What is a Physiatrist?
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians, also known as physiatrists, treat a wide variety of medical conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
PM&R physicians are medical doctors who have completed training in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), and may be subspecialty certified in Brain Injury Medicine, MS, Spinal Cord Injury, Pain Management or any other number of neurological related conditions.
Currently, I see a whole host of medical professionals including a Primary Care Doctor, a Urologist, a Neurologist, a Pulmonologist and several other doctors but for the last six months I have been seeing a Physiatrist every 6 to 8 weeks and much to my surprise, it has proven invaluable. Many medical specialists I have seen in the past, focus primarily on one particular medical field and so there isn't always a lot of crossover between specialties. The role of a Physiatrist is to intersect between all the specialists related to your condition.
I met my Physiatrist at a local rehabilitation hospital in Boston. She makes recommendations on areas such as neurology, urology, pain management, rehabilitation and so many more areas. I see her for 30 minutes every 6 to 8 weeks and update her on all of my appointments. She can easily identify areas that I might want to focus on and has a bevy of excellent medical professionals to refer me to. I always leave with a short to do list of goals for our next meeting. Moreover, she makes herself available within a week or two should I need an impromptu appointment.
Many of my specialists book out several weeks if not months in advance. She is not only an incredibly well rounded MS doctor, she has made life changing recommendations on how to manage my pain. After being seen at a pain clinic for over several years, her advice was incredibly and affective. At first I was skeptical as to how effective she could be and was reluctant to add yet one more appointment to my calendar but now I feel as though she is perhaps the cornerstone to my health care. Primarily concerned with overall well-being, she examines my healthcare from a 360° angle.
If you find yourself frustrated that your specialists are too compartmentalized, you may want to consider enlisting a Phystriast. Just reach out to your local rehabilitation hospital and they will most certainly be able to direct you to a specialist in MS.
Here's to a healthy lifestyle!
P.S. A bit about me...I have been diagnosed with MS for over 20 years and am currently being treated for secondary progressive MS. I am married with a beautiful little boy and until recently worked full-time using both a manual wheelchair and at times a power chair. I battled stage III breast cancer and consider myself to be a survivor. I am grateful to be a part of this community and share my experiences with you and hope that in some small way they may be useful to you.
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Important Safety Information
Before beginning treatment, you should discuss the potential benefits and risks associated with Rebif with your healthcare provider.
Rebif can cause serious side effects. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below while taking Rebif.
Rebif will not cure your MS but may decrease the number of flare-ups of the disease and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.
Do not take Rebif if you are allergic to interferon beta, human albumin, or any of the ingredients in Rebif.
Before you take Rebif, tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any of the following conditions:
Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.
The most common side effects of Rebif include:
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of Rebif. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Rebif is used to treat relapsing forms of MS to decrease the frequency of relapses and delay the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.