Summary: A physiatrist specializes in rehabilitation and medication of patients who have undergone surgery or other serious medical conditions. Physiatrists are responsible for examining patients that need to undergo physical therapy, determining appropriate treatment programs, and determining to what extent it must be taken by the patient, instructing physical therapists of what treatment to give, and keeping track of the patient-treatment record.
Duties: A physiatrist works hand in hand with a physical therapist. They are the ones who study the cases of patients and determine what type of medications the patients have to take. They also determine whether a patient needs therapy. After diagnosis, physiatrists give specific orders to the therapists regarding the kind of therapy is needed and how long the treatment should take. Physiatrists make sure that treatments are administered as specified, recommend exercises that may help in the betterment of a patient, advice their patients if they believe the patient’s job is a health hazard and recommend jobs appropriate for particular disabilities.
Education and Training Requirements: To be a certified physiatrist, one must obtain a degree from a medical school and pass the written and oral board certification exams in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Physiatrists must also complete a residency program and post doctoral residency training, which usually last for 4 years. Once a physiatrist receives his/her license and begin practicing, he/she must renew the license every time it expires.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: To be a successful physiatrist, you need to be extremely knowledgeable about the different types of rehabilitation treatments and programs for different disabilities. Physiatrists must also possess effective communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem-solving and analytical skills, basic computer skills, and the ability to understand the urgency of the needs of your patients. He/she must be also be detail-oriented, organized, personable, compassionate and patient, and possess a genuine desire to help people with disabilities or other illnesses.
Working Conditions: A physiatrist usually works in a clinic or hospital with a flexible shift. Like most medical professionals, some physiatrists work with an on-call basis, while others may be assigned to graveyard shifts or early morning shifts. The typical clinic setting is clean, well lit and fully equipped.
Salary: The average salary for a physiatrist is $116,000 annually. Their average salary is dictated by its industry and location. It differs per company. Usually, the more experience you have, the higher the salary and the more benefits you receive.