Factors Influencing Fellowship Decision Making During Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency

Aaron Jay Yang, R. Sterling Haring, Theodora L. Swenson, Nitin B. Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Previous surveys have demonstrated an increasing trend among graduating physiatry residents who desired to pursue a subspecialty fellowship. There has been sparse information on whether residents start their training with a subspecialty interest in mind and what factors influenced them to choose a fellowship. This article describes a prospective survey in the 2019-2020 academic year in which 175 responses were collected representing 65 (78.3%) of the 83 physical medicine and rehabilitation programs with graduating residents. Nearly 3 in 4 (73.7%, 129/175) reported matching into a fellowship, and among those, 79.8% (103/129) had matched into a pain, spine, or sports medicine fellowship. At the start of residency, 62.3% (109/175) were planning to pursue a fellowship, with 54.9% (96/175) planning to focus on either pain, sports, or spine medicine. Most respondents (72.2%) did not change their initial subspecialty focus during their residency training. Forty-six percent agreed that their anticipated subspecialty influenced their choice of residency program. The results of this survey demonstrate that most graduating residents are matriculating into fellowship training with pain, spine, and/or sports medicine being among the top choices. These results underscore the importance of subspecialty interests of trainees at the start of their residency and how training may influence their subspecialty interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-401
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • Fellowships
  • Medical Education
  • Physiatry
  • Residency Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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