Image A Growing Specialty Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation About Us A Growing Specialty An Exciting and Expanding Field Physiatry gained official recognition as a medical specialty in 1947. Today, nearly 5,000 physiatrists work in private practice and in academic departments within college's of medicine at major universities around the United States. Over half of all active physiatrists were trained in the last decade. Training for physiatrists includes a four year residency program. The United States now has more than 80 such training programs, including the program at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.