ERAS and NRMP

What is ERAS?

The Electronic Residency Application System is the online application system that medical students use to apply to residency programs. ERAS allows students to apply to multiple programs using a single system rather than preparing and sending individual applications to multiple programs. Most specialties use the ERAS system for their residency programs. Notable exceptions, however, include ophthalmology and urology. Ophthalmology uses the San Francisco Matching Program for residency applications which has a different timetable to ERAS. Urology residency programs use either ERAS or the Urology Residency Match Program for residency applications.

Registering for ERAS

Students register for ERAS through their membership of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The AAMC is the organization which oversees registration for MCAT and is also responsible for the Careers in Medicine website so most medical students should already have a membership with the AAMC so that they can have access to the ERAS registration. You will also need an ERAS Token (a registration code) which will be supplied to each learner by UIWSOM. You will not be able to register with ERAS without the ERAS Token. The ERAS Token is usually made available in April of Third Year

ERAS Fees

As of 2019, ERAS charges $99 for applying to up to 10 residency programs within one specialty (Association of American Medical Colleges, 2019a). Applying to more than 10 programs incurs a fee for each individual additional program you apply to based on the following scale:

  • 11 - 20: $14 each
  • 21 - 30: $18 each
  • 31 or more: $26 each

This means that if, for example, you applied to 30 programs in Pediatrics, the breakdown of fees would be
[$99.00 + (10 x $14.00) + (10 x $18.00)] = $419.

If you applied to 10 programs in three different specialties the breakdown of fees would be
[$99 + $99 + $99] = $297.

Registering with NRMP

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) is the algorithm which is used to match applicants with residency programs based on rank order lists. You will need to register separately with NRMP on their website before November 30th. The fee for registration is $85. This fee allows you to rank order lists for 100 programs. If you wish to rank more than 100 programs, additional fees will apply. You will use the NRMP after your interviews to rank the various programs in terms of your preferences.

ERAS/Match Timeline

Timetable for applying to residency programs
Spring (Third-Year)
  • Begin thinking about faculty and physicians to write your letters of recommendation
  • Plan your Fourth-Year schedule to accommodate travel during the interview period
  • Review the MyERAS User Guide
  • Ensure you have a professionally taken photograph that can be used for your application
June
  • Get ERAS Token from UIWSOM
  • Register with ERAS
  • If you have not already begun, start work on your CV and personal statement
August
  • Complete your CV and personal statement
  • Register for NRMP (registering after 30 November incurs a late fee)
  • Ensure letters of recommendation have been completed
  • Review transcript and MSPE
September 15 Begin applying to AGCME accredited residency programs
October 1 MSPEs are released to residency programs
Mid-October to Early February Interview season
February NRMP rank order lists are certified
Mid-March Match Week
(Kung, Bishop, Slanetz, & Eisenberg, 2015)

Sections of the ERAS Application

  • MyERAS Application Tab
    • In this section, you will essentially copy and paste your CV into the relevant subsections. You can view a PDF version of this section on the AAMC website.
  • MyERAS Documents Tab
    • This section houses all the documents that accompany your application. These are:
      • Letters of Recommendation
      • Personal Statement
      • COMLEX/USMLE Transcripts
      • Photograph
      • Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE)*
      • Medical School Transcript*
        • * UIWSOM will be responsible for uploading your MSPE and Medical School Transcript
  • MyERAS Programs Tab
    • This section allows you to search for and select the residency programs you will be applying to

More About ERAS Documents

  • Letters of Recommendation: The author of the letter of recommendation will upload the letter into a separate online system. You will not be responsible for uploading letters of recommendation, but you are responsible for following up with the author to ensure he or she has uploaded it (Association of American Medical Colleges, 2019b).
  • Personal Statement: See Personal Statement section on this website for more information on how to write your personal statement. You can upload different versions of your personal statement. This is particularly useful if you are applying to different specialties as it allows you to tailor different versions of your personal statement towards the various specialties you are applying to.
  • COMLEX/USMLE Transcripts: ERAS charges $80 for processing COMLEX/USMLE transcripts (Association of American Medical Colleges, 2019a). You will be required to authorize the release of your transcripts to the programs you apply to.
  • Photograph: The photograph must be a JPG/JPEG or PNG file, and the maximum file size for the picture is 150KB (Association of American Medical Colleges, 2019b). The photograph should be professional – it should not be a cell phone picture. You should dress in professional attire and stand in front of a neutral background (white or off-white would be ideal) (Kung et al., 2015). “Most importantly, comb/brush your hair and smile” (Kung et al., 2015, p. 197).
  • MSPE: The MSPE will be uploaded by UIWSOM. It will contain an overview of your academic history, academic progress (which includes an overview of professionalism, and evaluations from preclinical and clinical courses), and noteworthy characteristics which highlight your unique characteristics/strengths.
  • Medical School Transcript: your medical school transcript will be uploaded by UIWSOM.

Assigning Documents

You will be required to assign your documents to each of the programs you apply to in ERAS. One of the reasons for this process is that if you are applying to multiple specialties, you can upload different versions of documents such as your personal statements that are tailored toward the different specialties you are applying to. You simply assign the version of the personal statement you want to use to the particular program you are applying to (along with all the other required documents).

Ranking Programs

After you have completed all your interviews, you will have to rank the residency programs at which you interviewed based on your preferences on the NRMP online system. Once you are satisfied with your rank order list you will have to make sure that you certify your list so that it is properly submitted. The ability to rank programs will open in mid-January and your rank order list will have to be certified by mid-February.

References

Association of American Medical Colleges. (2019a). Fees for ERAS residency application. Retrieved from https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-residency/article/fees-eras-residency-applications/

Association of American Medical Colleges. (2019b). MyERAS residency user guide. Retrieved from Washington, DC: https://www.aamc.org/download/473238/data/myerasresidencyuserguide.pdf

Kung, J. W., Bishop, P. M., Slanetz, P. J., & Eisenberg, R. L. (2015). Tips for the residency match: Whar residency directors are really looking for. Malden: Wiley Blackwell.