Making the Rounds with Dr. Robert Nickerson
For this edition of Making the Rounds, we interviewed Dr. Robert Nickerson, an associate professor in the University of Kentucky's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Nickerson started as an intern at UK HealthCare in 1989 and has been part of our team ever since.
We spoke with Dr. Nickerson about the role of UK Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the ways in which his team can address patients' needs and electrodiagnostic medicine, a sub-specialty in which he's an expert.
What patients does UK Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation treat?
(We) take care of people who have catastrophic injuries. We take care of people who've had strokes, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries. And we try to maximize their functional recovery.
Physical medicine rehabilitation assesses those people, determines what their needs are, and then ensures that they get to the right level of care. And that's really important in a system of care that is very complex to deal with. We assess the problem. We educate the patient. We educate the family. A lot of times, that's what it takes.
What resources does UK Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation provide patients?
So, nothing is off limits from our standpoint. We use everything at our disposal. We have a very large tool kit — injections, bracing, seeing the other professionals that are part of the team. Lots of times, physicians kind of work in silos. And they just have their knowledge base.
But we reach out to the other professionals within rehabilitation to get their opinions on things and work with them to try to achieve the goal. We work with physical therapists. We work with occupational therapists. We work with speech pathologists. We work with social workers. We work with case managers, pharmacists, anybody that can be part of the team that can help someone's functional recovery.
What can you tell us about electrodiagnostic medicine?
Every patient is different. People come to me. They have issues. They have problems. And they would like to try to come up with a name or what is causing this particular issue.
Through electrodiagnostic medicine, I can try to identify what the cause of the abnormality is. That helps their referring physician do the right treatment.
Watch our full interview with Dr. Nickerson.