The rehab doctor is the team leader and oversees your plan of care.
The rehab doctor or physiatrist (fi-ZAHY-uh-trist) is a doctor that has specialist certification in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The doctor’s role as medical director is to lead the team and manage your care from a medical perspective regarding pain, medication, and course of medical treatment.
Physiatrists design specific treatment plans for patients with disabilities affecting the brain, spinal cord, muscles, nerves, and bones with the goal of improving the quality of life for the patient and increasing independence. They look at the patient’s function as a whole.
- Diagnose/treat medical issues associated with disability
- Design a treatment plan that utilizes a medical team with various specialties (neurologists, psychiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, therapists, etc.)
- Use variety of treatment options (medication, exercise regimen, prosthetic adaptive technology and devices, etc.)
A physiatrist’s main goal is to provide medical care and therapy to enable those with pain, weakness, or disability to improve, adapt, and reach their maximum potential and function.