Are you wondering if you could use the services of a residency application consultant? No two applicants are the same, and not all students need a residency application consultant, but working with one can definitely improve your chances of acing the complicated residency application process, landing an interview, and matching to one of the programs on your list. This is especially true for non-traditional applicants such as IMGs or those who aren't sure how to improve residency applications after going unmatched. In this blog, we'll discuss residency application consultants - what exactly they do and how they can help students - so that you can decide if you need one to land that dream match.

>>Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here.<<

Article Contents
10 min read

Why are Residency Applications Challenging? How do Residency Application Consultants Help Students? How to Find the Best Residency Application Consultant FAQs

Why are Residency Applications Challenging? 

When it is time to prepare for residency applications, students become understandably nervous. There are two main reasons for the challenging and stressful nature of residency applications. Let's explore them: 

The Level of Competition

The annual residency match is notoriously competitive. Whether you are navigating ERAS applications in the hopes of becoming a resident doctor in the United States (which has a 46% national match rate) or CaRMS - the Canadian equivalent, the residency programs you're applying to have very few spots available, yet they receive thousands of applications; in other words, you need to stand out. To demonstrate you the fierceness of the competition we can bring up the example of our student Oshadhi, who applied to 265 residency programs as an IMG, and was accepted to 1 program! So that should give you a hint of how competitive the landscape is:

"It is hard to match as an IMG in US” - Oshadhi Manchanayake, MD, South Brooklyn Health/Coney-Island Hospital Internal medicine residency

Application Components

In order to participate in the match, you need to prepare and submit a number of different application components in addition to your licensing test scores and MSPR or MSPE. The application components include but are not limited to the following: 

Preparing these documents requires a lot of introspection, strong communication skills, a good understanding of the ERAS or CaRMS process, and strategic planning. Not only do you have to figure out how many residency programs to apply to, but you often have to prepare different variations of the same component for the different programs or specialties that you are applying to. This is all done while you are still working on completing your medical school degree. Our admissions expert Dr. Monica Taneja, MD, remembers this time as a very difficult balancing act:

"Balancing interviews with rotations [was the most difficult part]! At my medical school, it was well accepted that 4th years would take time off for interviews, so most rotations are forgiving when you need time off. However, it was still difficult to map out an interview schedule as many times interviews would come with little notice or time to schedule.” – Dr. Monica Taneja, MD, Harvard South Shore, Psychiatry

Often, students think that their ERAS timeline or CaRMS timeline starts when the portal is open, but the reality is that the more time you have to prepare, the better your written application components will be. This is where residency application consultants come in. 

Want to know how to avoid residency application red flags? Watch this video:

How do Residency Application Consultants Help Students?

General Guidance

The process of preparing for residency applications and post-doctorate training starts in medical school for most applicants. When you are trying to choose medical school electives and ace the hardest rotations in medical school, it is partly so that you can be a competitive applicant when it is time to apply for residency. Residency application consultants are admissions professionals who arevery familiar with the CaRMS and ERAS process.They also have access to tons of student data, allowing them to provide expert advice and guide students while they are still in this planning stage. 

In addition to being knowledgeable about the matching process, a good residency application consultant will also take the time to get to know you. This means that they can consider your goals, interests, skills, and overall profile and use that information to help you choose a medical specialty. They can also advise you on the work and volunteer opportunities that are best for that specialty and more likely to make your CaRMS or ERAS experience section stand out. One of our students, Qianyu, found working with our residency admissions consultant extremely helpful to his ERAS application:

“Definitely an A+ experience! [Dr. Arrash Allahyar] took the time to answer every single question I have. He has also provided extremely helpful and actionable advice to improve my ERAS application. We all know how stressful residency application can be. I definitely feel that Dr. Arrash Allahyar is somebody you want to talk to in this process, not only for boosting application itself but also for calming your nerves!” – Qianyu Guo, Former BeMo Student

Ultimately, a residency application consultant would use their knowledge to help you strengthen your residency candidacy and create the ideal rank order list for you in order to maximize your chances of getting the right match during the first iteration. Working with a residency application consultant or an IMG residency consultant is especially recommended if you happen to be an International Medical Graduate because your chances of matching are even more competitive; one of our former IMG students (who worked with a residency consultant) shared a bit of their journey with us:

“I am international medical graduate. I have been applying for family medicine residency and was able to get interview offers. Unfortunately didn’t have much success. Then I got help from Bemo residency interview preparation. Not only it prepared me well for the interview but also taught me how to approach the questions and what strategies to use. I received great feedback from the interviewers regarding my interview I finally got matched to Family medicine at University of Manitoba.” – MM Sandhu, Former BeMo Student, Matched at University of Manitoba.

If you’re in a similar situation, a residency consultant can help you find more opportunities to get electives and clinical experience as an IMG in the US or Canada. They can also help you figure out the IMG-friendly residency programs that you have a higher chance of matching to, or help you improve your profile in order to give you a better chance of getting the more competitive programs.

Still unsure on what to include on your residency personal statement? Read this out:

Preparing Application Components

One of the benefits of working with a residency application consultant is that they actually teach students different techniques and proven strategies to help them prepare stronger application components (instead of solely providing general tips). Our admissions expert Dr. Neel Mistry, MD, remembers the difficulty of composing a strong residency personal statement on his own:

“Writing the personal statements – these are particularly hard because there is so much you can talk about, and what may appeal to you may not necessarily appeal to the admissions committee. It is difficult to make the statements convincing while meeting the word limit (if applicable) and addressing the question at hand can be difficult.” – Dr. Neel Mistry, MD, University of Saskatchewan, Diagnostic Radiology

For you, maybe having to write your own letter of recommendation or letter of intent may feel like uncharted territory even if you are a string writer! Take it from one of our Pharmacy residency students:

“Dr. Jelena Jelusic was amazing at helping me refine my plan for my Letter of Intent for Pharmacy PGY1 residency program. She helped me fine-tune two types LOIs. I look forward to working with her again. She is very intelligent and great at helping turn jumbled thoughts into eloquent sentences.” – Former BeMo (Pharmacy) Student 

A residency application consultant would ideally teach you how to brainstorm, structure, and write each component; resulting in stronger application and newly-acquired skills that may benefit you in the future.

 In addition to assisting students with various written application components, residency application consultants can help students identify their strengths without boasting, and their weaknesses (without selling themselves short). This, in turn, not only helps with written materials but will also help students tackle the strengths and weaknesses interview question with just the right amount of confidence! 

Residency Interview Prep

What you say (and how you say it) matters during your residency interview. National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) reports show that for 98% of residency programs, your communication skills are very important and for 94% of programs, so are interactions with staff and faculty members on interview day.

Interview skills are skills that are developed over time with experience, and more often than not, the only chance that people get to put those skills to the test is during interviews…so most students don’t actually know if they are ‘good’ at interviewing or not. When it comes to your residency interview, preparation is key (and we don’t recommend risking or winging it). It would be best to practice using mock residency interviews and familiarizing yourself with various common ERAS or CaRMS interview questions

If you are working with a residency application consultant, they can help you with this by providing residency interview coaching, just like our student Farah received:

“I had a mock interview with Dr. Simon Brown for CaRMS residency interview and he provided me great insights about the responses and how to highlight my experiences in a concise but impactful manner. Picked up on my points and talked about them extensively. I liked how detail oriented he was while providing the feedback. Highly recommend him” – Farah, Former BeMo Student

These sessions will teach you how to answer some of the more common residency interview questions like "tell me about yourself" or "how will you contribute to our program? ", and teach you strategies for answering the less common questions, even those that are specific to your chosen specialty. For example, they could help you review psychiatry residency interview questions specifically and help you structure your answers in advance.  

How to Find the Best Residency Application Consultant

If you decide that you want to maximize your chances of matching by working with a residency application consultant, then you need to ensure that you find a qualified professional who'll provide the best value for your investment. There are a few key elements that we recommend you pay special attention to as you search for someone to help you navigate your residency application. 

Qualifications and Credentials 

You will be putting your money, time and future in the hands of this person; therefore, it’s only imperative that they be qualified enough to actually help you improve your chances of matching!

