By this point we are reaching the most stressful part of this whole process, ERAS. ERAS stands for Electronic Residency Application Service. This is how medical students apply for their residency in any given specialty. The only exception is a handful of specialties which use the San Francisco Match, of which I know NOTHING. So back to ERAS. The application cycle and software opens up in June. Before sitting down fill out ERAS, you should have several things including your list. Additionally, you should also have CV and ID numbers for USMLE, AAMC, etc.
When you go into MyEras you should land on the log in page, very similar to one for VSAS. I am very happy that they are both now very similar in navigation, structure, and user friendliness. Once you sign in it will redirect you to your Dashboard which features three main boxes, and notification style boxes for announcements. On the top, like in VSAS you will find the navigation bar.
As soon as it open you should be tackling the easy stuff, the personal information and the photo. Let me tell you something about this photo. It is the most annoying thing to do, their measurements are very specific and they make any good quality picture, pretty bad. You should also have asked or least have a list of the people for your letters of recommendation. As soon as your school gives you access to the LOR page, input the Doctor’s information and either download or send them the request. This will send them the information necessary to upload your letter to ERAS.
While on the subject of LOR’s, choose them carefully. Your letters should come from preceptors who gave you good evaluations and who will write good things about you. They should be someone who knows you outside of clinic as well, ie. knows of your extracurriculars. You should also give them a deadline with regards to the letters, especially since every program’s deadline is different. Another important point should be that you should have at least 2 letter from the specialty you are applying to, including the department director.
Next up, you should begin to ass your CV information into ERAS. This is an incredibly arduous process. The tricky part comes when organizing your extracurricular activities. ERAS only allows you to organize your extracurriculars into 3 categories. These are very broad and ambiguous so it might make choosing which go where very tricky. With attention to the categories, these are: paid, volunteer, and research experience. With this in mind, you can organize your CV into these categories and simplify your life when the time comes.
After you have filled out all of this information, uploaded you picture and completed your CV, now you are ready to begin searching for your programs. This is the moment when you will bring out your list, from part 1. Given that you have your list finished, you can begin looking into each program individually. Through ERAS you will find specific information on required documents as well as their deadlines. I currently don’t have access to this, since we are in the middle of Match week. (If you don’t follow me on IG, then you probable don’t know that I MATCHED!) But I promise to add some pics as soon as I can.
You can then save the programs you like and have a list of saved programs. What I did was once I saved them on ERAS, I highlighted them on my Excel List. This way I knew which programs I was actually applying to. I wanted to make sure I had a balanced, well-rounded, and broad application. The way that I did this was counting the number of academic, combined, and community programs I had in my saved programs. This will make it easier when submitting your application to have all your preferred programs in one place. Additionally you will be able to assign all necessary documents in batch. By now you are seeing the ways to simplify your life during this process.
Finally I want to touch on uploading your personal statement. My recommendation is to wait until you are SURE, and CONFIDENT with your statement before uploading. In addition to that, after your upload it, DO NOT revise any more. Make you once you decide to put that in there, it is FINAL. In my opinion, there is no perfect timing. I had special circumstances, aka hurricanes and no power, around the time when ERAS was due. In the end, I had to rush upload all of my documents that were pending. It was a very stressful night. So, waiting until the end is not always the best alternative.
Their software is very versatile in the sense that it allows you to upload more than one personal statement. This will only apply in the case that you are applying into more than 1 specialty. If this is not your case, then only one PS will do. You also need to keep up with you USMLE Scores if you input/verify you information and still have exams to take. All that you need to do is resend your scores and save. That will automatically update your USMLE Transcript. And that’s it! You need to remember to verify your application. Then, the other documents your school and letter writers will need to upload them.
If I am missing anything, please let me know in the comments. Also let me know if there is anything you wish me to expand upon, like maybe working out your CV or anything like that.
Thanks for reading!
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