It’s one of the most fulfilling and scariest moments of a med student’s career.
ERAS, the Electronic Residency Application Service, is the central hub where med students apply to residency programs. It’s like AMCAS, but for residency. This is where we upload our applications, our transcripts, send our letters. We spend hours upon hours over a personal statement, just one page that will summarize our life so far.
Applying for residency isn’t as calculated as applying for medical school is. While applying for residency, you find yourself preoccupied with sub-internships, electives, studying for boards. Unlike for medical school, there is no isolated time to apply for residency.
Yet like applying for medical school, the application process is a bit of an unknown. There’s a lot of waiting. A lot. A lot of programs you apply to are based on hearsay, based on friends and based on your test scores.
Unlike applying to med school, you don’t apply everywhere. Applying to more than 30 programs is considered frivolous. Your decision to apply is based on geography. And a lot of program directors recognize that. This is where you will spend the next 3 (or in my case, 7) years of your life. This is where a lot of people grow up, settle down, start a family. The training you get in residency will influence where you practice or do a fellowship. This is a big deal.
So I pressed submit, and a similar sense of completion came over me. There’s nothing more I can do but wait. Only time will tell.