Preparing your application for next year’s Match should begin as soon as possible. You must do everything you can to make yourself a stronger candidate for next year. Part of strengthening your application is knowing how the process works. Specifically how ERAS (electronic residency application service) controls when, where and how improvements can be made to your application. Here are 10 important points you should know going into the next application cycle.
When can applicants begin working on their application for ERAS 2020? Does it differ for different types of applicants?
Changes to applications can be made on June 6th for AMG and Canadian applicants and June 26th for IMG’s (why the 2 weeks difference, no one knows).
How many LOR’s can you upload?
You can upload as many as you want, but you can only submit 4 to a program. Keep in mind programs may require your letters come from a department chair or program director. Remember to ask for letters early. If you make a last minute request there is a chance the writer will not have enough time.
Where can I find the most current ERAS updates?
It would make sense to have the latest information on the ERAS/NRMP websites, but as applicants learned the hard way, this year, Twitter seems to be the unofficial channel of communication. So make an account if you don’t already have one. Also, check your email for updates.
What needs to be updated or added to my ERAS application for Match 2020?
ACLS/BLS are requirements that must be up-to-date. You never know when an opportunity may present itself, so make sure these certifications are kept current. Any conferences attended should be listed under “Hobbies and Interests” on the ERAS application. Any hands-on clinical rotations should be listed under “Work Experience.”
If I want to add research experience to my application, how far back can I go?
You can add research experience from as early as your undergraduate college years. If you left that out last time, you can add it this season.
Where is the best place to find observership opportunities to add to my ERAS?
This varies but www.unmatchedmd.com has a section for observerships. These listings are provided for free. There are also 3rd party companies that offer them. When selecting an observership, take into consideration other factors like if you will be able to obtain a LOR.
Will program directors have access to old ERAS application?
They are able to see parts of your past applications. What is not public information is the specific parts of previous applications to which program directors have access.
Do I have to pay again if programs are already able to see parts of my application?
Yes, you do. The fee schedule does sometimes change yearly and is available on the ERAS website.
Do all residency programs require applicants to apply through ERAS? If not, what does it mean if a program doesn’t participate?
ERAS is simply a way that programs accept applications. This is completely different from programs participating in the NRMP match. There are programs that do not participate in the match, but still require applications to be submitted through ERAS and there are also programs who accept applications without using the ERAS system.
How often can I update my application?
You can make changes until your ERAS application has been submitted to programs (ie. September 15). After that, you cannot make any changes. If you went unmatched, all of your application improvements after September 15th will not help you.