Late realization, late LOR, not much EC/research in new field

Jun 1, 2015
Medical Student
Hi all,

Would like some input on this situation. I'm a current MS4 and I've come late to a very late realization that I would like to go into PM&R (instead of another specialty that I was thinking of). Other than the upcoming rotation, I do not have much record/research/ECs in the PM&R field.

My ERAS application will be complete except for a LOR from PM&R, as I will not have completed a rotation in it until mid Oct. I'm guessing the letter would be in sometime around then until late Oct. (This rotation actually is not secured yet, but I will apply very widely nationwide for the earliest spot - my home institution does not have PM&R).

Is late October too late for my PM&R letter? Does my lack of record/research/ECs in PM&R weaken my chances enough so that I should delay a year to work on this?

(If it matters, my Step 1 was around 230; Step 2CK likely around 240 if going by practice tests. Outstanding on 1 rotation and high pass on all others.)

Any help/input at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


7+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2011
Resident [Any Field]
This is kinda the same story that has been posted on here before. You will miss out on some invitations to the programs who send out their interview invites early as your application will be incomplete. There are programs that stop sending out invites before October. There are also programs that don't start sending out invites until November or continuously review new applications as they come in. But this has been done before and people have gotten residency spots with a similar situation as yourself. However, don't expect the physiatrist that you are doing a rotation with to actually turn around and write you a quick recommendation letter in a short time period.

I'd recommend having a very good personal statement showing why you are interested in PM&R and why you would be a good fit. The lack of research doesn't matter, unless you want to go to a research heavy program.

I'd also recommend calling PM&R doctors within your area and see if you can make some time to rotate with them now. If you get lucky and work some shadowing around your current rotation then you may be able to get a recommendation letter in sooner. Probably a good idea to get exposure to EMG's to make sure you are in to that sort of thing as well, cause you'll be doing a lot of it.

Good luck


Interventional Spine
10+ Year Member
May 13, 2007
New Orleans, LA
Attending Physician
Call the PDs and explain your situation. Couldn't hurt.

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