The specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation addresses the issues and health of individuals impacted by physical disabilities, which affect the spinal cord, limbs, joints, bones, nerves, muscles, and brain. The overall goal in this area of medicine is to improve a patient’s lifestyle, which may include assisting them to increase their range of motion, activity level, and ability to live independently. 

Sometimes called physiatrists, physicians in this specialty will work with patients of all ages. A strong base of medical knowledge is needed since patients may be dealing with injuries and disabilities caused by a variety of medical and non-medical issues.  

For additional information on the specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation, check out the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s website here. 

If you are interested in exploring clinical experiences in physical medicine and rehabilitation with AMO, click here! 



Currently, there are 91 physical medicine residency programs. Of the 91 programs, 21 deal with brain injuries, 1 with neuromuscular issues21 with spinal cord injuries, 20 with pediatric rehabilitation, and 19 with sports medicine. Between 2018 and 2019, 1,395 individuals were accepted into residency positions within this specialty, 150 of which identified as IMGs.  

For more information on data concerning 2018-2019 residency statistics, visit the ACGME’s website here. 


Practicing as a Physician

At present, there are 9,296 practicing physiatrists in the U.S. The average salary for these physicians is $269,000, with foreign-trained physicians making slightly less than that of their U.S. educated counterparts.  

For more information on the income of physiatrists, check out Medscape’s 2019 Compensation Report. 


Not sure about Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as a specialty? AMO offers over 200 clinical experiences in 40 medical specialties and subspecialties. There is something for everyone. 

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