Hospital  >  Departments  >  Medicine  >  Divisions  >  Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation  >  What to expect when you consult a Physiatrist

What to expect when you consult a Physiatrist

Getting started

A physiatrist (rehabilitation physician) thoroughly assesses your condition, needs, and expectations and rules out any serious medical illnesses. A clear understanding of your condition and limitations will help you and your physiatrist develop a treatment plan suited to your unique needs.

Understanding and identifying your goals

Do you want to strengthen an injured muscle, find relief from chronic pain, or walk up the stairs without being winded? Your physiatrist works with you to determine realistic short- and long-term goals. Along the way, he or she helps you find relief from pain, achieve successes in rehabilitation and/or exercise programs, overcome your setbacks, and reassess your goals if necessary.

Tailoring your plan

You need the right type of exercise to effectively overcome fitness obstacles. A runner may have gained weight after being sidelined by a knee injury. A physiatrist can prescribe tailored, low-impact activities that burn calories without aggravating the injury, while also prescribing physical therapy and use of a brace to strengthen and support the knee.

Another patient may be suffering from chronic neck pain. The physiatrist might prescribe medication, stretching, and massage for short-term pain relief, as well as strengthening exercises to prevent future pain.

If surgery is a necessity, physiatrists work with patients and their surgeons before and after surgery.

By directing your treatment team and collaborating with other health care professionals, a physiatrist is able to specially design and help implement a treatment program tailored to you, your needs and your long term goals.

Location and contact

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation division

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue,
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4069


For referrals:

Fax: 416-480-6885
Email: queenie.jung

Dr. David Berbrayer
Medical Director, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics

Dr. Larry Robinson
Division Head, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation