136A Ululani Street
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
Monthly Satellite Office:
Hawaii Med Center East
2228 Liliha St., #405
Honolulu, HI 96817
Dr. Liza Smigel specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation, also known as physiatry, an unusual medical field that focuses on illness from the patient’s perspective to help them improve their quality of life. She practices patient centered medicine; ensuring that each patient receives care, comfort and safety in terms of pain, and assists in their psychological and vocational issues as well.
Being a dancer and a medical doctor, her interest in physiatry started with her desire to treat performing artists and athletes, as she can talk their language and understand their psychological makeup and their drive to return to their sports or profession, despite pain and injuries. After completing a four year PM&R residency program at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, she pursued Musculoskeletal and Performing Arts Medicine fellowship program at University of Texas-Houston, under the mentorship of the internationally known physiatrist, dancer and musician, Dr. Rebecca Clearman. With her, she learned the importance of having a holistic approach in the treatment of physical injuries.
Since completion of fellowship, she worked in several group practices. As an associate at Gulf States Rehabilitation, Inc, in New Orleans, she continued to grow in her skills, working closely with several physiatrists, doing inpatient and outpatient rehab and caring for very complex cases in spinal cord, brain injury, post strokes and other neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, including workers’ compensation and motor vehicle injuries.
At Hawaii Orthopaedics, Inc in Hilo, she worked closely with orthopedic surgeons, spine surgeons, podiatrists and physical therapy on site, appreciating their different perspectives and exchanging ideas for treatments of chronic pain and musculoskeletal and neurological injuries.
In 2002, Dr. Smigel went into private practice in Hilo.
Dr Smigel has a special interest in nonsurgical approaches in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain. She incorporates traditional medical intervention, evaluating and correcting improper biomechanics with physical therapy, manual therapy, community based exercises such as Pilates and Yoga. Prescribing appropriate oral analgesic pain medications, mainstream interventional pain procedures, alternative, and at times, controversial procedures, such as prolotherapy and neural therapy, for treating chronic pain.
She has volunteered her time for several medical missions to the Philippines, Honduras and Mexico, and has served as a prolotherapy instructor for the past several years.
Dr Smigel is an expert in diagnosing neurological conditions with nerve conduction velocity studies and electromyelogram.
She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Physiatric Association of Spine, Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation, the American Academy of Orthopedic Medicine and of the American Academy of Electrodiagnostic and Neuromuscular Medicine.
- Bachelor of Science-Biology Loyola University
Doctor of Medicine
- University of the East Medical Center Quezon City, Philippines
Post Doctoral Training
- Transitional Residency
MacNeal Hospital/Loyola University Medical School
Internal Medicine Residency
- St Joseph Hospital/Northwestern University Medical School
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
- University of Illinois Hospital
- Performing Arts & Musculoskeletal Medicine
University of Texas Health Center
- Texas Institute of Rehabilitation & Research (TIRR)
Licensure and Board Certification
- Diplomate, American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
- Hilo Medical Center
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
Memberships, Offices and Committee Appointments
- American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (AAPMR)
- Physiatric Spine, Sports &Occupational Medicine (PASSOR)
- American Association of Electrodiagnostic and Neuromuscular Medicine (AANEM)
- American Academy of Orthopedic Medicine (AAOM)