Residency Applicants

Frequently asked Questions
  • What is your Method of Interview?

    • All interviews will be conducted virtually

    • You will have 4-5 12 to 15 minute 1:1 interviews with our faculty.  You will be interviewed by Dr. Kasi (PD) or Dr. Patton (APD) but not both

    • During Lunchtime, you will have a “Group Interview” with our Residents.  We have a total of 3 virtual rooms students rotate through every 15 minutes with each room having a different theme: “DEI and Community Outreach,” “Wellness,” and “Education.”  At the beginning of each session within a room, the resident will give a brief overview of what the program does in specific theme (i.e. DEI).  This is followed by general discussion regarding the theme between the students and residents.  While this is not an official interview, we do use the residents feedback on how much they connected with candidates 

  • Do you offer Second Looks?

    • We plan to create 1-2 designated days after interviews are completed for interested students to come for a “Second Look”.  During the “Second Look”, candidates will get an opportunity to take a tour of the facilities, meet faculty (briefly), and have lunch with residents who are at the main campus.  This is an informal “Second Look,” so are not requiring residents to give a presentation (there is also no time to accommodate this).

  • How will you use STEP1/COMLEX1 and/or STEP II/COMLEX II in your application review and ranking process?

    • Like most programs, we use a holistic approach to review your application and equally weigh your pre-clinical/clinical performance, extra-curricular experiences, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.  While Step 1 / COMPLEX 1 is now pass/fail, it will be reviewed in the context of the rest of your application (i.e. pre-clinical grades, comments from clinical rotations).  The STEP II / COMLEX II score could be beneficial if you are wanting to demonstrate the improvements you have made academically, particularly if you struggled during your pre-clinical and clinical years.  Regardless, we are wanting to match well-rounded future Physiatrist as we can all agree there is more to a great clinician than just a test score!

  • Do you review packets of those who failed STEP 1 / COMLEX 1?

    • See above regarding our holistic review process.  If you did experience this adversity during your medical school career, we would recommend that you explain your story in the “Impactful Experience” section of the ERAS application so we can better understand your story (click here for the link to sample ERAS application, page 16).  Learning medical knowledge is a journey and we understand that not all learners go at the same pace as others.  What we are looking for is understanding what you learned about yourself as a result of the adversity, what you have done to make changes, and (hopefully) any evidence of success with the changes you have made.

  • How many PM&R Letters of Recommendation do you require?

    • At least 2 PM&R letters and at least 3 total letters

  • Are you participating in Program Signaling and Geographical Preference?

    • Yes

  • What are Common Requirements for all applicants?

    • Applications are accepted ONLY through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)

    • Permanent U.S. Citizenship or J-1 Visa eligible

    • Graduate of medical school in the last three years


How to Improve Your Chances to Match
  • Review great resources from AAP and AAPM&R.  Please review the Road to Residency Webinar hosted by the AAP in 2023
  • Apply for an Audition Elective via VSLO
  • Join the Chicago Medical Student Fellowship (Email:
    • Monthly Lectures with Quiz (Quiz winner receives an Amazon Gift Card)
    • Mentorship with Rush Residents including CV review and Mock Interviews
    • Coordination of Extracurricular Activities including Case Reports, Research, Disability Advocacy Opportunities, Sports Medicine Coverage (pre-participation physicals, sideline coverage), CV review, and Mock Interviews