How to Get Physiatrist Jobs

Physiatry is a growing medical profession with a lot of potential. This article will examine the education and training that goes into a physiatrist job, as well as some other facts about the field.

Definition and Varieties

A physiatrist is a doctor who specializes in physical rehabilitation and the treatment of injury without surgery. Physiatry includes a strong background of physical therapy techniques as well as drug and medicinal knowledge. A physiatrist is responsible for creating and implementing a complete recovery program for a patient.

The field of physiatry can be further broken down into specializations. Undoubtedly the most well-known branch of physiatry is sports medicine, the treatment of injuries related to sports. A sports medicine physiatrist can rehabilitate everything from a minor sprain on a Little Leaguer up to a career-threatening injury for a professional athlete making millions.  Another type of physiatry involved control and management of pain. These pain-related physiatrists are much in demand by those who want to avoid surgery.

Age-related physiatry is also popular. A pediatric physiatrist treats injuries of children while a geriatric physiatrist works with the injuries common to older patients. Both specialties are in high demand.

Education and Training

As with all physicians, training for a physiatrist is lengthy, demanding and expensive. They must obtain an undergraduate degree, usually a Bachelor of Science, from a fully accredited college or university. The undergraduate program is full of pre-med courses such as biology, anatomy, mathematics, psychology and chemistry. Upon completion of the undergraduate courses, the physiatrist candidate must take and pass the MCAT test for admission to medical school.

A physiatrist must then complete an additional four years of study at an accredited medical school. After graduation, another four years of residency and "on the job" training is required. The residency is where the physiatrist will learn the practical application of the skills he learned.

The investment in time and money are considerable, but so are the rewards. The median salary for a physiatrist is around $200,000, with earnings above $220,000 at the high end.

Certification and Licensing

Many physiatrists will enhance their credentials by getting certification from the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Certification is given when the physiatrist passes both a written and oral exam offered by the Board. Exams will be periodically readministered to make sure practitioners are up to date.

Each state has different licensing requirements which can be found by visiting visiting that state's website. If a physiatrist has passed his certification and residency, licensing is generally not a difficulty.

Career Outlook and Placement

The outlook of physiatrists is excellent. Many customers are looking to avoid the pain and expense of surgery and the physiatrist is key to ensuring that outcome. Many physiatrists work at independent rehabilitation clinics or operate their own private practice. Hospitals also provide a lot of employment. A physiatrist can also find lucrative work as a consultant (for example, a sports medicine specialist may be employed directly by a sports team or university athletic program).

The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation can provide strong leads for physiatry jobs. Often medical schools can also help with placement.