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PM&R Board Score Range

Discussion in 'PM&R' started by Hembrick, Mar 10, 2011.

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  1. Hembrick

    Hembrick

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    I hadn't been exposed to the PM&R discipline until a semester into my 3rd year as a med student. Frankly, I still don't know too much about it but I still remain curious. As far as board scores are concerned, can viewers of this post comment on the ranges of Step I and/or Step II scores for PM&R programs you are familiar with? What is the general academic profile of the applicant pool? Thanks everybody!
  2. alwayslight

    alwayslight

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    I just sent you a PM... but this is for ALL candidates out there. You can go onto NRMP and check the stats out (average board scores are written, as well as average # of publications, volunteer work, etc). I used to literally OBSESS over these stats over and over again... and I don't want anyone going through that. I truly believe that this is a field that self-selects a certain type of person... and PD's know that. Forget about scores, because I know that PM&R is one of the few fields that looks beyond that (I mean great scores will obviously help, pretty sure it was a factor in my pre-match offer) --> but you will get many invites to programs regardless of scores. Just be clear to show your dedication to the field... and PM&R LORs will go a long way as well !
  3. PMR 4 MSK

    PMR 4 MSK Large Member SDN Advisor

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    PM&R screening criteria:

    1) Passed Step I?

    2) Warm and breathing?

    3) Has a LOR from a PM&R doc or someone who at least has heard of PM&R?

    If yes to the above, invite for interview.

    Then it's all about how realistically you will make a good Physiatrist based on the interview.

    The "Top Tier" programs are pickier than others.
  4. lobelsteve

    lobelsteve www.stevenlobel.com Lifetime Donor

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    At mid to lower tier programs only 1 and 2 are required. I applied to Anes and PMR because I knew I was going into Pain. At that time it was up for grabs and I'm glad I went PMR, though I had not heard of it until my Intern year.
  5. MedBronc23

    MedBronc23

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    This was definitely a question I wondered when applying, even though you do hear, as above, that scores are not the end all be all, to which I agree.

    I have 4-5 bright M3 students that I work with in our PM&R Club here at my prelim program. They are doing their senior schedule, asking about externships, other rotations to do ect. Scores ultimately come up, and by the looks of things scores are increasing for those who match into Physiatry annually. Frankly last year was one if not the most competitive match in decades. Including our field.

    I agree pass Step 1, letter from PM&R doc, PM&R rotation should get you into the door at most programs. The Top Tier Programs are more picky and I know for a fact scores matter. Frankly, they should because how are you going to weed out all the great ,diverse people that typically go into PM&R. It is a harsh reality but an important piece of the match puzzle even for our person centerted/friendly specialty.

    I looked at what I consider the top 6-10 residency programs in the country's score requirements for admission on their website. The results were surprsising.

    Classic TOP 6 PM&R Residency Programs that most physiatrists would agree upon (No particuliar order & I put mine 6th )

    1. RIC/Northwestern: did not see a score req, bet its high though

    2. Kessler (UMDNJ): No set minimum score requirement. Must
    have passing score on the first attempt on all exams taken. You must also present your complete USMLE/COMLEX transcript, not just individual scores

    3. Washington: Passed USMLE Step 1 with a minimum of 200, or COMLEX Part 1 with a minimum of 500 on the first attempt. http://rehab.washington.edu/education/residency/eligibility.asp

    4. Spaulding/Harvard: >80th percentile...I do not know what this means....I know its greater than 200 because I got an interview there. http://www.spauldingrehab.org/education/pmr.residencyprogram/admissions

    5. Baylor/UT PM&R Alliance (TIRR): High USMLE score desirable, no specific cut-off score. Entire application reviewed and assessed.
    While a high USMLE score is desirable, we do not have a specific cut-off score. Your entire application packet including your supporting documents are reviewed and assessed.

