Frequently Asked Questions


University of Virginia Rotunda

Q: What is your Call Schedule like?

A: Residents take call from home and cover the UVa-Heathsouth Rehabilitation Hospital and emergency calls from outpatient clinic patients. Call is front-loaded so that PGY 2s and 3s cover weekends and most holidays, while weekday call is shared by all residents.

Q: What do your residents go on to do after graduation?

A: Our residents have gone on complete fellowships in areas such as sports medicine, SCI, and Pain Management. Others have entered the workforce in private practice and academic institutions. Our residency program prepares residents for all post-graduate opportunities.

Q: How many EMGs do your residents do during their training?

A: At least 300, more typically in the 400+ range.

Q: Do your residents perform interventional spine procedures?

A: Yes. Recent graduates have performed upwards of 100 such procedures, including blocks and epidurals, during their residency.

Q: Does your residency program have vacancies?
A: Our program does not currently have any vacancies. We will interview in the Fall for positions in Spring academic years. We interview for four positions each year. Two of these positions include an internship at UVA, while the other two positions begin as a PGY2, pending completion of an accredited internship in surgery, medicine, or a transitional year. Those who interview for the two PGY1/intern categorical positions would start next July. Those who interview for the two PGY2 advanced positions would start in July of the following year.

Q: How do I apply to your program?
A: We accept applications only through the Electronic Residency Application Service/

Q: What is included in a full application?
A: An NRMP application form; a full medical school transcript; USMLE or COMLEX scores (no minimum scores, just first-time passes); three letters of recommendation; your medical school Dean’s letter; and a personal statement.

Q: When is your application deadline?
A: The deadline for completed applications each year is November 15th.

Q: What is your program looking for in an applicant?
A: Our program seeks recent medical school graduates with a commitment to physical medicine and rehabilitation, a good academic record, good clinical skills, and a solid pass on the first attempt at the USMLE or COMLEX.

Q: Do you have a score cut-off for applicants for exams?
A: No, but we are looking for those who pass exams the first time they take them. As far as desired scores, you are competing with the rest of the applicant pool.

Q: Do you have a cut-off for years since graduation from medical school?
A: No, but we prefer you either to have graduated within five years, or to have been involved in clinical work since then.

Q: How will I know if I’m invited to interview for a position?
A: An invitation to interview will be sent to selected applicants via e-mail.

Q: Does your program accept international medical graduates?
A: Our program accepts international medical graduates who meet the following criteria:

  • graduated from medical school preferably within the last 5 years
  • are ECFMG certified; (it is a plus if they have completed some clinical experience in the United States with evaluations from each experience included in the application.)
  • If an applicant graduated from medical school more than five years ago, but has been actively practicing medicine since then, his or her application may still be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • All graduates of foreign medical schools, other than those in the Fifth Pathway program, must hold a valid certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) to be appointed as a resident or fellow.

For more information on certification please contact:ECFMG, 3624 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA. Based on your current certification status, you may be required to take the US Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE), Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) and/or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For information, contact the ECFMG or consult with the visa section of the United States embassy in your country of origin or an INS office in the United States.

Applicants who are not United States citizens are responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa and maintaining legal permission to work in the United States.  Employment is contingent upon evidence of the appropriate visa and permission to work in the United States to a University official. Generally, foreign medical graduates are sponsored by the ECFMG for J-1 visas.

J1 – Exchange Visitor Visa: Our program sponsors this type of visa. This visa is processed by the UVA Housestaff Office.  It is intended for residents and fellows in training and requires that they return to their country following training for two years before they can reenter the country in another status. We do not sponsor the F1 Practical Training visa or the H1B work visa.

ERAS is available to students and graduates of foreign medical schools through the ECFMG which serves as their designated Dean’s office.

Application Advice: (1) take Step 1 USMLE; (2) work on ECFMG certificate; (3) register with NRMP; (4) letters of recommendation; (5) try to do an extern rotation in the US.

Please feel free to contact Joanne Palmer, the Residency Coordinator ( for more information.