ERAS®: Electronic Residency Application System
The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) is an online tool used to automate the residency and fellowship application process. Introduced by the Association of American Medical Colleges in 1995, many family medicine residency programs and fellowship programs open to family medicine graduates now use the ERAS system for their application process.
Residency and fellowship program directors utlize the system to access information submitted by applicants and medical schools, including: residency and fellowship applications, curriculum vitae, letters of recommendation, medical student performance evaluations (MSPE), personal statements, and transcripts.
The ERAS Process for Residency Application
The vast majority of residency programs participate in ERAS for application submissions. You can visit program websites to learn about their requirements and application mechanism (ERAS or outside), and whether they have any additional requirements or requests that fall outside of the designated application system. Although MyERAS displays programs that have indicated they will receive applications through ERAS, some programs change their processes after the ERAS software has been released. It is important to find out the application process for each program in which you’re interested by contacting the program directly.
Applicants should get an ERAS token and begin completing applications as early as possible in the Match season.
Medical students and graduates from the United States should contact the dean’s office at their school of graduation to determine when ERAS tokens will be available, and to find out the office’s procedures for providing resources, and uploading and processing documents. Each designated dean’s office establishes its own procedures.
Go to the ERAS website(www.aamc.org) to register and complete your application and designation list. ERAS provides online help, the ERAS Residency Applicant Checklist, and the MyERAS Residency User Guide to guide you through the completion of the MyERAS application and the entire process.
Finalize application materials in MyERAS in preparation for them to be sent to the programs you’ve chosen. Do this as early as possible once the application cycle opens, ideally by mid-September for the Main Residency Match.
- Complete and submit MyERAS application and personal statement(s)
- Authorize United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) and/or COMLEX-USA® transcripts
- Assign transcripts, LoRs, and photo
- Upload a photo through MyERAS
- Add and confirm LoR authors and provide them the personalized letter request form generated by MyERAS. Ask all LoR authors to upload (or designate someone to upload) LoRs using the ERAS Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP). If they need help, they can contact the ERAS HelpDesk.
- Customize materials sent to individual programs, including personal statements and LoRs. The application may not be customized for each program.
- Ensure that all sections of the application have been completed and that your designated list of programs is final
- Pay fees and apply to programs
Use MyERAS’s “Programs Applied To” page to confirm that supporting documents have been uploaded to ERAS and, later, that documents have been downloaded by programs. Check your email and the MyERAS Message Center frequently for requests for additional information and invitations. You may also update your personal information in MyERAS at any time.
Using ERAS Througout the Process
Applicants may use ERAS’s Applicant Documents Tracking System (ADTS) to confirm that supporting documents were uploaded to ERAS and, later, that documents are downloaded by programs.Check your email frequently for requests for additional information and invitations from ERAS through ADTS.
Applicants also may be able to communicate directly with programs through an online portal being piloted by ERAS starting in 2015. If this portal is working properly, pay attention to requests and responses you may receive directly from programs through MyERAS.
Allopathic and Osteopathic Graduates
Students and graduates of U.S. allopathic and osteopathic medical schools should contact the dean’s office at their school of graduation for ERAS information and processing procedures.
Canadian applicants should contact the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS)(www.carms.ca).
International medical graduates should contact the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) early for instructions about applying to residency programs using ERAS. The ECFMG will function as the designated dean’s office for IMGs in ERAS. If you have questions, see www.ecfmg.org/eras (www.ecfmg.org)for details.
There are three, distinct ERAS application season cycles during which applicants can submit applications to programs.
|RESIDENCY CYCLE||The allopathic medical residency match (applications to residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education [ACGME]) opens for applicants on September 15. The NRMP Main Residency Match® occurs on the third Friday of the following March, and residents begin training July 1.|
|JULY START CYCLE||Osteopathic internships and fellowship programs—those accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)—receive applications through the AOA Intern/Resident Registration Program, administered by National Matching Services, Inc. The application cycle opens in June, interviews are conducted July through January, and rank order lists are due in January. The osteopathic match is in February, and applicants begin training on July 1. Osteopathic fellowship programs participating in this cycle usually have their matches in December of the same year they begin receiving applications. Fellow begin training July 1 of the following year.|
|DECEMBER START CYCLE||Subspecialty fellowship programs begin receiving applications on December 1. Formalized matches, for specialties that have them, generally occur in May or June. Fellows applying to programs in these specialties typically begin training a year later, in July.|
Verify Each Program's Application Process
The vast majority of residency programs participate in ERAS for applications. You can visit program websites to learn about their requirements and application mechanism within ERAS or another system, as well as any additional requirements or requests that fall outside of their application system. Programs accepting applications via ERAS will communicate those additional requirements to applicants.
Although MyERAS displays programs that have indicated they will receive applications through ERAS, some may change their processes after the ERAS software has been released, so it is important for you to know how the programs in which you’re interested are taking applications.
MyERAS contains a list of programs you can select to receive your application materials electronically. Because ERAS is not the definitive source for program participation information, you should verify the application process and deadlines for programs in which you’re interested before you apply.
An online directory of all Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited programs is available on the ACGME website(www.acgme.org). An online directory of all American Osteopathic Association-accredited programs is available on the the AOA website(opportunities.osteopathic.org).
In addition, some specialty-specific directories exist, such as the AAFP's Family Medicine Residency Directory, offering the ability to search by location, program size, community setting, program type, benefits, and more.
Updated for 2018: Strolling Through the Match
This practical resource from the AAFP is a must-read for students interested in a career in family medicine. Get your copy now for updated information on navigating the Match process, access to helpful timelines, and tips on applying to and ranking programs.