Content Evaluation of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Websites

PM R. 2019 Dec 16. doi: 10.1002/pmrj.12303. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: Prospective Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) applicants commonly view residency program websites to make informed decisions about where to submit their applications. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive review of the availability and accessibility of online content for PM&R residency programs.

Objective: To evaluate the comprehensiveness of PM&R residency websites to inform prospective applicants about the information readily available to them and identify deficient areas for program directors to address.

Design: Cross-sectional analysis of residency program websites using quantitative and descriptive statistics.

Setting: World Wide Web (Internet).

Subjects: 87 PM&R civilian residency program websites listed on the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA).

Main outcome measurements: The presence or absence of 25 predetermined criteria on residency program websites.

Results: The individual residency program websites had a mean ± SD of 12.3 ± 4.3 (49.1%) of the 25 criteria sought. The programs ranged from having as few as one to as many as 19 of the 25 criteria. Twenty programs had 9 or fewer criteria, 35 programs had 10 to 14 criteria, 31 programs had 15 to 18 criteria, and one program had 19 criteria available online. No PM&R residency website had all 25 criteria. There was a significant association between a program's Doximity ranking as top 20 or not and the citation of published research projects by faculty on a PM&R website (P = .026), but the other 24 criteria had no significant associations.

Conclusions: Most PM&R residency websites currently do not include comprehensive information about their programs for prospective applicants.