learn what is a pm&r doctor from Dr. Kerry Maher.

What is a PM&R Doctor and Why are They Important for Your Rehabilitation Care?

System of Care

Jan 2, 2024

Medical Reviewer: Dr. Kerry Maher
Last Updated: January 31, 2024

A PM&R doctor specializes in providing medical care to individuals with disabilities. They focus on physical medicine and rehabilitation, commonly known as physiatry.


PM&R doctors help patients recover from injuries or illnesses that have caused impairments in their physical function. The goal for patients through their care is improving quality of life and promoting independence through a combination of therapies, medications and assistive devices.

In this article, we will discuss:

Why are PM&R Doctors Important for Rehabilitative Care? 

PM&R doctors play a crucial role in the rehabilitative care process. They are experts in diagnosing and managing a wide range of conditions that affect mobility, function and overall well-being. Whether you are recovering from a stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury or chronic pain, a PM&R doctor will create a personalized treatment plan to address your unique needs. 

Conditions PM&R Doctors Treat 

PM&R doctors specialize in addressing conditions such as musculoskeletal disorders, neurologic disorders, sports injuries, chronic pain and arthritis. They also provide care for patients with disabilities such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. These doctors have a deep understanding of the complex nature of these conditions and provide comprehensive care to promote optimal recovery and function. 

A PM&R doctor at Brooks assesses the strength of a patient recovering from a traumatic event in a therapy gym.

The Role of PM&R Doctors in Rehabilitation Medicine 

PM&R doctors are an integral part of the rehabilitation team. They work closely with physical therapists, occupational therapists, neuropsychologists and other specialists to develop a multidisciplinary approach to treatment.  

These doctors oversee the entire rehabilitation process, from initial evaluations to ongoing follow-up care. They review progress, adjust treatment plans as necessary and provide guidance and support to both patients and their families. 

Prescribing During Rehabilitation Recovery 

PM&R doctors have the knowledge and expertise to prescribe various treatment methods to aid in rehabilitation.  

This may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, neurologists, psychiatrists, medications, assistive devices and other interventions, such as rehabilitation technology. They take into account the individual goals, needs and abilities of each patient to create a customized treatment plan that maximizes their potential for recovery and independence. 

In conclusion, PM&R doctors are crucial for rehabilitative care. They specialize in helping patients regain function and independence after an injury or illness. By providing comprehensive care and personalized treatment plans, these doctors play a vital role in promoting successful rehabilitation and improving quality of life for their patients.  

Meet Our Physicians 

At Brooks, we are on the cutting edge of rehabilitation. Our PM&R doctors are the leaders in their respective fields and have experience treating complex traumatic injuries, illnesses and conditions to help patients achieve their highest level of recovery. Learn more about our physicians and their specialties here.  


Medical Reviewer

Dr. Kerry Maher

Vice President of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Consulting
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