If you're getting ready to apply to residency this year, or you're planning ahead for next year, Dr. Deep Bhatt has distilled down some of our top recommendations for how to successfully put together your ERAS application. He talks you through these tips and his perspective in the below video, and we've included a few more below in this post.
Getting Started with Your Residency Application
As you're getting started with your residency application, you may or may not have already determined which field you would like to go into. If you haven't, a good place to start is to reflect back on your clerkship experiences. Was there a clerkship you liked the most (or disliked the least)? If you don't feel a loud, clamoring passion for a specialty, do any pique your curiosity?
Writing Your Medical Residency Personal Statement
When you've created your short list for the areas you want to target, start working on your personal statement.
Note: This is one element of your application that nearly always takes longer than you expect it to, so be sure to give yourself more time than you think you'll need to craft your personal statement.
No idea where to begin? Just start somewhere. Make your first mark on the blank page, and then keep revisiting it until you've crafted your statement into something you're proud of.
Updating Your CV for ERAS
Getting your CV into great shape is the next important step as you will essentially transcribe what's on your resumé into your ERAS.
Your accomplishments should largely be from medical school, with only your proudest achievements from undergrad remaining on your CV.
And the most important action to take with your CV: get as many eyes on it as possible to help you proofread with the emphasis on being concise.
Letters of Recommendation for ERAS
Wondering about your Letters of Recommendation (LORs)? Lean on the side of asking people who know you personally rather than a "big name" who might look impressive on paper but not be able to pick you out of a group.
And don't forget about your preceptors! Faculty expect to be asked to write LORs, and they often appreciate being requested to do so.
Identify Where You Want to Apply for Residency
Next, identify where you want to apply. You'll want to spend some time looking into where students from your school have matched. We strongly recommend taking advantage of away rotations as well. And if you're reading this in June, that's ideal timing.
As Dr. Bhatt says, it's like dating before getting married. What better way to tell if you indeed want to do your residency with a given institution than by doing an away rotation with them?
Final Thoughts - Patience is Essential with ERAS Applications
Lastly, when it comes time to submit your ERAS, remember that it's normal not to hear much (if anything) during the 30-day waiting period. Take this time to brush up on and practice your interview skills. Ideally, practice with people who have already interviewed for the type(s) of residencies that you're applying to. They'll be able to help you understand the nuance that's involved for the different programs and specialties.
Looking for more ERAS help? We have you covered:
Want more help getting your residency application together? Have questions? Reach out! We've got you covered — from refining your personal statement to interview prep.