    6. Mayo: >220 on website http://www.mayo.edu/msgme/physmed-rch-admissions.html

    Kind of the rest of the top from my experiences and others' expert opinion(agree to disagree)

    Temple (MOSS REHAB): no score req listed

    EMORY (SHEPHERD CENTER): 200 on the first try for Step I and Step II (if taken), equivalent on COMLEX – You must have taken and passed Step II (USMLE or COMLEX) to begin the program.

    NYU (RUSK):
    could not find score req easily or even how to apply

    OHIO STATE: USMLE minimum score above 195 or COMLEX above 500

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: did not see score req

    UPMC/PITT: No req listed

    UCLA /VAGLAHS: website took to long to load. One of best VAs in country despite what Los Angeleans say

    STANFORD: Could not find on site

    COLORADO (CRAIG Hospital Associated) : You must have passed on the first attempt and preferably been in the 80th percentile or higher.

    MICHIGAN: did not see a score req

    VCW: could not find score info but awesome website

    Looks like some programs look higher at scores, some may not, some may but not want to advertise it because of the person-centered ethos of our field...ect. 200ish seems to be a theme.

    I think you apply to 10-20 places you really like as long as you passed Step 1 +/- Step2 before ERAS app due, get letter or two from a physiatrist, and do minimum one to two PM&R rotations.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  6. superiortrunk5

    superiortrunk5

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    From my experience on the interview trail this year, I would say Kessler was more impressed by high scores than other programs. They tend to get very "smart" residents and cited this at one of the strengths of their program. If you look back at the last several years they typically do very well on the PM&R boards with several Elkins Awards to their credit.

    With that being said, I score 90th percentile on the USMLE and 97th percentile on COMLEX, and scores didn't even come up at most of my interviews. I completely agree with the assessment that PM&R programs tend to look more at the "whole person/application".
  7. padresp

    padresp

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    To the OP... PM me if you need any more information.

    Just a couple of other things. I agree that scores do not matter as much for PM&R - the bottom line is, study as hard as you can and get as good of a score as possible; it will never hurt you. Then forget about it. PM&R is a little more competitive now for top programs, but I have seen first-hand how the process goes at some of these programs. Basically, you need a minimum to get in (I don't know what that "minimum" is). Then, after that, think 3 things:

    1. Will I make the program look good? After you complete residency (hell, after you complete med school), nobody will ever ask you for your step 1 score, but they will ask about your residency program.
    2. Will I work hard and be reliable?
    3. Will I fit in? This also relates to #1 and #2.

    If you can answer yes to those 3 questions and convince the program director of it, you'll be golden.

    And finally, I've seen this 80th percentile thing in the past from their website and have no idea of how true that is. Percentiles are different than the 2-digit USMLE score. The average step 1 score is 221. The SD is 24. That means that one standard deviation above the mean is 245. So that would be the the 84th percentile if I remember my stats, meaning the 80th percentile would be somewhere around 240. I strongly doubt any PM&R program is only interviewing students with a 240 or higher. I mean, how would the fill the time after interviewing both of them?
  8. MedBronc23

    MedBronc23

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    Agreed, but I think we are getting more 220-240 people now than ever before...in fact I know this to be true from my own students interested in PM&R at my prelim program and my medical schools match stats.

    I always tell my students. I did not pick PM&R because of my board score, but inspite of it. Could have matched ortho, GAS, Rads (not derm :cool: but who cares) with my scores. Scores open more doors, at least they did for me, but at the end of the day, You have to love what you do. I never would tell someone to pick a specialty because their score is up there or down there in the projected range.

    Do what you love. As long as you pass and apply to a respectable amount of places than you will be fine.

