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How competitive is physiatrist? Is it a competitive specialty?

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Not coming from a physiatrist so take this with a grain of salt:

Physiatry is widely variable year per year in competitiveness because it’s a small specialty with ~25 spots across the country. One year recently it was more competitive than ophtho, but in the years following it has had open spots for the second iteration. I would recommend treating it like it’s competitive and arranging research/electives accordingly.


As for residency itself, the first two years are typically off service with rotations like internal medicine, neurosurgery, neurology etc. After that for the most part residency is fairly manageable as physiatry is a consulting service in hospital most of the time except for certain rehab specific wards (where there may or may not be a hospitalist). There are opportunities to do training in Sports Medicine, EMG certifications, and spasticity management among others.

The cons are that you end up seeing a lot of sad cases and patients who may not get better from things like chronic pain, brain injury, stroke, amputation etc and that can be challenging from a mental perspective. I can’t comment on jobs or remuneration.

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