After 30+ years in physiatry recruitment, I find there are many reasons why a physician might want to become a physiatrist.  It’s funny but lately there have been many more medical students at physiatry meetings than there ever was in the past.  I tell them that they’ve picked a good specialty!

First, a physiatrist’s lifestyle might provide a good work/life balance.  This is because a PM&R physician can choose to provide general outpatient work or interventional work which typically is a 9 AM – 5 PM schedule.  The same can now be said for some inpatient work because now some facilities have internists who provide the primary care while the physiatrist is the consultant.

Second, compensation for a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician can be competitive among physician specialties.  Although physiatry is listed in the lower third in the 2023 MedScape physician specialties survey, physiatry compensation is greater for some mostly inpatient or interventional PM&R subspecialities.  For example, according to a survey by PhysicianThrive, pain physiatrists earn on average $376,218.  Actually, I hear much larger compensation figures for this physical medicine and rehabilitation subspecialty.

Third, the availability of physiatry jobs is immense.  I can speak from professional PM&R physician recruitment experience that most all physiatry subspecialties are in great demand.   There are a lot of jobs available to provide inpatient, interventional, TBI, SCI and pediatric rehab services.

The fourth advantage of being a physiatrist is that you have a broad range of services to provide within the specialty.  A physiatrist can continue to provide inpatient work after residency or subspecialize in spine, TBI, SCI, pediatric, cancer, etc.  This also offers the ability for a physiatrist to change the services provided during their career.

Lastly, the fifth reason to become a physiatrist is the ability to be part of a team and to be a team leader.  Physiatrists work with therapists in physical, occupational and recreational therapy, medical assistants, nurses, case managers, etc.  It is a collaborative effort which is one of the keys to physiatry and is very rewarding and satisfying to physiatrists.