What is Physiatry?

Physiatry (fizz EYE uh tree), or Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, is a branch of medicine that focuses on restoring and maintaining optimal body function. People usually seek the care of a physiatrist after some level of disability or impairment has occurred. The degree of this impairment can be significant or less severe, temporary or more lasting in nature and the patient can be of any age or gender. The cause or causes of the impairment may stem from a wide range of conditions, including accidents and sports injuries, disease complications, post-surgical effects, post-amputation concerns, birth defects and diseases or chronic conditions. The emphasis of a physiatric practice is always function centered, with the main focus on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of impairment of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and pulmonary systems.

If this sounds like a very broad scope, you are right. This is because physiatry is an integrated care specialty—a sort of one-stop, team-oriented medicine and rehab shop. Physiatry does not conform to the typical medical office model, where a physician performs the standard examination and orders the standard tests of their specialty and then prescribes the standard treatments related to these results. Physiatrists, because their scope is so encompassing, follow a whole person rehab model that takes the individual’s ability to function in the totality of their life into account, not just the ability of one body part going through the paces in a clinical setting. Physiatrists know that it isn’t only a single body part that needs rehabilitation after a disabling event. They get to know the whole patient in order to address their specific issues and goals regarding their quality of life at the moment of their first office visit, for tomorrow, and going foreword.

What is a Physiatrist?

A physiatrist is a physician of function. As such, they are trained and have special expertise in a broad range of diagnostic techniques, rehabilitation and physical therapies, acute and chronic pain management, and a wide range of other rehabilitation and function related areas of non-surgical intervention and treatment. Often called the “quality of life” profession, physiatrists aim to restore optimal functioning, no matter what a patient’s rehabilitative starting point. They believe that there is always something that can be done to improve a patient’s quality of life.

Physiatrists take a whole person approach to functional impairment, spinal cord injuries, amputations, birth defects, lymphedema, repetitive stress injuries… physiatrists diagnose and treat a wide range of symptoms and disabling conditions because they treat the whole patient.

What to Expect at my First Appointment?


If you have been referred to Rehabilitation Associates of Naples, chances are that your physician has examined you and determined that you should have additional diagnostics and/or intervention by a physiatrist (an MD who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation) or other of the rehabilitation specialists who are part of the RAN team. In this case, you will either have an appointment with one of the doctors or you will begin initial treatments, with further evaluations along the way as necessary. At the time you make your appointment you will be told about any special orders prior to your visit.

Self-Referred Patients

If you are coming to Rehabilitation Associates of Naples on your own, you will need a more thorough examination. Please inform the person who takes your call that you are a first time client and either give them a brief explanation of your symptoms OR complete the form in the office at the time of your visit.

How can I Prepare for my First Appointment?

Before we go into any technical preparation, no matter why you are visiting Rehabilitation Associates of Naples (RAN), the first thing you should do is relax. You are going to be in good hands. How you proceed will depend on what sort of appointment you are coming in for.

General Forms


Financial Policy
Patient Medical History
Pain Information
Patient Information
New Patient Consent

Patients are asked for two things. First, fill out a patient information form. For patients who do not have a referral, filling out an evaluation prior to making an appointment might be a good way for you to explain your symptoms to the physician so that you can be scheduled for the right sort of appointment. You can also download a copy of the form from this website, fill it out and mail it, or you can bring the completed form with you to your appointment. If you do not have a computer available, you can ask that a form be mailed to your home, or you can come in early for your appointment and complete filling out the form in the office at the time of your visit. Secondly, what is your insurance information, or be prepared to discuss your billing plans.

No matter what, please bring in a list of your medications and dosages and an accurate health record, including a chronology of your current symptoms. The more the doctor knows, the better able he/she will be to be able to help you on your way to rehabilitation.

Appointment TIP: If you sometimes have trouble remembering everything you want to tell or ask the doctor, write down your questions and make a list of your symptoms and bring it with you to your appointment. Try to notice if your symptoms feel worse at certain times of the day or if certain foods or medications make you feel worse. Note anything that seems like it might be important. This will help both you and your doctor help you on your road to recovery.

To recap, for your first appointment please bring the following:
1. All current medical records, including MRIs, scans and x-rays.
2. A list of all medications and dosages.
3. Your insurance or payment information.
4. Your list of questions and/or description of your symptoms.
5. Your completed patient forms, if you have them.


North Naples

1855 Veterans Park Dr., #101
Naples Florida 34109
(239) 593-0918 Fax
(239) 593-0927 Phone

All major insurance carriers and Medicare accepted.

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruc-tion. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.
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