Physiatrist Education and Training
The specialty of physiatry (also known as physical medicine and rehabilitation) began in the 1930s and was recognized as a medical specialty in 1947. Physiatrists are medical doctors who, in addition to medical school, also complete 4 additional years of postdoctoral residency training.
During this residency training, they spend 1 year studying fundamental clinical skills and three 3 specifically on physical medicine and rehabilitation. They also receive a great deal of training in diagnosing and treating pain problems.
After residency, the physician must pass a written and oral exam in order to be a board certified physiatrist.
Some physiatrists continue their medical education even further by doing an internship in a subspecialty of physiatry. Subspecialties in this field include:
- Musculoskeletal rehabilitation
- Spinal cord injury
- Sports medicine
- Traumatic brain injury
- Pain medicine