Your residency application depends on the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), a complicated system that can be overwhelming, and your best bet is to look to an ERAS application review service to help you through this process.
Let’s face it, you’ve been asking “what do residency program directors look for?” and reading about residency personal statement mistakes to avoid, but your path is still uncertain. You don’t want to sacrifice time to study, time to work on residency CV editing, or time to find the perfect residency for you looking for information on ERAS.
This article will give you an overview of ERAS as well as specifics on how to use this application system to get you the residency of your dreams. Let us take the paperwork out of the equation so that you can focus on what really matters in your studies and your application.
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Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) Overview
What is ERAS, anyway? You are probably somewhat familiar this service, which touts itself as a way to streamline the application process for residency. For many people, this doesn’t exactly ring true, however, and we know how overwhelming ERAS can be.
Want to learn 7 tips to make your ERAS application stand out? Watch this video:
What ERAS does extremely well is allow for connectivity between students and institutions so that your application is treated correctly and efficiently. ERAS does this with individual-but-connected submission systems like the Dean’s Office Workstation (DWS), the Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP), and the Program Director’s Workstation (PDWS).
While it might not seem streamlined, it really is, and contemplating the idea of assembling countless residency applications without a formal system is headache-inducing. Frankly, any comprehensive application system would wind up at least a little unwieldy, but that’s where we can help you.
What all these sections do is keep everything neat and separate. This also ensures that each section is tamper-proof. Could a dishonest student modify their letter of recommendation? Not with ERAS. This means that your application will be credible and complete, allowing you to present yourself in optimal conditions.
How Does an ERAS Application Review Service Help Students?
Advisors at an ERAS application review service don’t just go over your residency application components and make sure they check all the boxes. Instead, they will go into depth on any aspects of your application or the help you request and provide you with support and proven strategies to make your residency application the best it can be.
Some areas an ERAS application review service can help you with are as follows:
The first consideration in filling out ERAS is managing your time. You will need to track your applications and deadlines and ensure that you have adequate time to fill out the complete ERAS application. An ERAS application review service can help you build a schedule that will be reasonable and account for all your other responsibilities, such as work or studying. The following are some strategies one of our services at BeMo might recommend:
Aside from those basic rules, you will also want to allocate time commensurate to each section. Filling in basic information – the first part of ERAS – won't take nearly as long as doing your CV.
The Areas of ERAS – How to Fill Out Your Application
ERAS application review services will also guide you through the various sections of the application form, explain what they mean, and confirm when you have properly completed each section.
The first thing you need to do is create an AAMC account and register your token. Do this immediately. Again, following Rule 1, you want to start as early as possible.
1. Personal Statement
Writing your residency personal statement should be done on your computer, not ERAS. Use a plain text document program of your choice to create a document that you will upload to ERAS. Only use plain text programs or you might run into formatting errors when you upload. Proofread your personal statement thoroughly and edit it completely. Do not upload until you have proofread your document extremely thoroughly – triple-check everything. That way you can be confident that the only version of your personal statement in your My ERAS section will be the one you want read by the residency programs to which you have applied.
An ERAS application review service can help with residency personal statement editing! Personal statements can be difficult to write. Knowing how to prepare one, what to put in, what to leave out, and how to proofread and edit can be difficult. With an ERAS review service, you can get professional feedback on your personal statement, and be 100% sure that you haven’t missed anything, left anything out, or accidentally left in any errors or typos.
2. Personal Information
The first few pages of the ERAS application are devoted to basic information about the applicant. While this might take some time to fill out, it’s also mostly straightforward. You just write in things like your address and full name.
We do want to draw your attention to a section called Match Information, however. Make sure you check the box that says you want to participate in the Match and supply your NRMP ID. This is absolutely imperative.
What do you do if you don’t have the NRMP ID number? You can fill this out later if needs must. The important thing is to register now. From the ERAS form: “If you currently do not have your NRMP ID, please enter it as soon as you receive it. NRMP ID is not required to Certify & Submit your application and can be added once you have received your NRMP ID.”
Note also that Urology requires an AUA member number, so if you are applying to Urology, you will need to fill this out as well.
Most of this will be pretty clear how to fill out, but an ERAS application review service will go through and just make sure you’ve filled in the boxes and double-check that you haven’t overlooked any sections.
