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A physiatrist, also known as a physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of conditions that affect the muscles, bones, joints, and nerves.
Physiatrists focus on restoring function and mobility to patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and amputations. They work with patients to develop individualized treatment plans that may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, medication, and other interventions to manage pain and improve function.
Physiatrists often collaborate with other healthcare providers, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and orthopedic surgeons, to provide comprehensive care for their patients.
To become a physiatrist, one must complete a medical degree followed by a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation, which typically takes four years. After completing their training, physiatrists may pursue additional subspecialty training or certification in areas such as spinal cord injury medicine, pain medicine, or sports medicine.