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"2nd tier" PM&R programs, other questions

Discussion in 'PM&R' started by chicagobull, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. chicagobull


    Apr 2, 2007
    I am a newb to this forum, but have been lurking for a while. I have a few questions about PMR residency programs/applying. I hope you guys can help me out, as my advisors don't seem to be very knowledgeable about this field (I don't know if anyone from my school has ever gone into PMR).

    A little background about myself: I am a 3rd year (MD) student, originally from Chicago, and would like to go to a larger city, preferably somewhere warm or in a "happening" city (ie, a place that is fun for a single 25 year old). My top choice would be AZ, but there aren't any programs out there. I get outstanding clinical evals from my attendings, but my shelf exam scores seem to keep preventing me from getting an "honors" grade. I have no doubt that I will get some great letters of recommendations from my IM attendings. My board scores and preclinical grades were below average, although i have not had to remediate anything. I have avg to above avg extracurriculars (ie student government, 2nd author on a research paper that will be published, volunteering, etc.) I plan on doing a 2 week rotation in PMR at my home university right after my 3rd year is completed in June, just to make sure I like it, and am looking into doing an away rotation in PMR sometime in September (I only have one shot, due to scheduling issues) to get a letter/audition.

    1) On this site, I have seen various ranking lists for the match, and have a good idea about what the top programs are, but was wondering which less renowned programs are out there for a very average student such as myself. In particular, I am interested in knowing more about the University of Southern Florida program, Jackson Memorial (miami), Rush, Loyola, University of Texas at Houston, programs in D.C... Any other "under the radar" type programs that you guys know of that would be a good fit for someone like me? Are there any top programs I would have a shot at?

    2) When I do an away rotation, would it be more beneficial from doing it at a top program (like the R.I.C.) and try to get a L.O.R. from there, or do it at a place where I will be more likely to get into (ie audition rotation). I have been told that since PMR is such a small community, doing a rotation at a highly respected program would probably be the way to go.

    3) Is there any benefit to joining a Physiatry professional organization to show my interest? or is this just seen as a CV filler?

    Sorry about the lengthy post, thanks in advance for your replies.
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  3. laugh qd

    laugh qd I triple-dog-dare you 5+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Don't sell yourself short! If I had to pick one characteristic of the Rehab community that I admire, it would be that they manage to see through the papertrail that is medical school to find genuine people who enjoy being part of team and value what the field of PM&R brings to people.

    You're on the right track doing some research into what "other" programs out there have to offer besides the super six or whatever they're called these days. I found that everyone looks for slightly different qualities in ranking programs. The name matters to a certain extent, but more than that you have to be able to work and thrive in that particular environment. For example, if a smaller class size is important to you - don't expect to love your residency at a place with class sizes of 14!

    If you read through our interview stories, you'll find that many of your colleagues will have similar priorities, but some will point out aspects of comparing programs that you hadn't thought about before. Just be open to learning what everyone has to offer, each programs strengths and weaknesses, and don't be afraid to apply, interview, or rank a "top tier" program!

    Best of luck to you :luck:
  4. rehab_sports_dr

    rehab_sports_dr Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    Of the cities you've listed, the program at the University of Miami has a lot to recommend about it. I am a big fan of Andy Sherman, the program director, and the new chair Diana Cardenas is bringing a lot of energy to their program.

    Some other the radar programs are programs located in the mid-size cities. Many people have talked about the strengths of programs like Pittsburgh, Indiana, and UC-Davis (in Sacramento), and the praise is all warranted.

    I am biased, since I just joined the faculty, but I think the Arkansas program in Little Rock is terrific, and I would highly encourage looking into their program if I was a young person. Little Rock is one of the few cities in the country that is still growing and thriving (even in a downturned real estate market), the program has some great strengths that would be hard to match elsewhere.

    Another rapidly improving program that is worth looking at is the University of Kansas in Kansas City.
  5. rehabilitator

    rehabilitator New Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    check out charlotte institute of rehab, i interviewed there this year. it's an excellent program in a cool city with modest costs of living.

    in terms of academic records, i think you're actually doing ok. i know several people with sub 200 on usmle and still got interviews from the top programs.

    good luck.
  6. SCIronMike

    SCIronMike Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2002
    Huntington Beach, CA
    It doesn't get much warmer or "happening" than down here in Orange County, CA. Take a look at our program here at UC Irvine :)
  7. rehab_sports_dr

    rehab_sports_dr Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    I cannot speak on a personal basis, but I would concur that the "buzz" about Charlotte is pretty uniformly positive.
  8. caedmon

    caedmon Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    I did a month long rotation at CIR and have to give them props for establishing one of the great programs in the southeast. Dr. Bockenek is a great person as former PD and now chair and it appears they are bringing on young and vibrant faculty with a clear intent to improve in Spine/MSK.
  9. chicagobull


    Apr 2, 2007
    Thanks for the info folks, and I appreciate the encouragement.

    Another question: is it much more difficult to get into a program that includes a PGY1 year? Are the PGY1 years much different at these programs than a transition year/intern year? As with most things, I assume it varies with the program..

    Also, is there an advantage to going to a smaller program versus a larger program? It seems that even the "large" PMR programs only have about 8-12 residents/year.

    I am sure I have other questions too, but can't think of any at the moment. Congrats to all who matched recently, and good luck in the future.


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