Find answers to your questions about the 2023 supplemental ERAS® application timeline, participating programs, resources, application sections, and more.
What is 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.
Has signaling previously been used in residency selection?
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.
Does the signaling process limit the number of programs to which applicants may apply?
No. There are no restrictions on the number of applications applicants can submit through MyERAS.
How many programs will students be able to send a program signal to?
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.
Can applicants choose not to send a program signal to any institutions? Will program directors be able to see that an applicant did not send any signals?
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.
Will programs use this information to determine whom they invite for an interview?
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.
Is program signaling bi-directional (i.e., will there be program signaling from programs to individual applicants to determine if there is mutual interest)?
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.
Can students truly signal their top choice programs, or are they encouraged to signal their home program or “safe” choices to increase their odds?
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.
While signaling is intended to be used as one of many data points in deciding whom to interview, are there measures in place to prevent programs from ranking students lower who didn’t signal them?
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.
Can every program see an applicant’s signals, or only programs who are signaled? Will programs who are not signaled receive a notification?
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.
How should applicants decide where to signal?
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: