What is a Career in Physiatry Like

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The Medical Student's Guide to PM&R

The physiatrist may choose from a variety of practice settings including a solo practice, a group setting-partnership, or a multispecialty group. He/she may affiliate with an academic institution, a private community hospital or clinic, a VA hospital, a skilled nursing facility, or a freestanding rehabilitation facility. The practice may consist of solely outpatient care (e.g., sports medicine, general physiatry, occupational medicine), inpatient care (e.g., stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury), or a combination of both. In many cases, the patient population will be referral-based and the physiatrist will act initially in a consulting role. Referrals come typically from neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, neurology, oncology, vascular surgery, cardiology, rheumatology, trauma, transplant surgery, cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, family practice, pediatrics, and internal medicine. If the patient is admitted into an inpatient rehabilitation unit, the physiatrist may assume both a primary care and specialist role.