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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Questions

What advice would you give about getting letters of recommendation in your specialty?  

Always helps to have had a clinical/research relationship with the person you are getting a letter from (as opposed to asking the Chair of Medicine for a letter like I did in medical school – he no more knew me than the man in the moon.)

What is the value of doing audition rotations in your specialty?

For our specialty, it is essential, as our field is still small and students still don’t know much about it due to lack of exposure. 

To what extent does research, publications, or presentations affect one’s ability to match in your specialty? 

Certainly a strength, esp given the research requirement during residency.  We actually award additional points to applicants who have participated on at least some level. 

Is a Step 2CK score needed before you will invite someone for an interview? 


What does the perfect applicant look like in your specialty?  Hardest question you have asked. 

I like as much common sense as I do book sense and test taking skills.  Animated, curious, creative, problem solvers. 

Does having a below average Step 1 score doom you in your specialty?

Wow, that sounds so harsh, but I have to say it does hurt the candidate.  We would pass on them.

Would you ever take someone with a Step 2CS failure? 

Not likely for me. 

Does a student need to Honor in your specialty in order to match?

No, see the question on the perfect applicant.

The students have significant elective time during their 2nd and 3rd year for career exploration.

What electives would you recommend to a student who knows they are interested in your specialty?

A general PM&R rotation (a mix of IP/OP experiences in our field as opposed to sports/spine only).

What electives would you recommend to a student who is undecided but considering your specialty?

A general PM&R rotation

Is there anything else I haven’t asked that you feel an applicant to your specialty ought to know?

Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation Residency Data

Length of Training: 4 years

Mean USMLE Step 1 score = 225
Mean USMLE Step 2 CK score = 239

Mean number of programs applied to: 36.5

Programs: 78

Match: NRMP Main Residency Match

Prerequisites: This residency requires the successful completion of a preliminary year

Program Interview Invites (%): Completions (%):
Before Oct. 1 14 1
October 47 8
November 30 38
December 8 37
January 0 15

Average hours worked per week: 45.4


Sources: NRMP; AAMC
Updated: 01-2019