How To Become A Rehab Physician: Degree and Education Requirements

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what degree do you need to become a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician
majors for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians

Other names for this job might include Assistant Clinical Professor/Medical Director Subacute Rehabilitation, Associate Professor, Physician, Attending Physiatrist, Residency Program Director, Attending Physician, Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation, Doctor of Medicine/Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation PM&R Specialist, Interventional Pain Physician, Interventional Physiatrist, MD, MD Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation PM&R

  • $197700
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
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Be A Rehab Physician: What You Really Need

In this requirements guide for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians, you will find out what do you need to become a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician.

Degree required

Recommended degree level

Doctoral Degree



First professional degree

Bachelors degree

No degree

Generally, employers are looking for Rehab Physicians who have a PhD. They also prefer someone who is good in Critical Thinking and Reading Comprehension.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A Rehab Physician or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Rehab Physicians what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Osteopathic Medicine/Osteopathy
Aerospace Medicine Residency Program
Allergy and Immunology Residency Program
Child Neurology Residency Program

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians have demanding education and training requirements. Almost all Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians complete at least 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and, depending on their specialty, 3 to 8 years in internship and residency programs. Most applicants to medical school have at least a bachelor’s degree, and many have advanced degrees. Although no specific major is required, all students must complete undergraduate work in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and English.


schools for Rehab Physicians

Interested in becoming A Rehab Physician? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician

How long does it take


You will need a considerable amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be A Rehab Physician. Normally you will be required to have more than five years of experience.

For example: A surgeon have to complete 4 years of college plus an additional 5 to 7 years of specialized medical training to be able to do his/her job.

In terms of on-the-job training, you may need some training however you will be assumed that you will already have the necessary skills and work experience to perform the job.

How long does it take
2 to 4 years

Work experience
2 to 4 years

2 to 4 years

6 months to 1 year

4 to 6 years

1 to 2 years

Over 10 years

Job training
0 to 1 month

0 to 1 month

No training

6 months to 1 year

1 to 3 months

1 to 2 years

Most Rehab Physicians have 2 to 4 years work experience and 0 to 1 month job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification

All states require Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians to be licensed; requirements vary by state. To qualify for a license, candidates must graduate from an accredited medical school, complete residency training in their specialty, and pass written and practical exams. All Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians must pass a standardized national licensure examination. M.D.s take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). D.O.s take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA). For specific state information about licensing, contact your state’s medical board.

Skills required

We asked other Rehab Physicians if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Critical Thinking what does this mean
2.Reading Comprehension what does this mean
3.Active Listening what does this mean
4.Speaking what does this mean
5.Social Perceptiveness what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Rehab Physicians have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Integrity and Attention to Detail.

2.Attention to Detail
3.Concern for Others
5.Self Control

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Rehab Physicians you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Medicine and Dentistry what does this mean
2.Psychology what does this mean
3.Biology what does this mean
4.Therapy and Counseling what does this mean
5.Education and Training what does this mean

As A Rehab Physician, you may also be required to know how to use certain Medical software, Medical software and Medical software tools.

Allscripts PM (Medical software)
athenahealth athenaCollector (Medical software)
Automatic Data Processing AdvancedMD EHR (Medical software)
Benchmark Systems Benchmark Clinical EHR (Medical software)
Biodex Medical Systems Biodex Concussion Manager (Medical software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

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Healthcare and Medical
Therapeutic Services

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Related to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians Requirements

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Additional resources is a career and college finder site. We help students to find a career and college that is right for them.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians
Written by: Stanley Tan
Rehab Physicians diagnose and treat disorders requiring physiotherapy to provide physical, mental, and occupational rehabilitation.
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