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Andrew Sherman, M.D
President, FSPMR


FSPMR Newsletter Fall 2023

Dear Florida PM&R physicians:

As we completed our well attended FSPMR annual meeting in Tampa, one thing became clear. Through a new brand of Florida PM&R physician leaders, we are seeing growth in the quality in the field of physiatry in Florida like never before.  Most recently four Florida Rehabilitation Hospitals, Brooks Rehabilitation, Memorial Regional Hospital, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation at UHEALTH/Jackson Memorial were ranked in the top 50 out of over 1000 rehabilitation hospitals in the country (5%).  This quality was evident not only in the amazing CME approved talks delivered but also the presentations by our future – PM&R residents who delivered their case reports.

Where do we go from here?  The growth seen in the FSPMR has lead to increased awareness of the essential role PM&R physicians play in optimizing patient outcomes through cost efficient care and managing the “systems” related to providing such diagnosis and management. As we continue to expand our residency training options and see the age of the average Florida physiatrists drop, it is inherent on more experienced physicians in FSPMR, not to resent this influx, but to embrace it, and to encourage such young talent, many of whom possess dual degrees in MBA, or MPH to engage in further training and development in physician leadership.

How far can we hope physiatrist leaders in Florida can rise?  Just a few examples – Our very own past president of FSPMR Mark Rubenstein, MD has just been named Speaker of the House for the FMA!  Lee Ann Brown, DO just completed her term as President of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association (FOMA)! Keith Foster MD has just been appointed as CMO of Baptist Health Bethesda East AND West hospitals! Carolyn C. Geis, MD has just completed her term on the ABPMR! Jason Atienza, MD, MBA is not only Corporate Medical Director, Orlando Health Rehabilitation Medicine, but also a member of the American Association for Physician Leadership and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Finally, Gregory M. Worsowicz, MD, MBA, served as president of the AAPMR from 2015-16!

With new bills being introduced and passed, such as  Senate Bill 1580, “Protections of Medical Conscience,” and continued attempts by the ARNP field to engage in practices previously only under the expertise of an experience physiatrist who spent 3-4 years of graduate medical training in the field of PMR, placing PM&R physicians into positions of leadership is even more vitally important. Only leaders with expertise in Physiatry, can best communicate the needs of the field of PM&R that have implications for protecting the rights of patients, especially those with disabilities, to be cared for in Florida.

The FSPMR was able to gather 30 physiatry leaders at the FSPMR annual meeting for a successful “summit” where many issues unique to Florida were discussed and debated.  We hope to do this again at the next meeting, now scheduled for September 19 – 22, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive.

So how can young physicians go about getting more training?  In the words of Dr Lee Ann Brown, find an organization, County Medical Association, or state society such as FSPMR and just “show up”. By showing up over and over and over, soon your presence will become vital and necessary, and your position will elevate within the group. Any physiatrist interested in getting involved in the FMA, the FSPMR does need representatives at meetings. Just contact Lorry Davis, MEd, FSPMR Executive Director ( , and she will put you in touch with Dr. Rubenstein.  More formally, the FMA has training programs such as the “Karl M. Altenburger, MD Physician Leadership Academy”.  Applications will open in the spring 2024 for this 10-month program, Applications are accepted at

In closing, as they say, “If you are not cooking the groceries, you are likely on the menu!”  Let’s all encourage each other to maximize our training in collaborative medicine we each obtained in our PM&R residencies and take those steps as leaders in medicine!

Until Next time:

Andrew L. Sherman MD

President FSPMR

President's Message

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