You should look for someone who knows the residency application process inside and out - having worked through it themselves or because they've worked on the other side of things as admissions officers, interviewers, or evaluators. If you’re looking at a consulting firm, then each of the consultants should be well qualified like our team here at BeMo, and be aligned with you in terms of goals and learning style:

“Helen Martin was incredibly gentle, patient, honest, and clear with me during my CASPer prep sessions. The way she structured our time together, I was detecting my own mistakes in no time. I am sure the rest of their tutors and instructors are equally as qualified and empowering. If you do choose to go with BeMo, put in the effort and you will be satisfied!” – A. Natt, Former BeMo Student 

Information regarding their expertise and background be readily available on their website, but if not, then do not hesitate to reach out to them and ask. They should have no issue telling you what qualifies them to assist you in this process. Here at BeMo, for example, we are very transparent about the qualifications of our expert consultants. If you are curious and want to know if BeMo Academic Consulting is worth it, we encourage you to peruse our blog and other web pages. You will find all the information you need to decide. 

Previous Students' Experience 

People like to share good experiences, especially when it comes to specialized services like those of a residency application consultant. So, look for independent reviews on reputable websites like Trustpilot , for example. Here’s a few of our latest reviews:

“I had a session with Gautham regarding personal statement for FM Residency. It was really very informative and helpful. He figured out so many important things that I wasn’t aware of. I was really benefited by this.” – Iffat, BeMo student

“I had a great session with Dr. Alexandre Benoit for my personal statement for residency. Efficiently gathered highlight stories and organized them with good flow. I would recommend him.” – Jason, BeMo student

"Thank you so much Margaret for your help with improving my residency interview skills. Your guidance and insights were invaluable, and I truly appreciate the time and effort you put into helping me prepare.” – Anonymous BeMo student

 Make sure you also check their website to see their success rate and if they have any success stories

Cost and Payment Options

You shouldn't have to break the bank to get some help with your residency application; but it goes without saying that good services do cost money. After paying expensive medical school tuition, exam fees, and so much more, you want to make sure you're investing in a consultant who will be worth it. 

Many consultants offer payment plans or guarantees, so look for those consultants who give you different payment options. Good residency application consultants are transparent about money. At BeMo, we take pride in our service and feel we provide immense value in exchange for the cost of our services:

“I was not expecting for the price to match the help I received but I can stand corrected. They are wonderfully patient people who really help and care about you succeeding. I would highly recommend BeMo to anyone who is on edge of purchasing their surfaces. Awesome team.” – Anonymous, Former BeMo Student


1. How long does it take to prepare residency applications?

The amount of time you will need depends on each student, but generally speaking, residency application prep can be lengthy. Ideally, you want to start planning for this process when you start medical school and actively prepare your application components during your final year of med school.

2. How can I make my residency application stand out?

You can make your residency application stand out by giving yourself enough time to research and perfect your application components, such as your personal statement, CV, references, MSPE, etc. You should also find clinical work in the specialty that you are pursuing. This experience should be incorporated into your components when you apply.

3. Who is considered an IMG?

IMG stands for International Medical Graduate. In the US, this can be American citizens who completed their medical school education outside of the US and non-US citizens who completed their medical school education in one of the US or Canadian medical schools that accept international students. In Canada, an IMG is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who went to medical school outside the country.

4. What is the most competitive residency specialty?

Some of the most competitive specialties include emergency medicine, dermatology, and plastic surgery.

5. What exactly do residency application consultants do?

Essentially, they help students plan for and navigate the residency application process. That means helping them choose extracurriculars and residency programs, study for licensing exams, and prepare the various application components.

6. Are residency application consultants expensive?

They can be, but that depends on the consultant that you work with. There are some that are quite expensive and many that are affordable. So, look for one that fits your budget or will give you the best value for your money.

7. How do I know I've found a good residency application consultant?

A good consultant will be experienced and come highly recommended through independent review. They should be qualified, offer one-on-one sessions and provide personalized feedback.

8. What happens if I go unmatched?

While very unlikely, it is possible to follow all of your consultant's advice and go unmatched. That is why we suggest looking for a consultant that offers a guarantee. For example, here at BeMo, we offer a money-back guarantee that you can find out more about by booking a free initial consultation.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!




Apple Podcasts




Like our blog? Write for us! >>

Have a question? Ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions!