What does a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician do?

Diagnose and treat disorders requiring physiotherapy to provide physical, mental, and occupational rehabilitation.

Jobs Roles

  • Instruct interns and residents in the diagnosis and treatment of temporary or permanent physically disabling conditions.
  • Conduct physical tests such as functional capacity evaluations to determine injured workers' capabilities to perform the physical demands of their jobs.
  • Assess characteristics of patients' pain such as intensity, location, and duration using standardized clinical measures.
  • Monitor effectiveness of pain management interventions such as medication and spinal injections.
  • Examine patients to assess mobility, strength, communication, or cognition.
  • Document examination results, treatment plans, and patients' outcomes.
  • Diagnose or treat performance-related conditions such as sports injuries or repetitive motion injuries.
  • Develop comprehensive plans for immediate and long-term rehabilitation including therapeutic exercise; speech and occupational therapy; counseling; cognitive retraining; patient, family or caregiver education; or community reintegration.
  • Prescribe physical therapy to relax the muscles and improve strength.
  • Coordinate physical medicine and rehabilitation services with other medical activities.
  • Consult or coordinate with other rehabilitative professionals including physical and occupational therapists, rehabilitation nurses, speech pathologists, neuropsychologists, behavioral psychologists, social workers, or medical technicians.
  • Perform electrodiagnosis including electromyography, nerve conduction studies, or somatosensory evoked potentials of neuromuscular disorders or damage.
  • Prescribe therapy services, such as electrotherapy, ultrasonography, heat or cold therapy, hydrotherapy, debridement, short-wave or microwave diathermy, and infrared or ultraviolet radiation, to enhance rehabilitation.
  • Prescribe orthotic and prosthetic applications and adaptive equipment, such as wheelchairs, bracing, and communication devices, to maximize patient function and self-sufficiency.
  • Provide inpatient or outpatient medical management of neuromuscular disorders, musculoskeletal trauma, acute and chronic pain, deformity or amputation, cardiac or pulmonary disease, or other disabling conditions.
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