Washington University Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program

Letter from the Program Director

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program at Washington University in St. Louis. The selection of a residency training program is one of the most important decisions you will make in your medical career. Residency training is the time where book knowledge is transformed into clinical knowledge, that can be used to help a patient during their time of greatest need.

Rehabilitation is similar to residency training — they both require goal setting, commitment and hard work. Here at Washington University, we are committed to providing a strong, supportive environment that will challenge you. Our affiliated hospitals include The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Veteran's Administration St. Louis Health Care System and Ranken Jordan Pediatric Hospital. These hospitals bring in patients from a wide geographic area, and from all ages and walks of life. Patients are looking to improve their function and quality of life following injuries and illness that range from common to exceedingly rare. Our clinics cover the vast array of physiatric disorders from acute musculoskeletal injuries, to those learning to walk with the prosthesis after recent amputation, to those trying to regain function after a neurologic injury.

Our faculty are committed to not only teaching you the facts you need to know, but also to helping you develop the clinical reasoning skills that you will utilize throughout your entire career in medicine. Additionally, we are committed to mentorship and to establishing relationships that last far beyond your time here in St. Louis.

Our residents are passionate and committed to obtaining the skills and knowledge required of today's physiatrist. They are also committed to supporting one another and are amongst the finest people with whom you could choose to work and learn.

John P. Metzler, MD, Program Director

Letter from the Chief Residents

Thank you for your interest in the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) Residency Program at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU)! 

At WashU, we believe in training well-rounded physiatrists who provide exceptional care in all domains of rehabilitation medicine. Our program offers a wide range of learning opportunities, all within the framework of a nationally renowned tertiary academic medical center, where our campus provides a home to leading clinicians, educators, researchers, and engineers at WashU. We believe that this exciting environment will prepare our residents to meet the demand and breadth of a career in PM&R and will empower them to become leaders in our field. Our graduates have gone on to exciting careers in limb loss medicine, neuromuscular medicine, neurorehabilitation, spinal cord injury, brain injury, sports medicine, interventional spine medicine, pain medicine, and general rehabilitation. 

The PM&R program at WashU capitalizes on its unique position within the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, in addition to its close relationship with the Department of Neurology. Our inpatient rotations in spinal cord injury, amputee care, traumatic brain injury, and stroke rehabilitation occur at our affiliated stand-alone hospital, The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis (TRISL). Residents can also rotate on elective polytrauma and medically complex services at TRISL. In addition, we have inpatient rotations in general rehabilitation and spinal cord injury with the Veterans Affairs Hospital and pediatric rehabilitation at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital. We also have a robust PM&R consult service at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where we are asked to see patients across a variety of specialties, including neurosurgery, trauma, geriatric trauma, and neurology. Our outpatient rotations are equally plentiful: residents rotate in musculoskeletal and sports medicine, pain medicine, neurorehabilitation, electrodiagnostics,  neuromuscular medicine, and orthotics and prosthetics clinics at Washington University. Residents can rotate in these outpatient specialties as early as PGY-2 year!

Outside of rotations, residents have many opportunities to expand on their area of interest. For those looking to increase their research experience, we have regular research group meetings where residents can brainstorm projects and connect with top faculty mentorship across the University. Research is a priority at WashU with many support staff in place and opportunities for funding to those interested. We also have a quality improvement (QI) program that is supported by our health system and allows residents to gain hands-on experience in this domain. Additionally, our residents participate in other extracurricular opportunities such as sideline medical coverage at Washington University and Lindenwood University, community volunteering, and adaptive sports volunteering. Our program leadership encourages participation on hospital, local, and national committees. 

Our residency program is located in the city of St. Louis, which provides a fun and affordable backdrop to complement your clinical training. A resident favorite is Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States, which is a beautifully maintained greenspace and directly adjacent to our main campus. Residents and their families can often be found running, biking, and golfing in Forest Park, or even going to the zoo, taking in a free museum exhibit, or enjoying an outdoor theatre performance after work. In addition, Saint Louis is a sports city – a Cardinals or Blues game never disappoints! 

As chief residents, by far the best part of our experience training at Washington University has been the people – resident colleagues, PM&R faculty, and hospital staff have shaped our training in immeasurable ways. The residents here form a cohesive group that come together outside of work for picnics, happy hours, and PM&R athletic events such as soccer and frisbee, to name a few. We believe that Washington University PM&R is a unique program with special & accomplished people who are invested in each other’s success. 

Welcome to WashU PM&R!


Stephanie Douglas and Michael Wright
Chief Residents 2023-2024

About Our Program

See News Icon

Learn more about our program structure

See News Icon

Meet our residents and explore St. Louis

See News Icon

Apply now to join our team

Request an Appointment