Teaching medical students rehabilitation medicine.
PURPOSE: The principles of rehabilitation medicine will become ever more important across many medical and surgical specialties in view of the rising prevalence of chronic and disabling conditions. Yet rehabilitation medicine has traditionally been unpopular with medical students. This article aims to review the existing evidence of problems in teaching medical undergraduates in rehabilitation medicine and provide published recommendations and practical approaches from our own experience. METHOD: A literature review was carried out to search for publications relating to teaching rehabilitation medicine to undergraduates in order to identify problems that potentially affect undergraduate education in rehabilitation medicine and its future as a medical speciality. CONCLUSION: The lack of consistent undergraduate curriculum, knowledge of rehabilitation medicine and academic opportunities contribute to the inadequate perception of the speciality to the undergraduates. The attitude of medical students towards rehabilitation medicine is important for its future development as a specialty. Further standardisation of teaching rehabilitation medicine at a national level, promoting research activity in this area and increasing the profile of rehabilitation medicine are warranted.