Programs may ask you to submit both personal and professional letters of reference (LoR).
These letters can be very valuable to program directors looking for distinguishing characteristics among the many applications they receive. While CVs and personal statements have many similarities from candidate to candidate, the letters of reference are an opportunity to qualify those distinguishing factors that set you as a candidate apart. The quality of your letters of reference may be the strength of your application.
The following tips on letters of reference were developed by the Department of Family Medicine, with contributions from medical students, at the University of Washington (Leversee, Clayton, and Lew, Reducing Match Anxiety, University of Washington, Department of Family Medicine).
MyERAS allows you to request as many letters of reference as you deem necessary; however, MyERAS will allow you to assign a limited number of letters to each program. As an applicant, you will enter the letter of recommendation (LoR) authors you’ve chosen into MyERAS. The system will then generate a Letter Request Form you can email, mail, or deliver in person to each of the authors you choose. You will also need to select whether to waive your rights to see the completed letter upon submission by the author, though the author may choose to share the letter directly with you for your reference and to show their support.
Letter submission must be completed through the Letter of Recommendation Portal online. LoR authors must register through ERAS on the Letter of Recommendation Portal and use a letter ID you provide on the original Letter Request Form. They may also submit their letters to your school’s designated dean’s office for submission directly to the ERAS PostOffice.
New letters may be submitted on your behalf at any point during application season.
This publication was developed to help you make appropriate decisions about your professional career and to learn more about the process of getting post-graduate training.
Download the document(80 page PDF) or order a free copy through the AAFP catalog.
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Medical School & Residency
Letters of Reference