• Applying to Residency Programs

    The four main elements of your application to residency are letters of recommendation, the medical school performance evaluation, and your personal statement and curriculum vitae. Providing complete and accurate information about yourself is crucial to connecting with residency programs during the Match process.

    Medical students can start building on their CV early in medical school, and begin collecting letters of recommendation before their Match cycle. Taking a long-term, thoughtful approach to your residency application will help set you apart.  

    Nearly all Match applicants submit their Match application materials through an online service called the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

    How do residency programs evaluate Match applications?

    Match application review committees at residency programs are looking for a variety of qualities when considering which applicants to invite for Match interviews. One way to help ensure you stand out is by making it clear to reviewers why you are specifically interested in training at their program.

    Across specialties, each residency program establishes its own system for reviewing applications. Approaches can vary widely. Some programs use filters with specific cut-off criteria, for example, graduation year. Family medicine residencies are leaders in using holistic processes in the Match. Holistic review processes ensure that candidates are evaluated using criteria beyond numerical exam and academic scores. Make sure programs have the whole picture by writing a strong personal statement and securing meaningful letters of recommendation.

    Application Elements and Tips

    Learn how to write a great CV and personal statement, request meaningful letters of recommendation, and help shape your medical school performance evaluation.

    A Note on the Electronic Residency Application System

    The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) is an online tool that is provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and used to automate the residency and fellowship application process. The AAMC provides assistance and instructions on how to access and use ERAS as an applicant.

    ERAS is the system most residency program directors participating in the Main Residency Match use to access information submitted by applicants and medical schools. However, 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.

    Applicants access ERAS through a token, which is assigned to them through their schools' deans offices. Early access to ERAS will allow you to begin uploading letters of recommendation during third-year clerkships.

    Residency Application Requirements for International Medical Graduates

    International Medical Graduates (IMGs) must meet certain criteria in order to apply for U.S.-based residency programs. Learn about IMG requirements »