Physiatrists work at hospitals or run their own practice to diagnose and treat acute and chronic pain. They must be knowledgeable of a variety of nonsurgical treatments for the musculoskeletal system and have strong clinical skills in general medicine, and commensurate work experience is often required by employers. They must also be licensed in their state of employment and have completed residency in general medicine.
Many employers require candidates to be board-certified or board-eligible Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians and have graduated from an accredited medical school. Depending on state regulations, candidates may be required to maintain an unrestricted license to practice medicine in their state and may also be required to obtain an unrestricted Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registration.
Physiatrists must know how to use relevant medical instruments and equipment and always stay up-to-date with new technological and scientific findings in their field. They may be required to attend conferences, read relevant medical journals, and work long hours or on rotating shifts. In addition to excellent medical skills, strong communication and interpersonal skills are important in this position, and they must be willing to listen to patients and their parents or guardians. Candidates should be able to pass a pass drug test and background check, and flexibility is also important in this position to receive calls from hospitals in the evenings or weekends.
Physician / Doctor, Physiatrist Tasks
Examine patients, obtain images, order tests and diagnose problems.
Discuss pain levels and expected pain levels, identifying strategies to increase functionality.
Educate and work with patients to understand prevention and symptom management.
Create and discuss nonsurgical treatment and prevention plans.