Physiatrist Definition

A physiatrist is a physician who practices medicine in the field of physiatry, which is also called physical medicine and rehabilitation. This board-certified branch of medicine specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases primarily through "physical" means, such as physical therapy and medications, rather than through surgery./p>

Physiatrists specialize in a wide variety of treatments for the musculoskeletal system—the muscles, bones, and associated nerves, ligaments, tendons, and other structures—and the musculoskeletal disorders that cause pain and/or difficulty with functioning.

A physiatrist can be either a medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO). A physiatrist may be referred to as a physiatrist, physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, or a PM&R physician.