Getting Prepared for ERAS

ERAS season is upon us so it is time to start getting organized! ERAS tokens become available on June 23rd so it is a great time to start collecting all your supporting documents for your application. You can submit your application on September 15th to programs of your choice! All documents should be uploaded by September 1st because it can take up to two weeks for these documents to process. Below are the documents needed for Foreign and International Medical Graduates (IMGs and FMGs) in order to complete the ERAS application and how to upload them:

Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
Your MSPE is an evaluation of your performance in medical school. This document is prepared and provided by your medical school so in order to upload it to ERAS you can either request a copy from your school or your school can upload it directly through the ECFMG Medical School Web Portal (EMSWP).

Medical school transcript
Just like the MSPE, your medical school can directly upload your medical school transcript to ERAS using the EMSWP. You may also obtain a copy of your transcript and upload it yourself through ECFMG’s oasis. 

Letters of recommendation (LORs)
Having strong and recent (within 6 months to a year) LoRs from US doctors is a key element to a strong application.  Most students typically waive their right to view their LoRs and have the writer upload the letter directly to ERAS using the LoR portal (LoRP). However, you are certainly able to upload your LoRs yourself if you did not waive your right to view the letter.

Photograph
Uploading a photograph to your ERAS application is optional but program directors use the photographs during interview season to differentiate applicants. You can upload a photo through Oasis. For more detailed information on the guidelines for photographs that can be submitted visit ECFMG. 

ECFMG Status report
Your ECFMG status report is a document that is automatically released to your ERAS application in order to verify your ECFMG status. It DOES NOT include your USMLE scores but rather the dates you passed each step and whether or not you are ECFMG certified. Not all programs require ECFMG certification prior to applying. However, all programs require ECFMG certification prior to beginning residency. 

USMLE transcript
Your USMLE transcript will include all of your USMLE test results including past attempts, scores, and dates. Unlike the ECFMG status report the USMLE transcript is NOT released automatically and the applicant must release this document through ERAS for processing. You can also request a paper transcript from ECFMG in order to have a physical copy to use to apply to programs outside of the NRMP Main Match. 

Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL)
PTAL is similar to ECFMG certification but this is an additional letter required to apply to programs in California. **Note PTAL certification can take several months so don’t wait to get started on this process! Once you receive your letter you can upload it directly to ERAS as one of your documents in your application just as you would a LoR. 

Fifth Pathway Certificate
The Fifth Pathway Certificate on pertains to students who completed their final year of clinical studies at a US medical school after completing four years at a foreign school. Students who previously participated in the Fifth Pathway were not eligible for ECFMG therefore these students need a Fifth Pathway Certificate in order to explain their lack of ECFMG certification. This document is also uploaded to ERAS similar to LoRs and PTAL. 

*This information is from ECFMG’s “ERAS Support Services for Applicants” for more information view their website  http://www.ecfmg.org/eras/applicants-documents-index.html