BACKGROUND Since the inception of the National Resident Matching Program, multiple studies have investigated the factors applicants consider important to ranking prospective residency programs. However, only 2 previous studies focused on prospective physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) trainees, and the most recent of these studies was published in 1993. It is unknown whether these previous studies are reflective of current prospective PM&R residents. OBJECTIVE To assess various factors that contribute to prospective PM&R residents' decision making in choosing a residency program and compare these findings with previous studies. DESIGN An anonymous, voluntary questionnaire. SETTING A single PM&R residency program. PARTICIPANTS All applicants to a single PM&R residency program. METHODS All applicants to our PM&R residency program were invited to participate in a 44-item, 5-point Likert-based questionnaire. Applicants were asked to rate the importance of various factors as they related to constructing their residency rank list. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS Means and standard deviations were calculated for items included in the survey. RESULTS A response rate of 26% was obtained, with the responses of 98 applicants (20%) ultimately analyzed. The highest rated factors included "perceived happiness of current residents," "opportunities for hands-on procedure training," "perceived camaraderie among current residents," "perceived camaraderie among faculty and current residents," "perceived quality of current residents," and "perceived work/life balance among current residents." Although male and female respondents demonstrated similar ranking preferences, an apparent difference was detected between how genders rated the importance of "whether the program projects a favorable environment for women" and "whether the program projects a favorable environment for minorities." As compared with previous PM&R applicants, current prospective trainees seem to place greater importance on skill acquisition over didactic teaching. CONCLUSION Prospective PM&R residents highly value subjective perceptions of prospective PM&R training programs and the ability to obtain hands-on procedural experience. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE To be determined.