When it comes to the residency application, how, where, and when you apply is just as important as the content in your ERAS app. You can start certifying and submitting your 2019 ERAS application on Sept 5th, which is just a few short weeks away, but worry not – continue reading to discover how to increase your chances at matching through being strategic with your application.
You should already be familiar with the three components of your application process. First, there’s the ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates), through which you applied for your USMLE exams, got your degree certified, began an application with ERAS, and transferred your letters of recommendation. Second, the ERAS (Electronic Residency Application System) itself is the application portal and includes education history, exam scores, research publications, medical experience, awards and accomplishments, hobbies/interests, and, of course, the personal statement. Finally, the NRMP (National Resident Matching Program) is the service that matches up rank lists and is essentially responsible for coordinating the Match process. As you’re going through your application, keep the following tips in mind:
- Apply to a variety of programs in order to increase your odds of acceptance. An often fatal error that’s all too common among international medical graduates is only applying to top-tier programs, and running the risk of receiving no matches. Instead, research programs that appeal to your specialty and interest, and rank a mix of top tier, mid tier, low tier, community-based, and university programs in diverse geographical regions.
- Some hopeful medical residents apply to up to 100 programs to get a match! While that may be a bit extreme, the fact remains that if cost is not too much of a concern, you should apply to (appropriately) as many programs as possible.
- There is no going back on the “Certify” button at the end of the ERAS application, so make sure that everything is absolutely finalized before certifying your application, which you should do prior to September 1st in order to apply to programs with an earlier acceptance date.
- Maintain good working relationships with everybody during this process! Those who recently graduated from your medical school and may currently be residents, for example, can serve as a great resource in gaining insight as to whether a certain program has a reputation for being more friendly towards international medical grads than others. Your program’s coordinator is often the middleman between you and the program director, so make sure you are particularly courteous when in communication with them.
The websites listed below under “Resources” provide detailed information and are worth checking out to learn about the logistics and deadlines for ERAS applications. For further guidance through this often overwhelmingly complex process as crucial dates get closer, schedule a free consultation with us today to achieve your Dream Residency!