International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

The International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM) was established in 1999 as a result of the merger of two previously existing societies, the International Federation of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the International Rehabilitation Medicine Association.  At the end of 2019, a total of 72 national PRM societies and approximately 40,000 physicians were members of ISPRM.  The mission of ISPRM as an umbrella organization for PRM, is to optimize functioning and health-related quality of life and minimize disability in persons with disabilities and medical problems throughout the world.  The leadership and committee structure is explained in detail on our website and can be found at   Important activities include a close collaboration with the WHO (via a biannual action plan) and with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Publications include a monthly electronic newsletter, the official Journal of ISPRM (JISPRM) launched in 2018 with the mandate to publish high quality rehabilitation research (, and a web of journals "published in association" with or "endorsed by" the Society available to members on our website.  A core curriculum and competencies was approved in 2019 to serve as a guide for countries developing education and training programs.  In a related project, the "Scope Book of PRM" was published in 2019 to provide a basic definition of the specialty including the scope of clinical and scientific work.  Several task forces have been appointed to manage specific projects tasks for example to promote physical activity for persons with disability, develop the ClinFIT tool for collecting functioning data, raise awareness of rehabilitation in the general medical literature, define the importance of sonography in the specialty, and exploring issues that are specific to women with disabilities. A special task force was created for medical students, residents, and young PRM physicians to encourage them to become more involved in ISPRM. We now celebrate a World Congress every year and the 14th Congress will be held in Orlando, USA the first week in March.  Future Congresses will be held in Lisbon, Portugal (2021), Sydney, Australia (2022), and Cartagena, Colombia (2023).  Finally, we have strong collaborations with regional PRM societies and other professional international groups.  A very important collaboration has been developed with Cochrane Rehabilitation because of the importance of strengthening the scientific basis of PRM and rehabilitation in general.  We should be happy with the development of PRM but also recognize that there is an important agenda in front of us.