I finally received my token to begin my ERAS application for residency. I don’t know if I’m excited or just scared that this time has finally come. I thought I would provide some helpful tips to med students in their third year on how to prepare for this, so you don’t feel overwhelmed when the day approaches.
The three most important pieces of busy work to make sure you get done during the course of your third year are requesting letters of recommendation (LOR), completing your CV, and drafting a personal statement. These are grueling tasks that students hate doing, but the worst thing one can do is wait until last minute to complete these tasks. I would say the personal statement is one of the pieces that should be started earliest because it’s usually a good idea to have several people read it over before you submit it. Also, many LOR authors will request the personal statement to get a better picture of the student they’re writing the letter for. Make sure you’re asking for letters at the closure of each core clerkship. Don’t wait until the end of your third year to contact potential letter writers when they’ve forgotten who you are already. It’s best to do it when you’re fresh in their minds. Finally, completing the CV won’t take that long. Most medical schools have a template that you can follow if you’re unsure of how to format it. Have your advisor look it over if needed before submitting. Once you’ve completed these tasks, the ERAS application will not seem so daunting anymore.
Hope this helps, and good luck.