The Children's Center in Bethany, OK, gets new chief physiatrist

Dr. Justin Ramsey, a physiatrist who is on the staff of The Children's Center in Bethany, represents a mix between orthopedics — the branch of medicine that focuses on correcting bone and muscle deformities — and neurology, which focuses on the nerves and nervous system.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: May 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm •  Published: May 11, 2013

Wright has been at The Children's Center for 10 years and will soon start at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin.

One of the transition issues Wright feels most comfortable about is leaving patients in Ramsey's care.

“He's really engaged with kids, and with team members that he works with, and he's a pretty direct with what the issues are, and what the options are, and he delivers bad information in a compassionate directive way without sort of forcing the issue,” Wright said.

Before Wright came to The Children's Center, children with trauma brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or other neurological and orthopedic injuries had to often travel out of state for treatment. The closest hospitals were Craig Hospital in Denver and Baylor University Hospital in Dallas.

But since then, many children have been able to stay closer to home. Ramsey's presence will help ensure that trend continues.

He is one of the few pediatric physiatrists in Oklahoma with his level of training. As a pediatric physiatrist, Ramsey is a mix between orthopedics — the branch of medicine that focuses on correcting bone and muscle deformities — and neurology, which focuses on the nerves and nervous system.

“Comparing us to a neurologist — do we read EEGs for seizures? No. Do we come up with seizure plans? Not really. But there is some overlap in diagnosing neurologic conditions,” Ramsey said.

It's a relatively new field of study. Physiatry was not recognized as a separate medical specialty until 1947, according to the Association of Academic Physiatrists.

When he was a child, he was seen by an orthopedic surgeon. Ramsey didn't know doctors like him existed until medical school.

Ramsey said research has shown that medical providers will underestimate a person with a physical health issue's perceived quality of life. Meanwhile, his goal is to help a child reach his or her full function.

“It's rare, and it's nice to be rare, but it's also bad because no one knows what you do, and there are a lot of families who haven't been exposed to us.”

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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