An employee of Penn State Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation works with a client at Penn State Rehabilitation Hospital in Hummelstown, PA, in early 2017. The client is seated and pointing at a digital screen with letters on it, and the employee is guiding him.

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Penn State College of Medicine

The mission of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is to offer complete rehabilitation care through inpatient and outpatient services, excellence in PM and R research, and education and training of the future academic and community leaders in physical medicine.

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was established in 2010. Its administrative offices and outpatient clinics are in Penn State Rehabilitation Hospital in Hummelstown, PA. The department has grown to include 12 physiatrists, two neuropsychologists, four CRNPs and three physician assistants; additional recruitment is ongoing for clinical and research faculty.

The department was approved in 2014 for a four-year, ACGME-accredited PM and R Residency, which began with its first full class of four residents per year in July 2015.

David Gater Jr., MD, PhD, MS, is Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Penn State College of Medicine. He is pictured wearing a white dress shirt, white medical coat and dark tie, standing in front of a blue photo background.
David Gater Jr., MD, PhD, MS, Chair, Physical Medicine

The department is led by David Gater Jr., MD, PhD, MS, a tenured professor of PM and R with more than 20 years of clinical, education, research and administrative experience. Dr. Gater's endowed chair position was provided by Rocco Ortenzio, PT, the founder and previous CEO of Select Medical, which currently owns or is in joint venture with 16 rehabilitation hospitals and more than 100 long-term acute care centers across the nation.

David Gater Jr., MD, PhD, MS
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department Chair
Penn State College of Medicine
Contact us to find out more

More about Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation @ Penn State

Education

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offers a variety of education programs to future and current physical medicine and rehabilitation practitioners.

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center offers many opportunities for growth and experience in the medical field. The program is a three-year advanced program for post-graduate years two though four and combines both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation medicine.

Fellowships in Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury offer a chance for continued, focused training.

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clerkship is an elective for third- and fourth-year medical students interested in gaining experience in the field of adult and pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation.

A variety of continuing education opportunities are available in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and offer advanced training to physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and others involved in the practice of PM and R.

Research

The 4,500-square-foot Penn State PM and R Research Laboratories include exercise, body composition, locomotor training and gait laboratories at the Hershey Center for Applied Research (HCAR).

Our research seeks to offer insight into the physiology and rehabilitation of patients with, but not limited to:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Amputation
  • Neurological disorders
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Traumatic brain injury

A variety of exercise and body composition assessment equipment totaling well over $1 million is available. In addition, a $500,000 biomechanics gait laboratory is scheduled to be added.

Clinical Care

Our PM and R physiatrists (physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation) work with patients to treat pain, restore function and return them to a healthy lifestyle.

We offer a wide range of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services to our patients. Our focus is on providing high-quality care to people of all ages with all types of health conditions.

Penn State Health offers the most comprehensive rehabilitation services in central Pennsylvania. We provide intensive and acute care, as well as transitional care from the hospital and into a home or a nursing facility.

The Joint Commission and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities have both recognized Penn State's rehabilitation program as a Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program for both adults and children.

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Laboratory of Dr. David Gater is seen at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in October 2016. Various machines are pictured.
The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Laboratory of Dr. David Gater is seen at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in October 2016.

Explore Programs in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Educational Programs

Jobs in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Information on jobs that may be available in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation can be found at psu.jobs (for non-clinical positions) or careers.pennstatehealth.org (for clinical positions). All applications must be made through those sites.

Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are equal-opportunity employers and accept all qualified applications regardless of their gender, ethnic origin or religious background.

Located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, we offer a great place to live, work, play and learn. Known as the home of the Hershey chocolate bar, Hershey's community is rich in history and offers a diverse culture. We're conveniently located a short distance from major cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Our local neighborhoods boast a reasonable cost of living, whether you prefer a more suburban setting or a thriving city rich in theater, arts and culture.