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Stats needed for PMR

Discussion in 'PM&R' started by alparkeruab, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. alparkeruab

    alparkeruab Member
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    I was just curious as to the average stats needed to get a spot in a PMR residency? How competitive is PMR? Sorry, I know this question has probably been beat to death. I'm just having trouble finding a definitive answer on my own.

    thanks!
     
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  3. alparkeruab

    alparkeruab Member
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    any help please??
     
  4. docmd2010

    docmd2010 Senior Member
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    pmr is easy to get. as long as you passed the boards.

    if u want to do pmr at harvard that might be tough but not any other old program..

    good luck
     
  5. axm397

    axm397 SDN Moderator
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    Most people will tell you that PM&R residencies look for more than numbers. The top programs in the country (Harvard included - though I wouldn't say it is THE #1 PROGRAM like docmd2010) will have higher stats. There are reports out there that say that an average applicant to PM&R has the 2nd lowest board score compared to other specialties - which probably is true for many of the residencies in the country. But I have seen students with good board scores not match because of various reasons - like applying to too few programs, being a terrible interviewee, no letters of rec from PM&R, used PM&R as "back up" for another more competitive specialty and was obvious about it, etc.

    Usually by the time students start thinking about what field to go into, they cannot change their numbers (maybe they have step 2 left to take) so the best thing to do is to optimize the rest of the application - like the letters of rec (important in a small field like PM&R that it come from physiatrists), personal statement, dean's letter, research, etc.

    Also on a forum like sdn, be careful who you are listening to - obviously, docmd2010 is not a resident, attending, or program director - there are "advisors" in the PM&R forum who have experience mentoring students. There's also a roster of PM&R residents and past-residents on one of the stickies. The AAPM&R website has a method of looking up mentors by region and specialty.
     
  6. PMR 4 MSK

    PMR 4 MSK Large Member
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    Just check out NMRP data online - they have data for the past many years
     
  7. dasanic

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    He didn't say it was THE #1 PROGRAM. Re-read the post.

    & Okay, we get it. You went to RIC, THE #1 PROGRAM. It seems like you like to shove that in your posts. It gets annoying. It's okay, no one will forget that RIC is #1.

    All the guy said was that Harvard was up there. Not the top. Geez. And what he said was essentially right. No need to get defensive about it.
     
  8. axm397

    axm397 SDN Moderator
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    Did I even mention RIC in my post??:rolleyes: Thanks for the plug though.

    I was not being defensive - I just want students who read this forum to understand the source of information and evaluate opinion for what its worth. There are people who have been posting on sdn longer than me and are far more knowledgeable about certain topics than me. I think you get different advice from someone who has actually gone through the process than someone who has not - someone who is a Physiatrist than someone who is not. That's all. No offense meant towards docmd2010.

    Seriously though, the "stats" or "numbers" question comes up fairly frequently and my point was that the national average is low but top programs are harder to match into just like in any specialty. docmd2010 is right - if you just want to match in PM&R, you'll be fine. if you want to go somewhere good or want to eventually get a competitive fellowship, then you need better numbers and more importantly better application as a whole.

    I only mention RIC in my posts (if it's excessive or offensive then don't read my posts) because I like to post what I know and have experienced. My training was at RIC and now my fellowship is at UCLA. I don't have enough exposure to UCLA as a residency to comment on the quality of experience at UCLA but I will comment on the quality of my fellowship.(I think it is one of the top fellowships in the country) I do have friends and colleagues who are currently or have been residents at various programs across the country so when students ask me about specific programs, I direct them to people who can answer them better than me. I think there are many top programs in the country with different strengths. My job is not to promote one program over another and I have put significant effort in remaining neutral and unbiased.
     
    #7 axm397, Dec 27, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  9. Llenroc

    Llenroc Bandidos Motorcycle Club
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    The averages for the specialty as a whole is pretty low.

    However, with the top 10 programs for which there is a craze here on these forums, I know from extensive personal experience with one program in particular that many residents had 230+ board scores, some even had PhD's.
     
  10. dasanic

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    No but you definitely insinuated it. :rolleyes: It was clear as day.

    You jumped down the guy's throat for stating a simple fact. The OP was asking about stats, not the life of a physiatrist, knowledge of a physiatrist, latest research advancements in PM&R, myths & truths of physiatry (which would warrant the advice of a "mentor", moderator, resident, practicing physiatrist).

    He was asking cold hard stats, which people are free to post all over SDN (and do so all the time) & don't need a license (or permission) to do so.

    IMO, you got defensive because he insinuated that *gasp* Harvard was a top program, but how dare he not mention THE #1 PROGRAM (that you put in all caps). I mean come on.

    But, nonetheless, I was commenting on this small aspect of your posts. I am in no way saying that your posts have not contributed greatly to this forum (because they certainly have). It was just a very minor irk I had, but felt it went too far with jumping on this poster in your post. That is all.
     
  11. lobelsteve

    lobelsteve SDN Lifetime Donor
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    Dasanic- you have 2 posts on SDN and your bashing RIC in both of them. Maybe get your own thread and elucidate what RIC did to you.... Hijack mode off.
     
  12. dasanic

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    LOL. I knew it was only a matter of time before someone came in and said that. Actually, no. I don't hate RIC & no, I don't/didn't go to Harvard if you were wondering that too. And no, I don't have anything personal against axm or PM&R. I was simply making a statement.

    Anyway, I'm not here to argue back & forth. I made my statement & stick by it, but like I said before, it doesn't diminish the great contributions axm has made to this board. At all. She has given tons of wonderful advice & had always been helpful.

    Yeah, I have 2 posts, but I have lurked here for years, yes years, but that post compelled me to say something. I actually recently joined because I had some questions & wanted to make my own contributions (as a way of "giving back"), but I see now that I should just stay lurking.

    So to stop further derailment of this thread, this will be my last post here & will not respond to others. Thank you.
     
    #11 dasanic, Dec 28, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  13. axm397

    axm397 SDN Moderator
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    I honestly wasn't even thinking about RIC as #1 when I wrote that post. PM&R is an interesting specialty in that many of the top programs started in non-ivy league institutions (rusk institute at NYU for example). I think students agonize every year between the choice of taking a "name" program in general medicine or academia vs a "name" program within Physiatry. That's why I made that point.

    dasanic, this is a forum where people exchange ideas and lurkers are just as welcome as others but they really don't contribute to the discussion. If you get defensive after one posting experience and stop posting, you are depriving others of your experience and wisdom. As a former lurker, I can tell you that engaging in active conversation on sdn (even if you have people disagreeing with you once in a while) is a lot more educational and rewarding. Obviously, civility and professionalism go a long way towards building your "reputation" in not only medicine but life in general. I have been able to build a nice network of colleagues and people I admire and have had the opportunity to mentor and advise people who will be future leaders of the field. If I didn't post, I wouldn't have that. I hope you will reconsider not posting anymore and other lurkers will consider posting and exchanging ideas to elevate the level of discussion and conversation to benefit all the readers of sdn.
     
  14. ampaphb

    ampaphb Interventional Spine
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    In the field of PM&R, people generally talk about programs based on the name of the Rehab Center at an institution, not the institution itself (RIC, Rusk, Kessler, Spaulding, not Northwestern, NYU, UMDNJ, or Harvard). So when the OP used the term Harvard as an example of a difficult training program to get into, it struck me as an a generic term, rather than a slight to other fine institutions. I also immediately assumed (and I may have been wrong here) that he was an outsider looking in on our field, since he referred to it as Harvard. Now I know the folks at Harvard are trying to get us to stop calling it Spaulding, but that is real inside baseball. I took it in its generic form, as used in characterizations like "the Harvard of the South, West, etc"

    The old pros on here know this, but for newbies, US News rates HOSPITALS, NOT residencies. So when they rate REHAB HOSPITALS, RIC may be #1, but that does NOT mean the residency is necessarily the best in the country (a line I believe axm has blurred in the past). Several of the hopsptials ranged on the US News list only have peripheral relationships with rehab residencies.

    Axm's posts have consistently suggested that part of your decision as a med student of what programs to rank highly should factor in the network of graduates you will join when you emerge from that institution. Inherent in that recommendation is th assumption that that a big program is better than a small one, (afterall, they will have a bigger networks) and the subtext is, since RIC has the strongest network, you should chose RIC (admittedly, she has never said that, but that's what I read into those words). Dr. Press has created an amazing network, with Drs Akathota, Frank, Geraci, Prather, and Chou now all playing leading roles in academics and the Academy. But that's the point - Axm wants to go that route. If you do, then her recommendations are useful to you. But if, like the vast majority of residents, you plan on going into private practice, then get the absolute best training you can,. in the place you feel you are the best fit. Maybe that is assumed. RIC was the best fit FOR Axm - it may or may not be for you.

    I went to LSU, in large measure because I knew from the get-go I wanted to do interventional. For me, it was a terrific place. On the other hand, the program has glaring weaknesses. Drusso has spoken about the flaws he saw at Mayo. I would challenge Axm, especially now that she is removed from RIC, to look at it with a more critical eye, stop acting as a cheerleader, and give us the unvarnished truth about the program's flaws as well as its virtues.

    As for UCLA, I can only say that there must have been a huge turnaround between a few years ago and now. Fellowship positions used to go begging there, and some of their own residents, even when offered fellowship positions, chose to go to other institutions. Alternatively, an RIC person went there a year or two ago, and carved out a path that more RIC people have now followed. This does not reflect on the quality of the fellowship, but rather the familiarity current residents have with the pathway. Oregon was a program few had heard about, until a few years of Mayo residents went there. Emory/GPP took two shlubs like Steve and me, but now a few years of Mayo residents have found there way to Georgia as well! Actually, a better measure might well be places that don't seem to have legacy pathways like that (ie. Press's very own SSRC fellowship).

    In short, when someone, even someone as respected as Axm, makes a pronouncement on here, ignore, at least in part, their SDN reputation, and look behind the curtain (Wizard of Oz reference) to see their motivation, their experience, and figure out why they are saying it. None of us on here have all the answers, and quite honestly, the answers are different for a specific individual's circumstances. We argue a lot on here (or at least I do) - but all that heat generates light. Thus endeth the rant.
     
    #13 ampaphb, Dec 28, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  15. axm397

    axm397 SDN Moderator
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    agreed - that is why I posted originally.

    I have never stated that US News and world report rates residencies - I don't put much weight in the ranking since it is based on reputation, not measurable data. I don't think I have ever said RIC is the #1 residency in the country. I think it is one of the top programs but I would not say it is #1 because people have different strengths and weaknesses and I don't think RIC is a good fit for everyone.

    I don't recommend RIC to everyone - I think it takes a certain personality type to do well there. It was a tough choice between JFK and RIC for me because JFK was more "warm and fuzzy" and I felt like Dr. Cuccurullo was a great teacher and mentor. I only talk about network because that is how I have succeeded in my limited career. I think that who you know can be more important than what you know in some circumstances. I would never say RIC has THE strongest network - but the bigger and older programs (i.e. the NYUs, Kesslers, and Baylors of the world) do tend to have bigger alumni network which is something students may not consider when applying for residency.

    The funny thing is I am probably not going into academics - and of the three offers on the table for me - two came from RIC grads and one from someone I befriended when I rotated as a student with Dr. Furman. None of these positions were advertised. There's definitely a lot of "word of mouth" type stuff going on in the Physiatry/Pain job market. I think networking is important and I have worked hard to build my reputation and network and it is definitely the most valuable strength I have in my career.

    Agreed - Here are what I think are "flaws":
    The size - if you want to be a "big fish in a small pond" you will not get that. You also have to be self-motivated to succeed at RIC. The workload is definitely heavier than many other residencies. In house call has its pros and cons. Chicago is VERY cold in the winter. There are definitely some attendings with strong personalities. 3 months of consults can get long. We have late admissions and some unstable patients. There are some bad nurses/social workers/unit secretaries mixed among excellent ones.

    I don't know how it was a few years ago but I am very happy with the training I am receiving. In addition to the bread and butter injections, I am trained to do "advanced" procedures like pumps, stims, and v-plasties. In terms of stims, from informal surveys they do at industry sponsored courses, I am usually the one with the most number of cases.(I know, quantity does not equal quality) Dr. Prager was president of NANS which has helped widen my network of physicians. The faculty members have been nothing but supportive of my leadership and research efforts. They have been excellent references for my job search. It is FOR ME, one of the top fellowships in the country. For someone looking for other factors, it may not be.

    I try to post based on my experience and what has worked for me. If your personality type and strengths and weaknesses do not align with mine, then what worked for me won't work for you. I don't think I was a stellar student - my numbers were definitely not the best and I had NO contacts (no family members in medicine, etc.) I was an immigrant raised by a single mom and have survived events that I am lucky to have survived. I have worked hard to get to where I am. There are some things I wish I knew when I was applying to residency which is why I am posting. I definitely am not a cheerleader for RIC - I think it's not for everyone. I also had times when I was periodically unhappy, frustrated, and/or bitter. I made a decision to be an optimistic satisfied person which may be annoying to some. I definitely do my share of complaining to my immediate peers and friends/family but I try not to lose sight of the big picture. Overall, I am happy with the decisions I have made in my life and in my career.
     
    #14 axm397, Dec 28, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  16. rehab_sports_dr

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    Coming to the defense of AXM here ....

    Had she not said something, I may have made a similar comment

    Harvard is certainly a fine program, no knock on it

    I do think it is worth mentioning, though, that the usual hierarchy that people outside of PMR associate with excellence does not routinely apply to PM&R

    In the context of the particular qualifications for a residency program, I think AXM raised an important point that Harvard doesn't tower over other institutions the way it does, for example, as an undergraduate college. Not that Harvard is necessarily a better undergraduate college than many other great schools, but it does tower over others in terms of influence. That is decidedly not true for PMR. Harvard is an excellent program and one of the best in the country, but it's a relatively new program, and does not have a blue blood pedigree.

    Again, I didn't read anything into AXM's comments, and think she was very fair-minded

    To clarify my own point, the best medical schools and hospitals do NOT correspond to the best and most selective PMR residencies. For example, UCSF would make everyone's short list of best hospitals in the world, but it does not have a PMR residency program. Similarly, Wash U in St Louis is a far more prestigious hospital than UMDNJ, but UMDNJ has a far more prestigious PMR residency program.

    Anyway, getting back to the original question ....

    I agree with the consensus- to get into a PMR residency program at all, the standards are pretty lax. To get into a top tier program, the standards are quite a bit more rigorous. I would say this is probably pretty similar to, for example, family medicine. Even at the very top programs, though, I think PMR programs tend to weigh "soft" criteria like personal attributes more heavily than many other specialties. I don't forsee the day where making junior AOA will make you an automatic candidate over someone with better personal skills.
     
  17. kurt rambis

    kurt rambis New Member
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    Dasanic, like you I have been a lurker on SDN for quite some time. Your post has inspired me to come out of hiding and join the conversation. Your input is valuable so please continue to share your thoughts.

    AXM and I share a similar career path. When I say similar, I mean almost exactly the same. I also attended RIC for residency and am now at the UCLA
    West LA PM&R-based pain fellowship. A few comments:

    It is true that axm references RIC often when posting here on SDN, but as she points out, this is her frame of reference when giving advice about residency issues. Before axm's emergence, there was very little representation or information about RIC on this forum. Instead of seeing her as a cheerleader (although she does seem satisfied with her RIC experience) she could be looked at as providing valuable information about a large residency program.

    In regards to rankings of residency programs, as ampaphb and many others throughout the years have pointed out, there are none. Even if there were, how valuable would that info be? In interviewing dozens of residency applicants throughout the years at RIC and now at UCLA, my advice is always the same, choose a residency where you will be happy. If you are unhappy or frustrated with your program, you will not likely maximize your learning experience. There are may great residency programs in PM&R both big and small (and probably many not so great ones). If you are motivated and self directed and can see patients in the field of PM&R which you are interested, you will do well. You just need to put in the work. RIC was a great fit for me but i don't think it was the only fit.

    Just like in any field, networking is extremely important, but you do not need to go to a large residency program to be a great networker. I would not even remotely choose a residency program based on alumni or networking opportunities even though it is a nice plus. Again, if you put in the work, it seems you will likely make the contacts and find a good job in the area you are interested in.

    You are right ampa, we did have an RIC resident pave the way for us at UCLA and I have limited experience to other fellowship experiences aside from what I have read. That said, I have been very satisfied with my experience at UCLA. We have great exposure to the full spectrum of interventional procedures and from what I can tell, pretty good volumes. THe attendings are knowledgeable, approachable, and thorough. We have exposure to all areas of pain and consistent accreditation. Like axm, I am very happy with my training there.
     
  18. ostensibly

    ostensibly Junior Member
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  19. ampaphb

    ampaphb Interventional Spine
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    I meant no disrespect to the UCLA Pain Fellowship. AXM and Kurt Rambis are two VERY accomplished PM&R folks, and if they found it to be a good fit for them, I am glad.

    My opinions are 2-3 years out of date, and based on conversations I had with several graduating residents a few years ago (one of whom is now on staff there). Usama Ghazi was the resident I referred to who chose the Stanford program when it was still PM&R based, just to put all my cards on the table.
     

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