IMG U.S. Medical Residency Application Timeline and Checklist

2018-19 Residency Application Cycle: Complete IMG Timeline and Checklist

IMG U.S. Medical Residency Application Timeline and Checklist

Know what you need to do and when to do it!

The Residency Application Cycle can be confusing and difficult to navigate. Below is a timeline of events with additional suggested actions per time period for the Main Residency Match® Season from start to finish for International Medical Graduates (IMGs).

June 2018: Start Your Program Research

June 21, 2018: ERAS® Tokens available to IMG applicants

  • Apply and pay for your ERAS token through ECFMG®
    • You can find this under ECFMG’s OASIS® ERAS Support or the MyECFMG mobile app
  • Use your token serial number to register for MyERAS
  • Start researching residency programs that are best suited to your professional criteria
    • Be aware free databases and program websites aren’t always up-to-date, check for timestamps and verify the information!
    • Annually updated and personalized Customized Residency Program Lists are available at Match A Resident
  • Applying to California programs? You will need the PTAL
    • Start this early! It can take up to two months or more to gather all of the application materials and for the documents to process.
  • Schedule and take your USMLE® Exams so you can have them ready when residency applications begin
    • It is ideal to have the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS completed before applications open in September
    • Remember, you will need your USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS completed by the Rank Order List Deadline in February to qualify for the Main Residency Match
    • The last date to take the USMLE Step 2 CS in order to qualify is December 31st, and testing spots fill up FAST

July – August 2018: Prepare Your Residency Application

  • Request Letters of Recommendation (LoRs) by speaking with your prospective letter writers
    • Learn about the submission process through ERAS’ LORP® before talking to your Letter Writers
    • Make sure you confirm with the writers and give them the Letter Request Form from MyERAS
    • Have a one-on-one meeting to discuss their feedback about your performance and your expectations about the letter
    • If you do not waive your LoR, you may upload them through ECFMG’s OASIS
  • Start writing your medical residency Personal Statements
    • You will need at least ONE Personal Statement PER medical specialty
    • If you need help editing or completing a statement from scratch, see Residency Statement
  • Start filling out your MyERAS Application
    • Preview the application with the ERAS Worksheet
    • Fill out your Contact Information (This is the only part of the application you can change after certifying)
    • You can work on the application and come back to it as many times as you need
    • You will not be able to certify now, but when you can, DO NOT CERTIFY until the application is complete and error-free, after certifying your answers will become locked and unchangeable for the rest of the application season
  • Request your USMLE transcript
    • Make sure you authorize the release of this document when you begin applying
    • If you haven’t taken the Step 2 CK, take it before September! (scores take about 8 weeks to come back)
  • Take and upload a photo
    • As professional as possible!
  • Request the Medical School Transcript and MSPE from your medical school
    • They will not do this automatically, you must ask
    • If you cannot get an MSPE, you will need to let ECFMG know so you can upload a placeholder document that explains you were unable to get this document

July 15, 2018: Standardized Interview Video (SVI) submission due today for all Emergency Medicine residency candidates.  

  • Emergency Medicine applicants only! Have you recorded and submitted your SVI before 9 p.m. (EST) July 15, 2018?

August 23, 2018: Suggested OASIS documents submission date to have the documents ready before the application start (2 weeks prior)

  • Ensure all of the documents you have uploaded are ready to use
    • Follow up with your LoR writers and make sure to thank them!
    • Check with OASIS, MyERAS, and your medical school for the status of your documents

September 2018: Apply to Residency Programs

September 5, 2018: Starting from 9 a.m. (EST) ERAS allows residency applicants to certify and submit their applications to residency programs. (Programs will not receive the applications until September 15th)

  • Certify your MyERAS application
    • Please Note: Do not Certify your ERAS Application until it is 100% completed. If you click “Certify” with incomplete or incorrect content, this document will be unchangeable and set in stone for the rest of the residency season.
  • Double check your saved program choices to ensure you are only applying to programs you qualify for
    • Please Note: ERAS will not refund any money paid to incompatible programs. Choose which programs you apply to wisely based on the state requirements, and individual program requirements.
  • Assign document to residency programs
    • Be careful to assign the correct documents to the right programs. For example, Family Medicine programs should be receiving your Family Medicine Personal Statement and Letter(s) of Recommendation  
  • Submit your applications between September 6th and September 15th
    • All applications submitted between September 6th and September 15th will be time-stamped “September 15th,” so you do NOT need to rush all of your applications on September 6th
    • You may continue to find programs and submit applications throughout the rest of the Residency Application Season

September 15, 2018: At 9 a.m. (EST) Residency programs begin receiving applications previously submitted by residency candidates. NRMP® registration opens at 12:00 p.m. (EST).

