Physiatrists diagnosis and treat conditions, particularly those related to the muscles and skeleton, that cause people to lose function. Also known as physical medicine and rehabilitation, physiatry is gaining greater recognition as people survive impairments that, in earlier times, would have killed them. Physiatrists help patients regain function and live fuller lives through comprehensive rehabilitation and pain management. They do not perform surgeries,
The median annual salary for clinical physiatrists -- those directly assisting patients -- is $224,000, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges. The median salary of physiatrists working full time in academia, such as professors in medical schools, is $210,000, the association reports.
After completing medical school and a four-year hospital residency program in general clinical training and physical medicine and rehabilitation, starting salaries for physiatrists range from $90,000 to $200,000 a year, according to the Association of Academic Physiatrists. The lower end of the scale represents salaries for those going full time into academia.
Median compensation for assistant professors is $180,000. Associate and full professors earn median salaries of $210,000, the American Association of Medical Colleges reports.
An Economic Research Institute survey of physiatrist salaries in a sampling of cities shows that in New York-Manhattan, physiatrists earn an average annual salary of $259,173. In Los Angeles, they earn $254,079 a year; Houston, $239,832; Miami, $234,091; Charlotte, N.C., $233,469; Atlanta, $226,839; and Phoenix, $221,418.
The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation notes that physiatrists typically earn more in clinical practice settings. But academia and other institutional positions can offer more stability, more regular schedules, and opportunities for research and grant funding. The academy also points out that physiatrists can earn significantly more in geographic areas where there are few physiatrists.