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Physical Med & Rehab

Competitiveness: High

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) is a unique specialty among medical specialties that works more towards long term body function improvement as opposed to finding a “cure.” Training for PM&R is typically four years, one Preliminary Intern Year (PGY-1) and three years of PM&R training (PGY 2-4). Some PM&R programs offer combined training that includes the PGY-1 year, but most are advanced programs that start at PGY-2. PM&R is a relatively small specialty that is more competitive than average. Residency programs like to see applicants with not only solid USMLE exams scores but also those that are team oriented and strong communicators. While research experience is not mandatory, it can certainly help boost your application.

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IMG Profile

Average Stats for a Matched US IMG in 2018:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 226
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 235
  • Research: 2.5
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 2.5
  • Work: 6.1
  • Volunteer: 3.7

Average Stats for a Matched Non-US IMG in 2018:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 238
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 242
  • Research: 1.6
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 2.4
  • Work: 6.1
  • Volunteer: 3.7

Specialty Factors

Every specialty has unique factors they want each candidate to have in their residency application. NRMP conducts regular Program Director surveys to identify which parts of the residency application are most important in differing specialties. Among the information gathered, Program Directors were asked to to cite factors they used to select candidates for interviews. They were also asked to rate each factor on a scale from 1 (least important) to 5 (most important).

The Top 5 Most Important Physical Med & Rehab Application Factors

Percentage of Programs Citing Each Factor

  1. USMLE Step 1 score (96%), Specialty specific Letters of Recommendation (96%)
  2. Personal Statement (87%), Perceived commitment to specialty (87%)
  3. Evidence of professionalism and ethics (83%), MSPE (83%)
  4. USMLE Step 2 CK score (78%), Grades in clerkship in desired specialty (78%), Lack of gaps in medical education (78%)
  5. Grades in required clerkships (70%), Any failed attempt in USMLE (70%), Class ranking/quartile (70%), Audition elective/rotation within department (70%), Consistency of grades (70%)

Average Importance Rating for Each Factor (scale of 1 to 5)

  1. Any failed attempt in USMLE (4.8)
  2. Perceived commitment to specialty (4.7)
  3. Evidence of professionalism and ethics (4.6), Flagged by NRMP (4.6)
  4. MSPE (4.4)
  5. Specialty specific Letters of Recommendation (4.3), Leadership qualities (4.3), Passing USMLE Step 2 CS (4.3), Consistency of grades (4.3), Lack of gaps in medical education (4.3)

Fast Facts

Total Training 4 years + 1 year clinical training
Average Residency Salary $56,000
Average Work Week 45.4 Hours
Peak Interview Months November, February
Key Organizations and Societies: American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
The Resident Physician Council (RPC) of AAPM&R
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Some suggested resources to learn about PM&R are “Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Pocketpedia” and “PM&R Secrets”
  • Suggested rotations for medical students interested in PM&R include PM&R, radiology, neurology, rheumatology, orthopedic surgery, and geriatrics

Match Statistics

Main Residency Match and Post-Match Stats

35

IMGs Matched

96 /
414

Number of Programs/Positions

0

Post-Match SOAP Unfilled Positions

Main Residency Match

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PGY-2
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Post-Match SOAP

Program Track PGY-2
Participating Programs 0 0
Filled Programs 0 0
Positions Available 0 0
Filled Positions 0 0

Subspecialties

  • Brain Injury Medicine
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Neuromuscular Medicine
  • Pain Medicine
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Spinal Cord Injury Medicine
  • Sports Medicine
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