What is physiatry?
Physical medicine and rehabilitation is also called physiatry. This medical specialty focuses on evaluating and treating people with a disease, disorder, or injury that impairs their normal function.
What is a physiatrist?
A physiatrist is a healthcare provider who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Physiatrists complete 4 years of medical school, plus 4 more years of residency training. Many complete fellowship training in a specialty area. After that, healthcare providers are eligible to take the tests (oral and written) of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to become a board-certified physiatrist.
These specialists provide many medical services. But they don't do surgery. They treat many conditions that affect the following:
Muscles and bones
Heart and blood vessels
Lungs and breathing
This includes conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, work- and sports-related injuries, and brain or spinal cord injuries.
Physiatrists work in many settings, such as:
Inpatient rehab centers
Outpatient rehab centers
A physiatrist leads a rehab team. This team may include physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, rehab nurses, and others as needed. The goal is to treat the whole person. This means addressing a person's physical, emotional, work, and social needs.