  • Double check your program choices to ensure you are only applying to programs you qualify for
    • Please Note: ERAS will not refund any money paid to incompatible programs. Choose which programs you apply to wisely based on the state requirements, and individual program requirements.
  • Submit your applications
    • You may continue to find programs and submit applications throughout the rest of the Residency Application Season
    • Apply to at least 100 programs per specialty (if applicable)
  • Register with NRMP
    • Remember, registration with ERAS does not mean you are registered with NRMP
    • Register with NRMP before November 30th to avoid late fees.

September 22, 2018: ECFMG strongly suggests having your MSPE submitted by this date to ensure it will be released on October 1st.

October 2018: Applying Continues and Interviews Start

Oct. 1, 2018: MSPEs released to programs from ECFMG

  • Check on and follow up with up the status of your applications
    • Be sure to check your messages on MyERAS

November and December 2018: NRMP, Applying, and Interviews

  • Register with NRMP before the early registration ends
  • Send Follow Up Letters to residency programs you haven’t heard back from
  • If you’ve obtained interviews and completed them, send a Thank You Letter after

Nov. 30, 2018: Last day for NRMP early registration ($50 late fee after this date)

Dec. 31, 2018: Last date to take the USMLE Step 2 CS to qualify for the Main Residency Match

January 2019: NRMP® and Rank Order Lists

Jan. 15, 2019: NRMP Ranking begins

  • Begin creating your Rank Order List® on NRMP
    • You can continue changing and certifying your Rank Order List until the Rank Order List Deadline
    • Use the complimentary Rank Assist feature in your Match A Resident account to help brainstorm

February 2019: NRMP® and Rank Order Lists

  • Be sure to register with NRMP by the Rank Order List Deadline (required for Post-Match SOAP® eligibility)
  • Create, change, and certify your Rank Order List
    • You may make changes to your Rank Order Lists after certifying until the deadline

Feb. 20, 2019: NRMP Rank Order List Deadline (9 p.m. EST)

  • Register with NRMP (required for Post-Match SOAP® eligibility)
    • Please Note: Registration with NRMP is required to participate in the Main Residency Match and Post-Match SOAP
    • The Rank Order List Deadline is also the last day for your USMLE exam scores to be verified. IMGs must have their USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK and USMLE Step 2 CS verified by the Rank Order List Deadline in order to qualify for the Main Residency Match

March 2019: MATCH Week and the Post-Match SOAP®

March 8, 2019: All NRMP-registered applicants will receive their Post-Match SOAP® eligibility email (Please Note: Being eligible for the Post-Match DOES NOT mean you did not Match. You will learn your Match Status on Monday of Match Week.)

March 11, 2019: Match Week® begins and Post-Match SOAP kicks off

  • Check your Match Status on Monday of Match Week at 11 a.m. (EST)
    • You will be either Matched, Partially Matched, or Unmatched

March 14, 2019: Post-Match SOAP concludes at 11 a.m. (EST).

March 15, 2019: MATCH DAY! If you were Matched, your residency location will become available at 1 p.m. (EST)

May 2019: 2018-19 ERAS Application Season ends

May 31, 2019: 2018-19 ERAS Application Season Ends

  • Do you have copies of EVERYTHING you may want in the future? If not, your documents will be purged from ERAS’ system (some documents in OASIS carry over)
  • After all that hard work, if you are Matched, you will begin training July 1st the year of The Match.
  • Just to clarify, this is a timeline and checklist for the Main Residency Match Season. Further in-depth information about the Post-Match SOAP will be released beginning January 2019.
  • **Please Note: Dates and times are subject to change. Always keep informed by visiting the websites

Official Websites Resources:

  1. ERAS:  https://students-residents.aamc.org/attending-medical-school/how-apply-residency-positions/applying-residencies-eras/
  2. ECMFG: http://www.ecfmg.org/
  3. NRMP: http://www.nrmp.org/
  4. USMLE: http://www.usmle.org/

Next ArticleFees for the 2018-19 US Medical Residency Application Cycle