What is a Rehabilitation Physician

A Rehabilitation Physician is a specialist doctor in the field of diagnosing and assessing a persons function associated with injury, illnesses or chronic medical conditions, in order to maximise their independence whilst improving and maintaining quality of life.  Rehabilitation physicians evaluate social, emotional, medical and recreational aspects of function and work with adults using a collective approach with other health professionals, in order to develop a patient-centered individualised treatment plan.

Specialised rehabilitation services offered involve; neurological disorders including stroke, spinal injury, brain injury, spasticity and multiple sclerosis; musculoskeletal and orthopaedic conditions including fractures, joint replacements, arthritis and osteoporosis; acute and chronic pain; amputations; cardiorespiratory disorders and other complex or chronic conditions.

Rehabilitation Physicians will:

  • Assess your condition by taking details of your history, undertaking a full functional assessment and performing investigations;
  • Assess your activity and social participation levels;
  • Prescribe medications, exercises and any lifestyle modifications;
  • Intervene through neuromuscular and musculoskeletal injections and procedures;
  • Consult, refer and report with other health professionals;
  • Provide an individual tailored program recognising individual goals;
  • Communicate with patients are carers;
  • Provide support and counselling;
  • Advocate for patient’s rights and resources;
  • Coordinate and lead multi-disciplinary rehabilitation services;
  • Monitor, review and report on rehabilitation issues;
  • Measure and benchmark clinical outcomes;
  • Certify abilities and outcomes.

Rehabilitation - St Michael's Unit

The rehabilitation unit is a 22-bed facility, for inpatients located in St. Michaels Ward of St. Vincent’s Private hospital. It offers private individualised rehabilitation services, 7 days a week, designed to help you regain your physical function and daily activities, whilst improving your overall function and independence. Individualised programs are carried out by specialized multidisciplinary teams who actively work together, with their patients, as well as their carers and family members in order to achieve a holistic and supportive approach.

Your multidisciplinary team members may consist of:

  • Specialist Physicians in Rehabilitation, Geriatrics and Neurology
  • Your referring Surgeon or Physician
  • Specialist rehabilitation nursing staff
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech pathologists
  • Dieticians

Rehabilitation Program

Rehabilitation patients are likely to attend twice daily therapy sessions with morning physiotherapy activities in the gym. Afternoon sessions generally comprise of a second gym session, a gentle exercise or balance class with one of our physiotherapists, or an education session with one of our occupational therapists. Sessions can either be in group settings or individual.

There are many benefits of inpatient rehabilitation programs including:

  • Faster recovery time after injury or illness
  • Pain management and reduction
  • Maximising functional gains; mobility, cognitively and socially
  • Minimization of dysfunction and disability


Once your have met your rehabilitation goals and are ready for discharge our specialized rehabilitation team will be available to answer your questions and talk to you about any discharge concerns. A discharge letter will be sent to your general practitioner, summarising the care you received in the rehabilitation unit and your discharge plan. If you require any ongoing therapy after leaving the unit, your team will discuss this with you and help coordinate the variety of community services and support available, prior to your departure.

Specialised Rehabilitation Services include:

  • Adult and geriatric rehabilitation for neurological disorders including stroke, spinal injury, brain injury, spasticity and multiple sclerosis;
  • Musculoskeletal and orthopaedic conditions including fractures, joint replacements, arthritis and osteoporosis;
  • Acute and chronic pain;
  • Amputations;
  • Cardiorespiratory disorders;
  • Other complex or chronic conditions.

Multidisciplinary Case Conferences

Our specialized multidisciplinary team members meet weekly to discuss your individual program goals, with the aim maximising your return to the necessary level of function and independence required to return home.