How To Become A Physiatrist?

How to become a physiatrist?

A physiatrist, or physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, are medical professionals that treat a variety of conditions linked to traumas, traumatic injuries, and pain syndromes.

In this page, explore what is Physiatry, what do physiatrists do, how to become a physiatrist and required educational qualifications.

Physiatry is also known as rehabilitation medicine. Physiatry is a part of medicine that is devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of all types of disorders of the brain, nerves, bones, and muscles.

What Do Physiatrists Do?

What are the physiatrist jobs?

Physiatry encompasses a wide range of disciplines, which include biomechanics, musculoskeletal functions, anatomy, and extensive knowledge of musculoskeletal and neurological ailments.

  • Physiatrists are fully trained medical doctors who treat patients that have had injuries or suffer from limitations that affect physical and brain functioning.
  • Physiatrists employ a blend of physical therapy treatments, medication management, and an array of procedures and methods, including soft tissue, muscle, nerve, and spine injections, to treat a variety of disorders.
  • Physiatrists treat conditions such as Back pain, Neck pain, Strokes, Brain injuries, Neuromuscular disorders, Sports injuries, Spinal cord injuries, Arthritis, Carpal tunnel, Herniated disc, and more.

How to become a Physiatrist?

To become a physiatrist, one should:

  • Graduate high school with a high GPA.
  • Complete a so-called “pre-med” Bachelor’s degree with courses in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Math, including laboratory practice.
  • Volunteer in different settings, preferably related to the medical field.
  • Pass the Medical college admission test (MCAT).
  • If you study at an osteopathic school, you would need to pass the United States Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA).
  • Obtain a degree in medicine or osteopathic medicine (M.D. or D.O.).
  • Join a residency in Physiatry/Rehabilitation medicinethat lasts 3-4 years.
  • The residency may include:
    • First-year is devoted to acquiring clinical skills.
    • 2-3 years of practice in the rehabilitation of trauma patients, sports medicine, and pediatric patients.
    • Research.
    • Clinical rotations in pain medicine, pediatrics, neurologic, musculoskeletal medicine.
  • Get board certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
  • Join a 1-3-year fellowship in one of the following subspecialties:
    • Pain medicine.
    • Spine cord injury.
    • Musculoskeletal rehabilitation.
    • Pediatric rehabilitation.
    • Traumatic brain injury.
    • Hospice and palliative medicine.
    • Sports medicine.

Average Salary for Physiatrists

The average salary for a physiatristin the United States is between $138,000 and $273,000 per year.

Additional Resources

  • What is physiatry? – Link
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation FAQ – Link

Cite This Page

APA7MLA8Chicago (2023, October 02). How To Become A Physiatrist?. Bio Explorer. "How To Become A Physiatrist?" Bio Explorer, 02 October 2023, "How To Become A Physiatrist?" Bio Explorer, October 02 2023.

Key References

  • “ACGME Program Requirements forGraduate Medical Educationin Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation” – Accessed December 25, 2019. Link.
  • “United States Medical Licensing Examination ®”. Accessed December 25, 2019. Link.
  • “The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination, COMLEX-USA: a new paradigm in testing and evaluation | The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association”. Accessed December 25, 2019. Link.
  • “Residency Program Outline | Johns Hopkins Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation”. Accessed December 25, 2019. Link.
  • “ABPMR – ABPMR Homepage”. Accessed December 25, 2019. Link.
  • “ABPMR – Subspecialty Certification Overview”. Accessed December 25, 2019. Link.
  • “Physician / Doctor, Physiatrist Salary | PayScale”. Accessed December 25, 2019. Link.


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