PM&R physicians practice in a variety of clinical settings, including inpatient department (IPD), outpatient department (OPD), intensive care unit (ICU), and high dependency care unit (HDU). They have a broad range of knowledge including musculoskeletal, neurological, rheumatological and cardiopulmonary systems.
Some of the common diagnoses and populations seen by inpatient physiatrists include spinal cord injury, brain injury (traumatic and non-traumatic), stroke, neck pain, low back pain, joint pain, polio, burn care, musculoskeletal and pediatric rehabilitation etc. Inpatient physiatrists are often trained using collaborative team skills and work with social workers and other paramedical persons (e.g., physical, occupational and speech therapists) to manage these issues.
Outpatient physiatrists manage conditions including, spine-related pain and dysfunction, occupational injuries and overuse syndromes, neurogenic bowel/bladder, pressure injury management, spasticity management, and chronic pain. Outpatient physiatrists are typically found in multidisciplinary groups consisting of other physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, rheumatologists and/or neurosurgeons.