Physiatrists are physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation, a medical specialty that deals with the evaluation and treatment of patients whose functional abilities have been impaired. The disabilities and impairments may result from injuries or diseases such as stroke, neuromuscular disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, cardiopulmonary diseases, arthritis, peripheral vascular disease, cerebral palsy and others. The physiatrist can help to improve a person's functional capabilities by medical treatment and organizing and integrating a program of rehabilitation therapy such as physical, occupational, speech therapies, psychological, social nursing, prosthetic, orthotic, engineering and vocational services.

- This definition comes from the Association of Academic Physiatrists.

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Finding a Physiatrist

Getting an appointment with a physiatrist requires a referral from your family physician, who is best suited to determine your need for this type of specialist. If you would like to research physiatrists in your area, you may contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons of your province for a list of specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation (physiatrists). Physicians will be listed as they must obtain a license to practice in a province from the Provincial Colleges.