Medical Services

Medicine is the science of diagnosing, treating and preventing human diseases or disorders.  Physicians are university educated and licenced to practice by the Directorate of Health in Iceland. For specialty registration in areas within medicine, physicians require further training.  To be licenced as a specialist in rehabilitation medicine a physician must have worked for three years in rehabilitation, one year in internal medicine and six months in psychiatry.

Role and aim of treatment

The physicians at Reykjalundur have medical responsibility for patients while they attend Reykjalundur. Physicians work to together in interdisciplinary teams with other various health professional and are medically responsible for the work of the team.

Rehabilitation physicians must be able to diagnose health problems and assess patients’ capacities to participate in day-to-day activities and in work. Furthermore, the physicians must be able to formulate rehabilitation plans and be familiar with various community and health services available to patients outside Reykjalundur. Physicians must be familiar with tools to measure progress in rehabilitation and be able to communicate well with patients, patients’ families, and other members of the treatment team.


The first physician, Oddur Ólafsson, started work at Reykjalundur in 1945, he, together with nurse, Valgerður Helgadóttir, were primarily responsible for developing the approach to rehabilitation, which still, today, is practiced. Presently there are 13 physicians.

In memory of Oddur Ólafsson, a fund was set up in 1991. The role of the fund is to promote education, research and scientific work at Reykjalundur as well as purchasing equipment. The first physician specialized in rehabilitation, Haukur Þórðarson, started work at Reykjalundur in 1961.