• Livestream AMA: Join SDN as we welcome Dr. John Ligon, a Pediatric Oncologist with the National Cancer Institute on May 11th at 8:00 PM Eastern. Register now!
Aug 2, 2020
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Hello all,

I am a 3rd year student at a DO school that discovered the field of PM&R recently, and I love every aspect of it. I understand that the field is becoming more competitive every single year. And I am afraid I shot myself in the foot by taking step 1 when I was less than 100% ready. I wanted to get done with the exam before my rotations started, even though my practice scores weren't around where I wanted it to be and that resulted in me scoring below average.

Some stats:

Step 1: 215
COMLEX : pending score but I am expecting >550
No red flags (never failed a class, no professionalism issues, slightly below average student at P/F school)
Good amount of volunteering and involvement in the community
1-2 research projects (None PM&R related)
Tons of corporate/work experience
All the feedback I've had from my previous attendings say that I am great to work with, and very social/easy going person that gets along with staff.

I plan on setting up 1-2 electives during the end of my 3rd year in outpatient PM&R, unfortunately my school does not have an affiliated hospital that has inpatient PM&R rotation.

I am open to matching anywhere, so location and prestige does not matter to me that much.

Do I have a chance?

What are the steps that I need to take in order to maximize my chances?


MD/MPH Student
2+ Year Member
Jul 21, 2016
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
According to Charting Outcomes in the Match 2020, Matched DO applicants to PM&R had a mean Step 1 score of 224. There were a healthy 27 matched DO applicants with Step 1 scores between 211-220, only 3 unmatched.

Disclaimer: Not a PD, not even a resident, but I don't think a 215 is a death sentence for rehab. I am sure other forum members will be better able to articulate what you can do to be competitive going forward
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users


10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2007
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
same answer

  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads


10+ Year Member
Sep 2, 2009
Things to help your chances:

1. Do well in rotations this year, especially IM/FM and Neuro
2. Show improvement in your Step 2 score
3. Get involved with PM&R related stuff. Anything. Sign-up for AAPMR membership for one (free for you). Check this page out too

There are a lot of under-the-radar PM&R programs out there. A bunch of them are brand-new too, as they try to keep up with the growing demand for our specialty. So apply broadly and it should work out for you.


7+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2012
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
I had your exact stats.... Matched my top choice.

Do well on your PMR rotations, get solid letters of recommendations. Should be ready to rock
About the Ads

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.