    I could have applied to just ten programs and interviewed at just those ten. However, I wisely applied to more because I wanted to explore my options. I think this is smart for any applicant. You get one shot at this. Applying to 10-20 programs will give you a great shot at matching. Even if you land only 50% interviews.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  9. melancholy

    melancholy 1K Member

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    Most Programs want residents with a good foundation of knowledge so they will perform well in residency and do well on boards. Get decent scores to pass through the initial screening process. Let your personality, performance, and interest in PM&R do the rest of the talking.
  10. DrMattOglesby

    DrMattOglesby Grand Master Moderator Emeritus

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    The ">80th percentile" is specific to Foreign Grads.

    from their website: (Under FAQs for IMGs)
    Is there a cutoff score on the USMLE?
    Yes, there is a cutoff score. You must have scored in at least the 80th percentile on your USMLE exam for your application to be reviewed.
    What can I do to increase my chances of admission?
    We are looking for applicants who are genuinely interested in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation and who have the skills to become leaders in the field themselves. Genuine interest is assessed by how committed you have been to the field throughout your medical career. Have you taken electives in PM&R? Have you performed relevant research?
  11. DrMattOglesby

    DrMattOglesby Grand Master Moderator Emeritus

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    Just wanted to comment that these are simply things which "attract their attention" and should not be interpretted as absolute cutoffs. I was told this information by faculty at the Mayo booth in the exhibition hall at the Atlanta conference. Additionally, I personally know of people with sub-220 Step 1 with successful matches here.

    Would love if someone could chase down this information and post it for us.
  12. Taus

    Taus . Moderator

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    I've seen such a wide variety of scores from interviewees this year.... From the low 200s (with other very strong components to their applications) to near 270!! At least 10 or so have had >250.... insane....

    A sincere demonstrated interest and understanding of the field go a long way.....
  13. DrMattOglesby

    DrMattOglesby Grand Master Moderator Emeritus

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    Taus, didn't you score around 270 as well??

    On a personal note, I am taking a year off for research and acquired a position with an orthopaedic spine team at top-10 ortho program. I feel that some PDs may(/have) judge(d) this to be that I'd rather be in orthopaedics than PM&R. There is just not sufficient opportunities for students to devote an entire year to research in PM&R, at least not like there is in Ortho. As someone who evaluates applicants, how would you breech the subject of my doing research in a different (but closely related) field? I am trying to figure out the best way to present/explain this part of my application without invoking prejudices.
  14. Taus

    Taus . Moderator

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    lol... not quite that high.... but I don't feel so special anymore...

    I have VERY limited experience evaluating applicants- but for me that would jump out in my mind as you said. I wouldn't think it will pose a problem unless you also have several elective rotations in Ortho and almost nothing in PM&R. That being said... as long you have have demonstrated sincere interest in rehab (and hopefully have had more than 1 rotation in it).... I think that sounds like an incredible opportunity. Good luck with your research.
  15. melancholy

    melancholy 1K Member

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    Great suggestions from Taus. I echo having sincere interest in rehab areas as well as rotation and clinical experience in rehab to back that up. Perhaps using the future orthopedic research experience and integrating it to further the core goals of rehab would also be useful to emphasize.
  16. DrMattOglesby

    DrMattOglesby Grand Master Moderator Emeritus

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    Thank you Taus and Melancholy for the advice.
    I am fairly confident that my record will demonstrate an interest in physiatry (MS-III elective, PM&R club president, and attendance at 3 annual conferences...). I am also hoping to rotate with 3-4 programs at the beginning of 4th year. and spend some time with the PM&R residents here at my research institution.
    Are there any other opportunities that I should consider taking advantage of during my research year?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  17. RangerBob

    RangerBob Not a real ranger...

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    I would personally recommend only doing three PM&R rotations max, including your third-year elective. A couple of attendings at different programs said they thought three was really the maximum number of PM&R rotations a student should do--there really isn't much to gain by doing more electives, and you lose out a lot on a broader education. The attendings were speaking about one-month electives, but the same attendings also told me they don't interpret students who do the two week electives to be as serious about the program as those who do the one month elective. Two week electives are really more for students not going into PM&R to see what physiatry can offer their patients. That, and to entice them to convert to seemingly now less secretive cult of physiatry :D

    I think with your home rotation, two away rotations, club president, 3 annual conferences (especially if you've been making contacts at them), and research experience will more than adequately demonstrate your interest in PM&R. I would imagine if your scores are good, you would likely get offers from the top programs. Hopefully some residents/attendings can chime in with their opinions.