Want to learn more about the ERAS? Check out this infographic:
3. Creating the CV
One of the trickiest parts of your ERAS application will be creating your CV. This is because you aren’t just uploading a CV document or copying and pasting a plain text CV. You will have to enter experiences into different sections in the My ERAS section of your application. Knowing what to include and exclude, in addition to navigating the CV sections themselves, can be tricky. This can feel overwhelming, but just take your time and fill in one section at a time and you’ll get through.
How can an ERAS application review service help you with your CV? A good review service will know which experiences belong to each section, how to best arrange your experiences, and how to pick which experiences to put in and which to leave out. They can help you “translate” your CV into the ERAS format. Furthermore, a review service will be able to help you keep your word count down. Word counts on ERAS forms are usually very tight, so it can be difficult to sum up all the information necessary for any given section and communicate it in a clear, effective way. An ERAS review service will help you do exactly that.
4. Military Service
The first section is military service and only applies if you have had experiences in the US military. Otherwise, you can leave this section blank.
5. Higher Education
Any institutions you have attended go in here. Note that there is a separate section for medical education so you don’t need to include your medical school just yet.
Also note that there is a “none” box you can check off if you have had no higher education or if you have been educated outside of the US. Medical schools from outside of the US will also check off “none,” since their educational models won’t fit with ERAS forms. Canadian schools might also work with the US forms.
So, should you fill it out or check “none”? We recommend that you begin filling it in and if you find you can’t fill out all the boxes, hit the “none” button and continue to medical schools.
6. Medical Education
As with your higher education, you just fill out the institution you are attending. There is no “none” button this time, obviously, since without medical school you would not be filling out an ERAS application in the first place.
7. Additional Information
With limited character counts in this section, be precise and factual. You don’t need to embellish, just fill out any awards memberships, or accomplishments quickly and efficiently. Include anything relevant to the residencies you are applying to or anything which would be universally significant, such as major awards.
8. Additional Training and Experiences
The next section allows you to include additional training and experiences, filled in with drop-down menus. These will be straightforward, and you should include the most relevant and recent experiences that you have had.
You will also need to include explanations for revoked medical licenses, malpractice cases, misdemeanors, or anything else which would impede your ability to work in a hospital. These also have limited character counts, so if you do have a strike against you, you will need to be efficient here as well.
An ERAS application review service helps with all of these categories, but we’d like to point out the Additional Information and Additional Training and Experiences sections in particular because it can sometimes be unclear whether to fill these out at all. In fact, any section is an opportunity to showcase your abilities, and an ERAS application review service can help you effectively fill in these sections. Knowing what to put in, the kinds of experiences that might fit here, and how to find the best experiences to focus on – that's the kind of selection an ERAS application review service can help you with.
9. Publications and Academic Engagements
You finally have a section for submitting any publications, papers, speeches, book chapters, online publications, or similar academic qualifications outside of educational institutions.
Which ones should you pick? If you have a plethora to choose from, make sure to include the most relevant experiences for your specialties of choice, erring on the side of publications that speak to your top-choice specialties.
What to Include
First of all, you should leave nothing blank unless you are forced to. If you have no publications, you obviously cannot fill that out. However, if it is at all possible, fill out the field. Every field gives you another point that makes you impressive to the programs to which you are applying.
Work experiences can include paid or unpaid experiences as long as they are relevant. You can absolutely include clinical rotations and experiences, and you should.
With all descriptions of your experiences, include the facts. You have limited space, so being factual and direct is your best asset. Quick, efficient use of space is a must.
Again, your ERAS application review service will help you take your broad experiences and all they entail and whittle them down so they will fit within the confines of the character limits or word counts. This process is time-consuming and frustrating, but with an ERAS application review service, everything is streamlined, and a lot of the frustrating editing is taken care of, which, in turn, leaves you less stressed and with a more effective application.
I worked in St. Hospital for my psychology rotation. I was involved with patient interaction, performing histories and helping with interviews. We focused on personalized care, and Dr. Name emphasized patient wellbeing as well as medication. This is a care-oriented approach I have taken with me to my other rotations.
What to Exclude
There is a time when you should exclude your clinical rotations. If you are an international medical graduate already and you have experience in a practice, just focus on that direct experience and ignore the clinical rotations. These won’t be as impressive, as relevant, or as interesting to the programs you are applying to as your actual work.
