Posted by: Najam Mian Comments: 0

By Najam Mian MD, FRCPC (Physiatry), FRCPC (Pain Medicine), Dip Sport Med Certified Medical Expert, Supreme Court of BC, Physiatry and Pain Medicine
Co-Founder, CPRI

Physiatry (Physical Medicine & Rehab) is an unknown specialty to most people. I remember just after graduating medical school and fortunately matching to a Physiatry residency program, I started a Cardiology rotation in a busy academic hospital in downtown Toronto. The new team of eager resident physicians was sitting in a circle with our experienced staff cardiologist, who asked us to introduce ourselves. After I had introduced myself as a PGY-1 in Physiatry, she remarked, “did you even go to medical school?” 

Throughout my training and early career, my Physiatry colleagues and I have continued to encounter questions about our specialty, and we are happy to educate about our specialty and our roles in the health care system.  

No, we are not physiotherapists; no, it is not a new specialty; no, we don’t only manage pain; and YES we did go to medical school and residency which is as long as most other surgical specialties (5 years), and some of us even do 1-2 year fellowships/ subspecialty residencies afterwards. 

As plaintiff counsel, defense counsel, 3rd party insurer, employer or other individual/ organization, in my opinion, here is what you’ll get if you arrange for your independent medical assessment from a Physiatrist:  

  1. An expert that can opine on a wide array of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, including brain injury/ concussions, and head-to-toe assessment of musculoskeletal pain
  2. Someone who works with a large team of health care professionals and can assess and opine on the suitability of past, present and future physical, psychological, procedural and pharmacological treatments
  3. Someone who can identify psychological barriers to rehab (e.g. catastrophizing, kinesiophobia, depression, anxiety) and how to address them
  4. Someone who has spent extensive time understanding FUNCTION and can comment on an injury’s association with client’s employment, recreational and household goals 
  5. Someone who understands what treatments have not been tried prior to determining whether a clicnet has reached ‘maximal medical improvement’  
  6. Someone who has experience in residency with assessing and treating function in a wide variety of populations, including those clients with:  
    • Mild to severe traumatic brain injuries (including post-concussive syndromes/ mild TBI with persistent symptoms) 
    • Orthopedic issues like tears, fractures and sprains
    • Spinal cord injuries with significant motor weakness, bowel/ bladder dysfunction 
    • Amputees with or without prosthetics 
    • Soft tissue injuries (which are often misdiagnosed then not appropriately treated, leading to this epidemic of patients receiving PT + chiro + massage for 2 years at exorbitant costs to insurers and the health care system) 
    • Athletic injuries 
  7. Someone who works collaboratively with orthopedic surgery, spine surgery, other physiatrists, tertiary pain clinics, psychiatrists, family physicians, rheumatologists, neurologists, rehab professionals and more. 

What is CPRI?

At CPRI, our approach to practice when we opened our doors in 2019 was simple – “do good work.” With this in mind, immense blessings and a growing team of hungry, motivated, and competent clinicians and administrators, we have organically grown and fostered trusted collaborations with specialist groups in the city, both large and small law firms throughout BC, and other like-minded organizations from the health care, non-profit, and medicolegal industries. Our growing team of 50+ dedicated staff and treating clinicians work tirelessly to treat patients province-wide through vast virtual care offerings and our two physical locations in Vancouver and New Westminster. . In addition, we have a rapidly growing roster of independent medical assessors from various disciplines, both Physiatry-related and unrelated, which speaks to the strength of our operations and leadership in this department.

We are currently the largest group of musculoskeletal physiatrists and certified pain physicians in Canada, dedicated to the quality, and not the quantity of care. CPRI is owned by two full-time, locally residing clinician-educators who actively treat patients 5 days per week.

What is Next?

For our established partners, we look forward to continuing to collaborate, learn from each other, and navigating changes in the medicolegal space in BC and Canada for years to come.

If you are just hearing about CPRI and want to learn more about our team of assessors, operations and/ or leadership, please drop us a line, drop by one of our offices, or set up an appointment. We look forward to meeting you, understanding your pain points (let’s avoid that acute-to-chronic pain transition for you), and discussing how we can support your goals.

Please check out our website at Medlegal – CPRI Health or email us at

CPRI’s health care services are provided on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/ Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation