M3 here...I'm interested in PMR, but my Step 1 score was below the average. Which programs are "out of reach"...I was hovering around the 200 mark...and would like to stay around the central midwest (Chicago, KC, Denver, etc.) Thanks
In PM&R they give a break to people with lower board scores, if they personally know them (i.e. you did a rotation there). This can count for a lot. Or if you application is otherwise pretty good. That said, it keeps getting harder to get into PM&R since every idiot and his brother wants to do pain medicine and has figured out PM&R involves the least call towards getting there...
Anyway, RIC is more competitive in the Midwest. Actually, I'd say all Chicago programs can be fairly competitive, just because all the corn fed Midwestern farm boys think Chicago is paradise and want to live there for 3 years (I kid, I kid...) I would definitely apply to Toledo, as well as the Detroit area programs (U-M, Wayne State, Beaumont). Of these U-M is more competitive, and Beaumont more competitive than you might expect for a community program 'cuz it's easy. If you like Peds, there's no better place than Cincinnati. I've heard Cleveland is decent, but may be more call intensive than others. These are in the average competitive category. Not sure about places further to the West.
Yes, things are getting more competitive. But this bears repeating: in PM&R, scores are not everything. Programs really do look at the entire application. Youll never know whats in or out of reach unless you apply.