Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Who would benefit from a physiatry consultation?"
My father had a stroke and I am wondering whether we should arrange such a consultation?
Physiatry is a well-established medical specialty, also known as rehabilitation medicine. In order to become a physiatrist, a physician must graduate medical school, then attend a specialized residency in "Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation." Physiatrists are experts in recovery from various forms of injury and trauma, the most common being wounds from trauma / accidents, lost limbs, and stroke. They work very closely with physical therapists, who specialize in exercise and stretching techniques to improve joint and muscle function, as well as with occupational therapist, who focus on helping individuals to perform their general activities of daily living such as bathing, preparing meals, speaking and writing. They can also prescribe all of the medications that any physician can prescribe, often specializing in medications for pain and muscle spasm to allow appropriate recovery. If your father has had a stroke that has affected his previous level of function, I highly recommend that you pursue a referral to a physiatrist. They are specially trained in recovery from such events and will identify the appropriate exercises and medications for your father, as well as helping identify ways in which you and your family can help support him in your recovery.
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