What is a Physiatrist? And Why You Should Know

Catskill Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine
Healing Riffs by Barry M. Scheinfeld, M.D.
Dr. Barry M. Scheinfeld

What is a Physiatrist? – And why you should be getting treatment from one.

By Barry Scheinfeld, M.D.


Many look at the “M.D.” next to my name jjust think of me as a medical doctor. But I’m much more than just a physician. I’m a Physiatrist.


What is a Physiatrist?


A Physiatrist, or rehabilitation physician, is a medical doctor who has completed extensive training in the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R),  a nerve, muscle, and bone expert who treats injuries or illnesses that affect how the human body moves.


Specifically, rehabilitation physicians diagnose and treat pain; restore maximum function lost through injury, illness or disabling conditions; treat the whole person, not just the problem area; lead a team of medical professionals; provide non-surgical treatments; and explain your medical problems and treatment/prevention plan.


The job of a rehabilitation physician is to treat any disability resulting from disease or injury, from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries.


The focus of a Physiatrist is on the development of a comprehensive program for putting the pieces of a person’s life back together after injury or disease – without surgery. 


The job of a Physiatrist is two fold: First, they take the time needed to accurately pinpoint the source of an ailment. Then they design a treatment plan that can be carried out by the patients themselves or with the help of the rehabilitation physician’s medical team. This medical team might include other physicians and health professionals, such as neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists.


As a rehabilitative physician, I lead a great team at Catskill Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine that includes a physical therapist, an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, and a nutritionist. By providing an appropriate treatment plan, I help patients stay as active as possible at any age. My broad medical expertise and that of my staff allows us to treat disabling conditions throughout a person’s lifetime.


At Catskill Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, we treat a number of ailments, injuries, and illnesses, including:

  • Amputations/Prosthetics
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Back Pain
  • Brain Injuries
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Geriatric Rehabilitation
  • Neck Pain
  • Nerve Pain
  • Radiculopathy
  • Ulnar Neuropathy (Wrist Pain in Bicyclists)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation
  • Post-Polio Syndrome
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Sports-Related Injuries
  • Stroke
  • Women’s Conditions
  • Female Athlete Triad
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Pregnancy and Back Pain
  • Work-Related Injuries

So now you know a little more about what a Physiatrist is, and how our team at Catskill Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine treat our patients.


Are you or do you know someone that can benefit from a consultation with me, a rehabilitative physician?  Is it time you or a loved one, friend, or neighbor was treated by a Physiatrist?


Call us at (845) 794-0209 or reply to this email for an individualized, in depth appointment to allow us to make you better with our multidisciplinary approach.


Dr. B.


P.S. Dr. B’s “Jazz Fact of the Month:” When asked what the definition of jazz was, Louis Armstrong famously replied, “If you’ve got to ask, you’ll never know.”

Catch Dr.B Playing Every Sunday at The Dancing Cats Saloon Jazz Brunch 12-3pm with Famous Bass Player Don Miller!
Catskill Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine
Diagnosis | Pain Management | Massage Therapy Physical Therapy | Chiropractic | Acupuncture
14 Harris Bushville-Road , Harris, NY 12742 – (845) 794-0209- appointments@catskillrehab.com   Like us on Facebook
Design by Steven Kurlander, Communications Specialist, 390 Broadway, #5, Monticello, NY 12701 – skurl@aol.com  – (845) 796-8948
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