The ERAS Application for International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

Components of an IMG’s ERAS Application

The ERAS Application for International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

As the US medical residency application season begins, it is important to learn about all of the specific components you should be preparing for the application. This is especially important for IMGs who have more parts of their applications to think about.

IMG residency candidates should have their applications put together and ready to assign to medical residency programs as soon as possible before September so you can get the jump on other applicants in this intense and competitive season.

PLEASE NOTE: ECFMG’s ERAS Support Service suggests having all documents uploaded through OASIS by Sept. 1, 2016, if you want them ready by Sept. 15, 2016, when residency programs begin receiving applications. Remember, you can start submitting applications to programs on September 6, 2016, which means you may want to upload your documents sooner than early September.

Information included:

  • The component **
  • How many documents you are allowed (in parentheses)
  • Who is responsible for submitting
  • Where to submit
  • The timeframe for processing
  • A brief description
  • Any hints or tips to make the process go smoothly

MyERAS Common Application (1)

Who Submits it? The applicant

Where? MyERAS

What’s My Timeframe? Whenever you complete the application and certify (Certifying begins Sept. 6, 2016)

Brief Description: The ERAS Application asks a series of questions to build a CV/resume for programs to view. It covers the following information: personal, match, biographic, military, education/medical education, accomplishments, experiences (clinical/teaching/volunteer), licensure, and published works and presentations.

Hints/Tips:

  • DO NOT certify the document until it is complete and error free, wait to certify until the last second because you may want to add or change something. After certification, you will not be able to make any changes for the remainder of the residency season.
  • Check out the ERAS Worksheet to preview the application
  • Take advantage of the Hobbies/Interest and Experiences sections
  • Any written sections should be in narrative paragraphs, do not list any information
  • PLEASE NOTE: Make sure your ERAS Common Application does not favor one specialty, it should remain generic

Personal Statement (1 per specialty)

Who Submits it? The applicant

Where? MyERAS

What’s My Timeframe? None after you write/proofread it

Brief Description: The Personal Statement is your direct way to demonstrate the characteristics US medical residency programs are looking for. You can share your accomplishments, goals, work ethic, and passion in this short narrative essay.

Hints/Tips:

  • Follow the format rules ex. one page, one inch margins, no special characters, PDF format
  • Write one Personal Statement per specialty
  • There may be new formatting options for Personal Statements in MyERAS, but these options should not be used as they are considered unprofessional.

Photograph (1)

Who Submits it? The applicant

Where? OASIS or MyECFMG Mobile App

What’s My Timeframe? 1-2 weeks processing

Brief Description: A professional photo used to identify you during interviews.

Hints/Tips:

  • Format: .JPEG (digital), less than 100 KB (2.5 x 3.5 inches)
  • Should be a clear view of head and shoulders, head centered, eyes forward
  • Get a professional headshot taken

USMLE Exam transcript (1)

Who Submits it? The applicant or their medical school**

Where? OASIS

What’s My Timeframe? Typically same day (up to 5 business days)

Brief Description: A transcript showing your USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS scores (Step 3 if you have it).

Hints/Tips:

  • You will need to request transmission ($80 one-time fee)
  • If new scores become available, you’ll need to retransmit
  • You must submit a request to release the transcript to programs before you can apply to programs

Medical School Transcript (1)

Who Submits it? The applicant or their medical school**

Where? OASIS

What’s My Timeframe? Typically same day (up to 5 business days)

Brief Description: Your academic transcript that shows your subjects studied and exams background.

Hints/Tips:

  • Be in contact with your school and request the transcript with plenty of time
  • Even if you submitted a transcript for your ECFMG Certification, you will need to resubmit through the ERAS Support Service

Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) (1)

Who Submits it? The applicant or their medical school**

Where? OASIS

What’s My Timeframe? 1-2 weeks processing

Brief Description: The MSPE has taken the place of the Dean’s Letter, it is a measurement of your academic achievement compared to your peers. Consider this required, as its absence will be noted by Program Directors and Interview Committees.   

Hints/Tips

  • Do not assume your medical school will automatically send the MSPE, be sure to contact them
  • Even if you think your medical school won’t provide the MSPE, make sure to actually try and contact them
  • If you have talked to or cannot reach your school, you may submit a placeholder and address the absence in your ERAS application or interview
  • MSPEs will be released to programs October 1, 2016

Letters of Recommendation (3-4)

Who Submits it? If waived: the Letter Writer or someone they designate

   If not waived: The applicant

Where? LoR Portal (Letter Writer and/or applicant)

What’s My Timeframe? 1-2 weeks processing

Brief Description: The Letter of Recommendation is a document written by a trusted supervisor, evaluating your performance during your time with them. These are a highly important way for programs to see you have the characteristics they are looking for from an observer point of view.

Hints/Tips

  • LoRs should be recent (within a year of applications), specialty specific, and preferably from US clinical experience
  • Waiving or not waiving is up to you, but choose wisely
  • Sit down with your Letter Writer when you are asking and discuss their feedback and your expectations before they write to give you a better idea of what the letter will say
  • LoR Authors must be added by the applicant and Letter Request Forms printed/given to the Authors to use

Other possible program specific requirements:

PTAL (California Status Letter) For California programs only

ECFMG Status Report Submitted by ECFMG

Fifth Pathway Certificate For Fifth Pathway students only

Narrative Letter

**If your school is part of ECFMG Medical School Web Portal (EMSWP) you will not have the option to submit certain documents. If you see this, make sure you CONTACT your medical school and request they send the documents.

This is only a brief overview of the components, be sure you look into each component carefully or contact Match A Resident through email at support@matcharesident.com or (760) 904-5484 ext. 2 with questions.  

Sources and Resources:

  1. ECFMG.org: Your support through the application process
  2. AAMC.org: Hosts ERAS
  3. ERAS: Apply to medical residency programs
  4. ERAS Application Worksheet: Prepare for the ERAS Application
  5. Match A Resident: Purchase customized lists of programs specific to your credentials
  6. Residency Statement: Edit or have your Personal Statements written
  7. Electronic Residency: Post-Match Service

 

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