Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Residency Application Timeline

The 2012-2013 residency application cycle is about to begin! If you're applying for the first time, or even if you've gone through this process before, these are the crucial dates that you should be aware of. Please note that several of these dates have changed from previous years:

  • July 1, 2012ERAS opens its MyERAS website. First, you must request your login token (American medical students and graduates should talk to their deans; international graduates should use the ECFMG/OASIS site). After you register with your token, you can start editing your resume into the Common Application Form style used in ERAS, which not only means adding your educational and USMLE history, but more importantly means changing resume bullet points into full well-written paragraphs for each of your volunteer, work, leadership, and research experiences. You can also work on your personal statement, start requesting letters of recommendation (there's a form to print out for your writers), select programs and specialties, and much more. There's a lot to do and not very much time to accomplish it all, especially since you're studying for the USMLE, completing rotations or observerships, and worrying that your writing isn't as strong as it could be. You only get one chance to have your application make a great first impression! Many applicants realize that it's a great idea to find a residency support professional to help during this time. Please contact me for a free consultation.

  • September 1, 2012 – the NRMP website opens. The NRMP "Match" is processed separately from ERAS. Basically, you use ERAS to select where you hope to interview and to transmit your documents to those programs, but you use the NRMP to rank the programs where you actually get interviews so you can match there. You can save some money by registering for the NRMP early; while you don't need to register on September 1, the last day to register with a discount is November 30, 2012.

  • September 15, 2012 – this is the first day you can pay ERAS to transmit your application to residency programs. Many people will apply on this date, but it is not a deadline. It is much better to apply in late September with a fully reviewed and edited application, instead of sending something out with mistakes on September 15. (for those of you who applied last year, this is a later date!

  • October 1, 2012 – this is the date when your Medical Student Performance Evaluation (the MSPE, also called the "dean's letter") will be transmitted to all programs that you have paid ERAS for. When program directors download your MSPE, they will automatically download all other documents waiting for them, so you should ensure that your letters of recommendation and medical school transcript are in the system already. (for those of you who applied last year, this is an earlier date!)

  • November, December, and January – most interviews are scheduled during this time. Be prepared! Review your answers to common interview questions with a professional, and also ask that professional about the flaws in your application (such as failing the boards or taking a lot of time off) since the program directors will ask about those topics too. Even a great ERAS application means nothing if you don't succeed during the interview.

  • February 20, 2013 – this is the final deadline to register your rank list with the NRMP. You should rank every single program you interviewed at, unless you would rather be unmatched than go to a specific program. You should rank the programs in the order that you hope to match to each one. Please read this for more information.

  • March 11, 2013 – this is the date when everyone who used the NRMP will find out *if* they matched, but not *where* they matched. If you are unmatched, you will be able to try to "Scramble" into open residency programs during this week.

  • March 15, 2013 – NRMP Match results are released, so people will finally find out exactly where they are going to be residents.

I know this is a lot to process, so please contact me for a free consultation and I'll help you!


  1. very useful information for me as its my first time and I am very confused...
    many thanks!

  2. very informative! thanks!