Applying for Residency

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Thank you for your interest in the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Program.

The SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Training Program is fully accredited by the ACGME and the RRC. We offer six advanced (PGY-2) training spots a year. The program requires the completion of a preliminary/transitional year in an ACGME approved program, prior to entering the program at the PGY-2 level.

We participate with the National Resident Matching Program .

Applications for PGY-2 positions will be accepted only via Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). ERAS will begin accepting applications in the fall of each academic year. The SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University PM&R program does not offer its own preliminary or transitional year in fundamental clinical skills, so applicants must therefore apply for this PGY-1 training separately through other facilities. 

The following supporting documentation must be submitted to ERAS along with your application:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Current Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) clearly explaining any time gaps
  • Personal statement
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE/Dean's letter)
  • Medical school transcript
  • USMLE/COMLEX transcript (no specific score criteria)
  • Current ECFMG certificate (as applicable)
  • J-1 visa (as applicable)

Salary and Benefits

The Office of Graduate Medical Education at SUNY Downstate Medical Center provides detailed information regarding salaries and benefits, in addition to policies and procedures.

Residents are entitled to 4 weeks of vacation per year, which is not accruable and will not be paid out if not taken during a given academic year. For additional information, please contact the GME office at 718-270-1984 or

Additional Benefits for Downstate PM&R Residents

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Being a SUNY Downstate PM&R resident has quite a few perks!

Residents receive numerous PM&R related study materials at the start of training including essential textbooks such as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Board Review by Cuccurullo, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Oral Board Review by Mayer, among others.

Upon entry into the program residents are provided with the newest model of the Apple MacBook Air to utilize for studying and clinical tasks.

The program also covers the costs for residents to attend national conferences and board review courses.

The division pays for membership in some of the major professional organizations of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation such as the Association of Academic Physiatrists, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the New York Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Membership in these organizations comes with additional benefits such as journal subscriptions and educational resources.

Some of the many benefits for SUNY Downstate PM&R residents include:

  • Residents receive essential educational and board review books upon entering the program
  • Travel expenses and per diem for national conferences if presenting a paper or a poster
  • Fees paid for PGY-4 residents for the annual board review course at Kessler Institute
  • Upon entering the program every resident receives the latest edition of the iPad Pro to facilitate studying and patient care
  • Health insurance for individuals and families
  • Four weeks paid vacation
  • Paid sick leave
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Paid Holidays (site specific)


Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), also known as physiatry or rehabilitation medicine focuses on optimizing patients’ functional independence and improving patients’ quality of life. The field of PM&R has a focus on impairments or disabilities that effect the bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, brain, and spinal cord. Physiatrists seek to address a person’s physical, emotional, medical, social, and vocational needs.

The physiatrist directs a comprehensive rehabilitation team of healthcare professionals that may include Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Recreational Therapists, Rehabilitation Nurses, Psychologists, Social Workers, Speech-language Pathologists, Case Managers, Neuropsychologists, Prosthetists, Orthotists, and others. Physiatrists practice in many settings, both inpatient and outpatient, such as rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and clinics. They often have a broad practice, but some physiatrists choose to concentrate on one specific area of the field. There are optional fellowships in: Pain Medicine, Sports Medicine, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, Pediatric Rehabilitation, Spine, Electrodiagnostics, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Multiple Sclerosis.

The primary objective of the Division of Physical Medical and Rehabilitation and SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is to train, educate, and develop physiatrists who will go on to become experts in the evaluation and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal and disabling conditions who will contribute significantly to their patients, their specialty, and society by providing exceptional care and leadership.

We are working diligently to stay on the cutting edge of new procedures and innovations in the field. We are seeking to hire new diverse and innovative faculty to help our division grow. We continue to rework our academic training to provide more hands-on educational opportunities and problem-based learning instruction. We are working to expand our division’s footprint within the medical school, and our collaboration with other services.

Inpatient rotation: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Pre-rounding followed by rounds with attending physician in the morning, then making medication changes and calling consults discussed on rounds. Followed by spending time in the gym observing and learning from patients and therapists. In the afternoon, sit down teaching sessions with the attending as well as working on new admissions coming in the afternoon.

Outpatient rotation: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Seeing patients in a variety of specialty clinics such as general rehab, sports medicine, EMG, interventional pain, wheelchair, and prosthetics. Working on improving focused musculoskeletal exam skills. Residents have the ability to perform a variety of procedures such as botulinum toxin injections, interventional pain injections, nerve blocks, trigger point injections, ultrasound diagnosis and guided joint injections.

Overnight call is only taken while rotating at the SUNY Downstate or Kings County rotation sites. Call is in-house and residents cover the inpatient rehabilitation units for both hospitals. Residents have remote EMR access to both sites. Residents have a protected post call day with 24 hours free from any clinical activity. Call becomes less frequent as residents progress through the program.


Call Schedule SUNY Downstate / Kings County Hospital Rotations

  • PGY 2: 4-5 calls per month
  • PGY 3: 2-3 calls per month
  • PGY 4: 1-2 calls per month, no weekend or holiday calls
  • Calls at SUNY Downstate/Kings County are in-house, with the post-call day off, free from any clinical activity

An ideal applicant has a strong academic and clinical background with a demonstrated commitment to teamwork and ingenuity. The applicant has a love of teaching and helping to better those around them. They are able to work efficiently, collegially, and cooperatively as part of a multidisciplinary team.

If you are applying for a advanced residency PGY-2 slot through the "Match", you must apply through
 (Electronic Residency Application System) (202) 828-0413.
ERAS may also be accessed through 
No. It is the applicant's responsibility to apply separately for a preliminary or transitional PGY-1 position. This is usually done at the same time that you are applying for the PGY-2 position.

We do not have a formal policy regarding the maximum number of years between medical school and your application to the residency program; however, the fewer number of years since your graduation from medical school will make your application more competitive.

We do not have a set minimum score; however, you must have achieved a passing score on all exams taken – preferably on the first attempt. All applicants and applications are reviewed in their entirety.

We accept International Medical Graduates (IMGs) into our program, based on the competitiveness of their application. For IMGs seeking assistance, contact the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) at:
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685, USA
Tel: (215) 386-5900
Fax: (215) 387-9963

This residency program does not sponsor applicants for visas. We accept J-1 visas only which can be sponsored by the ECFMG (with appropriate stipulations). You must have completed at least one year of medical training in the United States before starting at the PGY-2 level of training in this program. U.S. rotations during your training are strongly recommended but not required.

Interviews are held virtually from mid October to mid January with interview invites sent in batches.

There are six (6) positions that will be filled during this application period.

All applicants that meet the minimum criteria will be considered but all accepted candidates will begin at the PGY 2 level.

All applicants granted an interview will receive an e-mail with a proposed date and time. All correspondence is through e-mail to confirm interviews.

Contact Us:

group photoFor more information on applying to our program, the residency program, living in the area, or anything else, please feel free to email us at or call 718-270-8128.