ERAS® Residency Applicants FAQ

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FAQs will be updated throughout the 2024 ERAS® season (June 7, 2023 to May 31, 2024).

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MyERAS Application

The ERAS Client Technical Support is available to provide technical support with the MyERAS application but cannot advise you on how to fill out your application. You should contact your Designated Dean’s Office if you need advice on how to fill out your application. 

  • MD applicants and DO applicants can begin certifying and submitting their application on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023 at 9 a.m. ET. 

Note: This date is the first day that the MyERAS portal will allow applicants to certify and submit their application. It does not mean that an applicant must certify and submit their application on this date.

Once you have certified and submitted your application, it will be irrevocably locked, and no changes will be permitted. Your application, once certified and submitted, is provided to all programs to which you apply during this ERAS season. Please take the additional time to proofread your application for any errors or omissions. 

Once you have certified and submitted your MyERAS application, you will not be able to make any changes or updates outside of the information provided under the Personal Information section. There are no exceptions.

  • Applicants can begin applying to residency programs on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023 at 9 a.m. ET. However, residency programs will not be able to view your applications until Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 9 a.m. ET. 
  • Residency programs may begin viewing applications and MSPEs on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 at 9 a.m. ET.

No. The MyERAS portal only requires that you select a training type in order to apply to programs. Documents can be assigned any time before or after applying to programs.

However, it is important to keep program deadlines and requirements in mind when assigning documents and applying to programs.

The Assignments Report, which can be found in the Programs menu, is a detailed report of training selections and document assignments for programs you have saved and applied to. Use this report to ensure that the documents assigned to the program meet their application requirements.

Individual programs set their own deadlines for receiving applications. It is your responsibility as an applicant to research programs thoroughly and in advance of applying to programs.

Also, the ERAS season ends on May 31 of each year, at which point you will no longer have access to your MyERAS account and will not be able to apply to additional programs for the season. Programs will no longer be able to receive new applications or supporting documents when the season closes.  

If you intend to use the repeat applicant function, please be sure to certify and submit your application. You may refer to the Repeat Applicant FAQs for more information.

The first step is to certify and submit your MyERAS application before you can apply to programs. We encourage you to confirm individual program deadlines and requirements prior to applying to ensure you have submitted all of the required documents. Each program has their own deadlines and requirements. The ERAS system does not set deadlines or requirements for programs. When you search for programs in the MyERAS portal, a blue icon will appear next to the name of programs that have provided additional information.  

The decision to give applicants the option to enter up to 10 experiences in the MyERAS application was informed by medical student response data from prior ERAS application cycles and focus groups with medical school advisors and residency program directors. During the focus groups, participants discussed how applicants feel pressure to focus on the quantity of experiences more than the quality or substantive aspects of experiences, and the implications of this for students during their education and training and when completing their application and for program staff who attempt to review application content. All agreed that limiting the number of experiences would help focus an applicant’s time and energy and more clearly and concisely communicate to programs who an applicant is, what they are passionate about, and what is most important to them.

Based on findings from the supplemental ERAS application research over the last two years, with input from applicants, advisors, and program representatives, applicants will see an updated experience section this season. “Hobbies and Interests” is now included as one of the new experience types within the Selected Experience sections of the MyERAS application. This option appears in the Experience Type dropdown as “Other extracurricular activity, club, hobby.” This new option allows applicants to provide more explanation of their involvement with their hobbies and interests in a short narrative (1,020-character limit description), as well as select a primary focus area and key characteristics label that are available for all experience entries. Applicants will be able to identify and describe up to 10 experiences that communicate who they are, what they are passionate about, and what is important to them. By having applicants focus on a maximum of 10 experiences, program directors can more efficiently evaluate whether the applicant will thrive in their programs.   

If an applicant selects a geographic division:

  • Programs within that division will see the preference and the applicant’s essay.
  • Programs outside of that division will not see any information displayed.

If an applicant indicates they have no division preference, that information and any essay provided will be visible to any program to which they apply.

If an applicant skips the division preference section, no information is displayed.

Some specialties choose to use a tiered program signaling approach to better understand applicants’ level of interest. Tiered signaling offers applicants two levels of signals: gold and silver.  

  • Gold signals are designed to identify an applicant’s “most preferred” programs.  
  • Silver signals are designed to identify an applicant’s “preferred” programs. 

Each specialty works with the AAMC to decide their number of program signals. When deciding on the number of signals allowed for each specialty, specialties consider various factors, including the number of programs participating in their specialty, the average number of applications submitted, value added by the signals, and fairness for applicants.  Programs use signals as one of many data points to consider during their holistic review process when deciding whom to invite to interview.   

One of the many goals of program signals is to give applicants the opportunity to be looked at when they otherwise or previously might not have. An applicant's decision to send a program signal to a program should be individualized and based on the strength of their application, their ultimate career goals, personal circumstances, relative competitiveness of their application, and alignment with the mission and goals of the programs to which they apply.

Yes. You have the option to include up to five hometowns. Choose places where you currently live, have lived in the past, or with which you have close ties.  

Prior to now, the collection of applicants’ geographic information via the MyERAS application was unstandardized, leaving residency and fellowship programs to make inferences about where an applicant may want to live and work in the future. The addition of geographic preferences to the MyERAS application allows all applicants to have an equal opportunity to share their true preferences.   

The AAMC values the importance of equity and fairness and emphasizes that the process of including an applicant’s geographic preference is more equitable than the previous process when programs were left to infer an applicant’s preferences.

Applicants may include up to 10 selected experiences that communicate who they are, what they are passionate about, and what is most important to them. For each of these 10 experiences, applicants include information such as the type of experience, setting, primary focus, key characteristic, and their roles and responsibilities.  

After saving up to 10 selected experiences, applicants identify three of their selected experiences that they found most meaningful. For each of those three meaningful experiences, applicants can provide an additional reflection of up to 300 characters to explain why the experience was so meaningful and how it influenced them.

The impactful experience is an additional experience that is not included in the 10 selected experiences. It is meant to be used if an applicant faced any significant challenges or hardships that influenced their journey to residency. This can include experiences relating to family background, financial background, community setting, educational experiences, and/or general life experiences. Programs do not expect all applicants to complete the impactful experience section. The impactful experience is intended for applicants who have overcome major challenges or obstacles. Some applicants may not have experiences that are relevant to this question. Other applicants may not feel comfortable sharing personal information in their application.

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