The ERAS Components Break Down

As the US medical application season begins, it is important to be aware of the specific components you should be preparing for the application opening on Sept. 15, 2015. I highly suggest having as many of the components put together and ready to assign to medical residency programs as possible by September so you can get the jump on other applicants in this intense and competitive season.

Further information about document submission can be found at ECFMG’s Documents-Submission-at-a-Glance.

PLEASE NOTE: ECFMG’s ERAS Support Service suggests having all documents uploaded through OASIS by Sept. 1, 2015, if you want them ready by Sept. 15, 2015, the program application opening.

Below are the components provided by the ERAS website homepage. (If you haven’t checked this website out yet, drop everything, go there right now, and familiarize yourself with it.)

I will include:

  • The component **
  • How documents many you are allowed
  • 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 application (1)

Who Submits it? The applicant

Where? MyERAS

What’s My Timeframe? Whenever you complete the application and certify

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

  • I repeat: 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 parts
  • Check out the ERAS Worksheet to preview the application
  • Take advantage of the Hobbies/Interest and Experiences sections

Personal statement (1)

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 drive in this short personal essay.

Hints/Tips

  • Follow the format rules ex. one page, one inch margins, no special characters, PDF format
  • Write one Personal Statement per specialty
  • This is not a place to address your gaps, keep it honest but positive

Photograph (1)

Who Submits it? The applicant

Where? OASIS

What’s My Timeframe? 1-2 weeks processing

Brief Description:

A professional photo of 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
  • If you can, I would suggest a professional headshot

Exam transcript (1) USMLE

Who Submits it? Your medical school**

Where? OASIS

What’s My Timeframe? 1-2 weeks processing

Brief Description:

A transcript showing your USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS scores.

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

Medical School Transcript (1)

Who Submits it? Your medical school**

Where? OASIS

What’s My Timeframe? 1-2 weeks processing

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? Your 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 coordinators.  

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

Letters of Recommendation (3-4)

Who Submits it? If waived: the LoR Author or someone they designate

  If not waived: the applicant

Where? LorPortal

What’s My Timeframe? Preferably before Sept. 15, 2015

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, specialty specific and preferably from your US clinical experience
  • Waiving or not waiving is up to you, but choose wisely
  • Sit down with your Letter Author 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

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.  

Helpful Resources:

ECFMG.org Your support through the application process

AAMC.org Hosts ERAS

ERAS Apply to medical residency programs

Match A Resident Purchase customized lists of programs specific to your credentials

Residency Statement Edit or develop your Personal Statements

Electronic Residency Post-Match Service

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 opt. 2 with questions.

 

-Olivia Mishler

Match A Resident Support

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