    On the other hand--you should never take someone else's advice if you're going to regret it later on, so if you're really set on doing 3-4 away rotations, then just ignore me :)
  18. DrMattOglesby

    DrMattOglesby Grand Master Moderator Emeritus

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    That is great advice to follow, academically and financially. I will certainly keep it in mind as I set up my fourth year schedule; maybe only targeting more competitive programs where the AI could make a difference when it comes down to PD's rank lists.

    :thumbup:
  19. MedBronc23

    MedBronc23

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    All great advice for our hopeful physiatrists. To further emphasize my prior point on board scores for PM&R applicants going up, I just talked to one of our chief residents and staff on admissions at my program who echoed increasingly higher board scores amongst all applicants asked to interview at my program plus multiple applicants with 7+ abstracts publications posters.

    I mean I was lucky enough to have a research project and poster in PM&R and attend AAPM&R in Austin before I applied.

    IMHO it will continue to get more competitive as the need for nonoperative and preventative med docs increase. Albeit with a decrease in EMG reimbursement...thanks to our CIC
  20. hashtag

    hashtag

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    As someone who is halfway into third year and has just recently made the decision about PM&R, it would not be feasible for me to attain the same level of involvement as DrMatt... by the time I apply, I am hoping to have had 2-3 away rotations as well as one from my home institution and a letter from my advisor (NYU graduation, department chair at a hospital). I've spent considerable time reflecting on my reasons for choosing this field and I think I will convey that well in my essay- assuming it is a priority. Just to get a feel for it, does anyone know how much weight a good essay is to showing the programs why you've chosen the field and who you are? Or do they look at scores and letters first?

    any insight would be greatly appreciated, and props to DrMatt for being so proactive from such an early point! Amazing.

    HT
  21. fozzy40

    fozzy40 Senior Member

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    Personally, I think that the personal statement is a big component to getting an interview. Scores, research, etc are great and all but there has to be something that separates the crowd. I have been personally involved in the residency process for several years now. I can affirm that the applicants are getting more competitive. That being said, they all look great but very similar objectively. The personal statement is usually what swayed me.

    2 cents...
  22. BakaSaru

    BakaSaru

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    I finally have some time to breath and decided to peruse my old stomping grounds.

    Disclosure: Recently started my own PM&R/Pain solo-practice (yikes!). Finished an Anesthesia Pain (ACGME accredited) fellowship and went to Stanford PM&R.

    Board scores: As I recall from Stanford, it was a range from 200-250+ (but there is much recall bias here). We really valued our impression of the applicant if they were able to rotate through Stanford or its affiliate hospitals. It's also very much about whether a cohort will seem to get along. I definitely got the sense that the applicant pool was getting more competitive as the years went by.

    Surprisingly, board scores for pain applicants (where I did my fellowship) were very similar to what I saw at Stanford!!

    Interview invites: I know this is way late, but maybe there are some who are looking to prepare for next year. The advice I give (if it hasn't been given already) is for those without a home PM&R program. (1) Find a local PM&R department or practice that you can work with as an elective or during one of your breaks and (2) do at least one away rotation. My medical school didn't have a PM&R department. I did my med school peds elective at another local hospital's pediatric rehab unit and then did 2 away rotations. Didn't do any reasearch, but I did got to an AAPM&R meeting. Obviously, that was enough to get me in.

    Good luck on the match everybody!!

    Feel free to PM me regarding Stanford, Pain, or anything PM&R!
  23. DrMattOglesby

    DrMattOglesby Grand Master Moderator Emeritus

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    That reminds me, I asked the program coordinator at Stanford about cutoffs for board scores; Stanford did not review applications with USMLE Step 1 < 220 during this past application cycle.
  24. thedeepend

    thedeepend

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    It is getting much more competitive. I applied to 30 PM&R programs as an US IMG, with 240/230 in each step, respectively. I got 4 interviews. I was pretty surprised, I thought I would have had more. I didn't have any research, but I do have another doctorate. It should work out fine, but it is still nerve racking.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013

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