What is physiatry?
Physiatrists are physicians who have completed training in the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation. At Children’s, the physiatry program addresses the needs of children with health conditions that affect motor development, function and independence. We offer both inpatient and outpatient services.

The goal of physiatry is to assist children with disabilities to become as functional, happy and integrated in life as possible.

Listen to a pedcast with Dr. Maurice Sholas, senior medical director of physical rehabilitation services, to learn how rehabilitation is connected to every aspect of care at Children’s.

Learn more about The Role of Pediatric Physiatry from Maurice G. Sholas, MD, PhD via our grand rounds education

Children’s physiatrists evaluate and treat children with a wide range of diagnoses, such as:

  • Cancer
  • Cancer (brain and orthopedic)
  • Cardiac deconditioning
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spina Bifida
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Limb deficiencies & amputees
  • Encephalitis
  • Brain injuries
  • Burns
  • Sports (able-bodied and disabled)
  • Developmental concerns


Our physical rehabilitation team is led by a physiatrist who may prescribe therapeutic exercise, prosthetics/orthotics and adaptive devices. The physiatrist and physical, occupational, or speech pathology therapists at Children’s closely collaborate to ensure patients receive appropriate treatments. Services offered by the physiatrist include:

  • Diagnostic work-up
  • Medical and medication management
  • Physical interventions and modalities
  • Procedural interventions
    • Electromyogram (EMG)
    • Nerve Conduction Studies(NCS)
    • Botulinum toxins
    • Phenol/alcohol
    • Swallow studies
  • Durable medical equipment
    • Recommend and fit appropriately
  • Prostheses and orthoses

The physiatrist manages a child’s medical care throughout the rehabilitation process – meeting the children and their families at the intersection between the medical conditions that children have, supports that they will need to move forward, and the function that they will be able to develop in the future. In addition they can help address any co-existing diagnosis, such as hypertension or diabetes, to prevent further complications with the ultimate goal of helping children reach their physical, psychological, social and vocational potential.

Care coordination

Rehabilitative medicine can be the glue that holds together the complex plan of care. We’re here to help with diagnosis and care coordination among specialists and therapists. Though our team members are experts in medicine – nobody is the expert on a child like mom and dad. That’s why we have conversations with patients and families about what’s working, what’s not and create an individualized plan. We help patients and families chart their path forward and involve families in their child’s therapy and day-to-day care with the goal of helping the child function as independently as possible. The physiatrist can answer questions for patients and families about what to expect and anticipate functional needs that may be present in the future.

How do I schedule?

For an outpatient clinic appointment, please call 612-813-8600 to schedule. Currently, physiatry clinic hours are Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Minneapolis Children’s location.

For an inpatient consultation, please talk with your primary care physician and/or specialists about a rehabilitation evaluation if you have concerns about your child’s functional abilities.


Health professionals may consult with Children’s physiatrist to assist with diagnosis, appropriate therapeutic interventions and orthotic or prosthetic prescription, complex medication management and development of a plan to maximize function.

Our physiatrist is available for consults to help determine not only medical treatment but also the best environment for therapy – home, outpatient clinic or inpatient hospital unit.

What multi-disciplinary teams consult with physiatry?
A physiatrist will work with your child’s medical team to help manage complex care. Patients may be seen in the hospital or in the clinic. The following medical teams work closely with physiatry:

  • Cardiology
  • Cleft and craniofacial
  • Developmental pediatrics
  • Feeding clinic
  • General surgery
  • Genetics
  • Hematology
  • Hemophilia
  • Neurology
  • Neuro-oncology clinic
  • Neurosurgery
  • NICU follow- up clinic
  • Orthopedics
  • Pain
  • Plagiocephaly
  • Rheumatology
  • Sports medicine


Find additional information on physiatry at:

Research and outcomes

At Children’s, we focus on research and innovations that will change the lives of children and their families. We also know that it is important for parents to have all of the information that they need in order to make the “right” choices for their child. Please check out the newest ways to deliver care from our physical rehabilitation team.

Health Professionals

Children’s Physician Access is available 24/7 with a representative on the line throughout the call to assist with referrals, consultations and admissions and to provide general information.

Call 612-343-2121 or 866-755-2121.