Penn Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Training Program

The goal of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Residency Training Program at Penn is to promote the individual growth of residents by providing an organized educational curriculum, which encourages their development as expert clinical and academic physiatrists.

Physical medicine and rehabilitation residents benefit from a diverse spectrum of patient care venues, experienced physiatrists and a variety of clinical diagnosis. It is truly an exceptional atmosphere for residency training.

Why Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residents Choose Penn Medicine

As one of the top leaders in healthcare in the nation, Penn Medicine attracts residents that are seeking the most diverse and comprehensive educational experience in the field of rehabilitation medicine. Our program is exceptional and unique because:

  • There is a strong institutional commitment to the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and to post-acute care across Penn Medicine. This translates into the Penn Medicine commitment to support a strong and vibrant physical medicine and rehabilitation residency training program across all its teaching hospitals.
  • Penn has the oldest physical medicine and rehabilitation department in the United States.
  • Penn has pioneered some of the essential rehabilitation treatments, including prosthetics and orthotics, and computer-based vocational training.
  • The PM&R department has trained many prominent and historically important physiatrists including Howard A. Rusk, MD, who is considered to be the founder of rehabilitation medicine.
  • Penn ranks among the highest physical medicine and rehabilitation departments nationally for NIH funding.
  • Penn claims the only Spine Center in the U.S. that is based in an academic rehabilitation medicine department.
  • The PM&R department has a diverse faculty consisting of MDs, DOs, psychologists and PhDs.
  • The PM&R department has exceptionally strong physical, occupational and speech therapy departments.
  • The Penn faculty includes specialists that represent the full spectrum of physical medicine and rehabilitation medicine including sports, spine, traumatic brain injury, women's health, cancer rehabilitation, general rehab, spinal cord injury, hand, fluoroscopic spinal and ultrasound guided injections and general rehabilitation.
  • The chief residents are members of our departmental education committee and have input into decisions affecting the educational program.

Residency Training Programs

Penn's physical medicine and rehabilitation residency offers an ACGME fully accredited 4-year program as well as a 3-year advanced program. Residents rotate through inpatient, outpatient and consultative services with progressive levels of responsibility throughout their training. Residency training takes place at a variety of locations, offering inpatient and outpatient services. We offer both categorical and advanced residency programs:

  • Categorical — Candidates apply to the program as a Post-Graduate Level I (PGY-1) and reach completion of the program after 4 years.
  • Advanced Residency — Candidates may apply upon successful completion of an internship at another institution. Residents apply to the program to begin as a Post-Graduate Level II (PGY-2).

Our Philosophy

Education is one of our core missions and we are continuously re-evaluating the residency program and re-aligning rotations to provide the most diverse educational experience. Our philosophy ensures our students are provided with a strong foundation in the field of physiatry by:

  • Providing diverse exposure to the field of rehabilitation medicine
  • Providing patient-centered care
  • Teaching by example both clinically and via faculty mentors
  • Inspiring life-long learning
  • Encouraging self-motivation
  • Providing adequate time for didactics and self-directed learning

How to Apply for the Residency Program at Penn Medicine

PM&R residency training applications are accepted through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service). The Residency Selection Committee will review your application materials when your file is complete. After the initial screening of the applications, candidates will be selected to interview with the faculty and residents.

In order to review your file, the Residency Selection Committee will need the following documents:

  • ERAS application
  • Curriculum vitae (The ERAS program will generate a CV based on the information you provide in the Common Application Form. You do not need to submit a separate CV.)
  • Personal statement (demonstrating your interest/experience in PM&R)
  • Dean's letter
  • Medical school transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A copy of your original qualifying examination scores (USMLE / COMLEX)
  • Valid ECFMG certificate, if applicable

If you have any questions please call the residency office at 215-893-2676 or e-mail