Most apply as 4th yr med students. There are a few spots however that always seem to be available for PGY1 applicants that
a) finished a transitional year and have decided to do PM&R
b) those that initially chose a different specialty and then saw the light...
I haven't done a rotation in PM&R. I've just started 4th year and so I won't have the opportunity to do a PM&R rotation before applying for residencies. Does it hurt me if I apply to a PM&R program now? Is it a requirement for some programs to do a rotation and get a rec letter from a physiatrist to apply to their program?
And how long are these fellowships in general? 1-2 years?
Thanks again in advance.
Well, the best time to apply is as a ms-4, so now is the time. Of course it is very helpful to have completed a pm&R rotations before applying to the specialty, however during my interviews I never came across a program that *required* a PM&R rotation, nor a letter from a physiatrist. Of course, these things would certainly *help* your application. However, I understand that at some med schools it may not be possible to squeeze a PM&R rotation in.
Just a question; how do you know that PM&R is right for you if you have never experienced the specialty? You will be asked this at every interview I'm sure.
The fellowships are 1-2 years depending on the specialty.
Yeah that's a good question, and one I've thought about. Unfortunately all the other fields haven't been too appealing. As sad as it may sound, I think I will be one of those docs that doesn't claim to passionately like any one field, but likes a lot of them. I don't want to do primary care, i don't care for surgery's lifestyle, don't want derm or radiology, I do like GI but that's a 6 year total program and I don't like that either (although with fellowships for PM&R will end up being about the same length). PM&R seems to have a good lifestyle, no 3 yr IM residency, good pay, and... did i mention lifestyle? that's probably top on my list of factors to consider.
Anyway I'm not applying for it just yet, it's just a consideration that I 'discovered' lately so want to give it full thought.
I think you really need to start thinking about the "Why PM&R" questions early on. In all the interviews I went on last year that question was asked in every single one of them and it seemed to be the question with the most importance. That one question led to all other questions. If you dont have the time to do a rotation before interview season, then you should at least spend some time speaking with a Physiatrist or shadowing one on your free time... Get all the information you can about the field because it will help you immensely during your interviews. It may even confirm your decision in pursuing the specialty even more.
I have met a lot of people who *saw the light* late in the interview season, applied to PM&R late and ended up matching in another field. They are miserable now. A few are in my medicine program in which I am preliminary and they are categorical wishing to switch. My point is... do your research NOW. You may not fully *see the light* at the moment, but dont miss out like my co-interns. I heard the scramble was tough last year at the few programs with open spots. I can only imagine how it will be this year with the popularity increasing even more. Many of the good programs interview early, so make sure you turn in your ERAS application soon, even if you are still not 100% sure which specialty you really want! I have not met an unhappy Physiatrist or a Physiatrist-to-be, if that helps you any any way....
Almost forgot.... Dont mention that you like the lifestyle and good pay in the interview (although we all know that is a main consideration). I know its a "no-brainer", but just wanted to make it clear!!!