Frequently asked questions for ERAS® applicants

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Find answers to your questions about the 2023 supplemental ERAS® application timeline, participating programs, resources, application sections, and more. 

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Program Signaling

Program signaling refers to a process in which applicants express interest in a residency program at the time of application. Program signals are intended to be used by programs as one of many data points to consider when deciding whom to invite for an interview.

Signaling was introduced to the residency selection process by the otolaryngology specialty to facilitate interviews between applicants and programs for the 2021 application cycle. Applicants and program directors generally responded positively to the use of signals. For a more detailed summary of research on the otolaryngology signaling program and applicant and program director reaction surveys, see the Updates section of the otolaryngology signaling website. In 2022, the AAMC introduced the supplemental ERAS application. For a more detailed summary of research see the supplemental ERAS application Data and Reports.

No. There are no restrictions on the number of applications applicants can submit through MyERAS.

The number of available signals depends on the specialty to which they apply. When deciding on the number of signals available per applicant, the AAMC and participating specialties considered the number of programs participating, value added by the signals, and fairness for applicants. The number of signals offered by each specialty is available in the Supplemental ERAS Application Guide.

Yes, applicants can choose not to send a signal. Programs will not see whether an applicant participated in signaling – they will only see whether an applicant signaled their program.

Program signals are intended to be used by programs as one of many data points to consider when deciding whom to invite for an interview. Programs will provide information about whether and how they will incorporate program signals into their pre-interview screening process.

No, the program signaling will not be bi-directional. The signal may be used by applicants to express interest in a residency program at the time of application. Programs will not be able to signal applicants.

When deciding where to signal, applicants are encouraged to consider the strength of their application, their ultimate career goals and personal circumstances with the relative competitiveness, and mission and goals of the programs to which they apply. Applicants are encouraged to work with faculty and resident mentors as they consider where to send their signals.

The AAMC’s signaling program is intended to facilitate interview offers only. The AAMC provides guidance and training to programs about appropriate use of program signals. Program directors are aware that applicants’ preferences may change after signaling due to many factors, including applicants’ experiences on interview days.

Programs that are participating in the supplemental ERAS application and to which an applicant applied will see which applicants signaled their program. Programs will not have access to information about the other programs signaled.

Applicants’ signaling decisions should be individualized and based on the strength of their application, their ultimate career goals, personal circumstances, relative competitiveness of their application, and the mission and goals of the programs to which they apply.   

Advisors and mentors are encouraged to provide applicants with a realistic appraisal of the relative strength and competitiveness of their application within their selected specialty applicant pools. The following data may be helpful to applicants, advisors, and mentors:  

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