What is a Physiatrist?

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) is also called physiatry. This medical specialty deals with evaluating and treating patients with a disorder or injury that impairs normal function.

The doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation is called a physiatrist.

Physiatrists complete four years of medical school, plus an additional four years of residency training. Many physiatrists complete fellowship training in a specialty area. Afterward, doctors are eligible to take the tests of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPM&R) to become a board-certified physiatrist.

Physiatrists provide many medical services, but they do not perform surgery. Physiatrists treat musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and neurological disorders, including conditions such as arthritis, back pain, work- and sports-related injuries, and brain or spinal cord injuries.

Physiatrists may practice in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and private practice. Physiatry provides for multidisciplinary care aimed at the recovery of the whole person by addressing their physical, emotional, vocational, and social needs.