Note here that research activities for ERAS experiences are different from publications. While this isn’t something to exclude, it’s just useful to note that they are different; exclude them from the wrong sections.
Avoid repetition. Once you have established something about yourself, you don’t need to reiterate it. We would take a moment here to remind you of the limited space you have, but we’ve already done that, and we won’t repeat ourselves here!
A Note on Formatting
Formatting is not dictated by ERAS. Most students wonder about bullet point writing; it’s completely acceptable. If you have a lot of information to convey about one experience or another, you might want to use bullet points. If you have less factual information but need to convey specific experiences, full sentences might be more useful to you.
Whichever you use, you should try to be more-or-less consistent in terms of style. Don’t flip from bullet points to full sentences. You could use a blend as long as you are consistent. Only oscillate between these two formats if you absolutely cannot adequately describe your experiences without breaking your established format.
Can’t decide which way to go? ERAS application review services will tell you the best route to take and help you both condense your information into the space provided and pick the best formatting to communicate clearly. Clear communication can be tricky, with all the hidden barriers that could impede your progress. Get a service that helps you with that, and you can be confident that you have put your very best possible application into the system.
How an ERAS Application Review Service Helps
No matter how many times you proofread your documents, no matter how careful you are with your application, there is always the chance that you might have missed a crucial detail which will net you the residency of your dreams and get you into your optimal future career as a physician. Review services help in multiple ways throughout the ERAS application process.
One big reason an ERAS application review service is valuable to you will be that it will remove doubts. Second-guessing can become a vicious spiral in your mind, causing you to constantly worry about your application. While a review service won’t make all worry go away, you can always remind yourself that you have had professionals look over your application. It’s their job to approve and check everything, so those are negative thoughts you can curtail or eliminate just by using a review service.
Removing What Shouldn’t Be There
An ERAS application review service finds typos, minor errors, and major inclusions that should just go away. This keeps your application error-free, polishes it so it looks and reads as professional quality, and gets rid of extraneous information that would clutter and bog down your application.
Finding What’s Missing
Just as important – perhaps more so – and harder than seeing what shouldn’t be there is noticing what’s missing. By this point in your medical and academic career you will have accumulated a wealth of experiences that you could put into your CV. You might include everything you could think of, but maybe you missed something. A review service will see elements that are missing. You need to cover a lot of bases with just a few short pages. It might seem like a lot while you’re filling it out, but believe us, it adds up extremely quickly. Use that space effectively, not only by eliminating problematic elements to your application but by making sure you have included all the necessary aspects of yourself in your ERAS.
ERAS is intimidating – there's no doubt about that. What’s worse is that its extensive paperwork stands between you and the most effective, direct route to a dream residency and your preferred future. You want the best career for your future – one which you get excited just thinking about. Why would you take any chances?
This means that you should follow the tips and advice in this article and seek out the best ERAS application review service you can find. This will give you peace of mind, a thorough evaluation of your application, and help you set yourself up for an ERAS application which stands out like few others.
1. How many programs should I apply to?
More is better. You’re working hard to match to complete your journey to being a full physician. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
2. Does ERAS allow late submissions?
No. Not only can you not be late with your application, you should submit earlier rather than later. As long as you have filled ERAS out thoroughly, you shouldn’t sit on it.
3. Are there fees associated with ERAS?
Yes. Although these fees are not prohibitive, they do exist. As with the rest of your tuition, you should understand that these small fees are investments in your best future career.
4. Can I alter my ERAS after I have submitted it?
No. You certify and submit your ERAS and that’s it. This is why a review service is so important: you cannot miss one detail.
5. Can’t I just attach my CV?
ERAS has an experiences section instead of just having you submit your CV.
6. Do deadlines change?
Yes, deadlines are specific to each program and change from year to year. Make sure you triple-check this along with everything else and encompass different deadlines into your timeline planning.
7. Why do I have to use plain text applications for my documents?
The ERAS software won’t understand all text formatting from other word processors. Plain text just keeps everything simple and ensures no formatting errors will occur that will slow down your application.
8. Do any specialties not use ERAS?
Almost every specialty uses ERAS, although this can also change from year to year. The AAMC keeps a list of programs that utilize ERAS.
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