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Interventional Physiatrist

Apply non-medical treatments like heat and massage to heal injuries.

What does an Interventional Physiatrist do?

Interventional Physiatrists specialize in the “minimally invasive” variety of medicine within their area of expertise, which is physical therapy and rehabilitation. You see, the rule of etiquette that most First World nations observe — diplomacy first, military action last — applies not only to the realm of foreign affairs but to medicine as well. When there’s a medical issue, invasive procedures — the military action of medicine — are a move of last resort.

That’s why Doctors try non-invasive treatments first, such as medicine, nutrition, and therapy. When that doesn’t work, they try minimally invasive procedures, such as injections and outpatient care. It is only when all else fails that they do invasive treatments, such as surgery.

When you’re an Interventional Physiatrist, you specialize in minimally invasive procedures. Generally speaking, your job as a Physiatrist is to diagnose musculoskeletal injuries and conditions — including but not limited to sports injuries, spinal cord damage, head trauma, stroke, and arthritis — and then help patients physically heal from them without surgery. Typically, that means treating muscles, bones, and nerves with techniques such as massage and physical exercise, heat, or water therapy.

As an Interventional Physiatrist, however, you’re trained to kick things up a notch when you need to. That’s the “interventional” part of your job description, which typically encompasses such minimally invasive treatments as spinal injections, nerve blocks, catheterization, and vertebroplasty, which aren’t as severe as so-called “open” surgeries, but nonetheless require breaking the skin.

Although it’s not war, your patients’ pain often feels like it, so your job — much like that of a Politician — is deciding when medical “diplomacy” has failed, then “intervening” in hopes of avoiding surgery.