine and a fellowship in Interventional Spine at the University of Pennsylvania Spine Center. He has authored research papers, review articles, and book chapters with particular focus on the basic science, pathophysiology and intradiscal biologic treatments for symptomatic degenerative disc disease as well as the safety and effectiveness of interventional spine procedures for a wide variety of spinal pathologies. He is specialty and subspecialty board certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Patel succeeds K. Rao Poduri, M.D., FAAPMR, who served as chair since 2004 and decided to step down as chair upon completion of her most recent term. She will remain an active member of the PM&R faculty.
"With our nationally known neuroscience and orthopaedic specialties, URMC has tremendous need and opportunity to develop leading-edge Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation services. I thank Durgi Poduri for her contributions toward this vision and am confident in Raj Patel's ability to continue our journey toward excellence," said URMC CEO and School of Medicine and Dentistry Dean Mark Taubman, M.D.
"Rajeev Patel is a well-known and well-respected member of our faculty who has served in both the departments of PM&R and Orthopaedics over the past 17 years," said Michael Rotondo, M.D., F.A.C.S., CEO of URMFG. "He brings deep understanding of the academic, clinical, and operational needs of both environments, and is committed to a strong and vibrant Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation presence. I congratulate him on this appointment. I'd like to acknowledge Durgi Poduri's contributions over her 13 years as chair and thank her for her commitment to the department's success."