If medical science is what interests you and if you have a vision of a society teeming with physically fit individuals then a career in the field of physiatry is what you are made for. A physiatrist is a person who specializes in the medication and rehabilitation of those people who have undergone surgery and other serious medical conditions. It is the physiatrist who instructs the physical therapist on the type of therapy to be given to a particular patient, the duration for which the therapy needs to be provided and the most suitable treatment program for the patient. The physiatrist has a very responsible role to play, from diagnosing the problem to determining and keeping track on the patient’s treatment. Physiatrists are also known as the rehabilitation physicians because they help patients come out of their state of pain by providing required medical attention. Mentioned below is a physiatrist’s job profile in detail for you to have a better understanding of the kind of work they are involved in.
Physiatrist Job Profile
Specializations Of Physiatrist
Injuries resulting from sports and exercises are dealt with by physiatrists specializing in sports medicine. Injuries affecting the muscles and joints and the spinal cord – especially the ones that threaten to damage the nerve roots connected to brain – are immediately referred to sports physiatrists.
Pain medicine is another field of specialization for physiatrists. They work with a team of doctors including occupational therapists, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists and chiropractors to improve the patient’s quality of life. Patients suffering from chronic pains are referred to this multidisciplinary approach.
A physiatrist specializing in paediatric rehabilitation obviously focuses on children’s injuries and other health issues. They work with infants and children of age group 13-21, depending upon their practice. Developmental issues and congenital defects are the main problems associated with children’s physiatrist care.
Physiatrists specialising in hospice care deal with old and/or incurable patients suffering from terminal illnesses. A physiatrist deals with the nerves, muscles and neuromuscular junction disorders among these patients and works towards providing them a comfortable environment.
Duties Of A Physiatrist
The most common duty of a physiatrist is to go through a patient’s medical history along with his team. A physiatrist leads a team of professionals like psychologists, athletic trainers, neurosurgeons etc while treating patients under a number of fields.
Physiatrists also need to inform the patient about the treatment plan and the path of recovery. They conduct various tests on the patients like the EMGs, nerve studies, etc in order to test the pathways between the peripheral nerves and once they have examined the results and diagnosed the problem, they discuss it with the patient.
A physiatrist works in close coordination with physical therapists and helps in restoring the maximum function and movement of the part affected due to injury. Physiatrists study every case thoroughly and then suggest the type of medication that a patient must take in order to recover from his pain or discomfort.
Physiatrists also play a major role in determining whether or not a patient requires therapy of any kind. They examine the administration of specific treatments and recommend exercises that can help patients recover. They also advice patients on other measures that can help cure their case.
Educational Qualification And Training Requirements
In order to be a renowned and certified physiatrist, a candidate must obtain a degree from a medical school. The candidate is also required to clear the written and oral board certification examinations in physical medicine and rehabilitation. However, this is not the end of the qualification ladder for a physiatrist. A physiatrist also has to complete a residence program and post doctoral residency training of 4 years. It is after crossing all these milestones that a physiatrist receives the license to practice.
Knowledge And Skills Requirements
A physiatrist must be extremely knowledgeable and well aware about various types of treatments and programs for different disabilities. Good communication skills, problem-solving and analytical skills, computer skills, interpersonal skills and the ability to act in urgent situations are few basic skills that a physiatrist must have to be effective with his patients. They must be organised, companionate, patient and approachable and must possess a natural desire to help people.
A physiatrist’s workstation is usually a clinic or a hospital and they work in flexible shifts. The average salary of a physiatrist depends upon the industry and its location. It also depends upon the qualification and experience of the person.
Physiatrist job description is vast owing to the various fields that these specialists cater to. They have a number of roles to play right from understanding and tracking a patient’s problem to providing treatment and setting up a track record.