Something that is an important part of the ERAS application but I find many people forget about is the application headshot. Many choose to use their hospital badge picture and crop it to size requirement, but I opted to ask a friend who runs his own photography business to take my photo. Even though it is just a picture, I do think it is important to select a high quality, polished photo that represents you professionally as an applicant for residency. I researched tips on how to take a good application photo prior to attending my photoshoot and found many similar pearls of advice: do NOT wear a white coat, suit up if you can, brush, or gel your hair so there are no loose strays. For girls, it was advised to wear a bit of makeup to conceal any blemishes that may stick out in a photo. For men, a tie was advised. It is also wise to take the picture against a solid gray or white background to maximize formality. Secret: my photo was actually taken against an apartment building wall, but my photographer was skilled enough to edit out the lines and make it appear as if I was posing in a studio. If you can, asking the photographer to retouch the photo for flaws or messy hairs is also not a bad idea. Considering this is the only exposure programs will receive in regards to your physical appearance, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to portray yourself as a great candidate who takes the application process seriously.
Alex is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. As an avid lover of the intellect and interspecialty collaboration associated with medicine, she is excited to be applying for Internal Medicine residency programs. Her interest in medicine largely stems from her volunteer work in free clinics in underserved communities and experiences growing up with a brother with autism.
Before attending medical school, Alex completed her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University in 2014 and her Master of Public Health (concentration in Chronic Disease Epidemiology) at Yale University in 2016.
When she is not working in the hospital or studying, you can find Alex running by the lake, doing circuit workouts outdoors in the fields, drawing and/or writing, or at home spending time with her family in the suburbs of Chicago.