The Residency Application Process

By: Donna Palazzolo, Ed. S.
DCOM Department of Career Services
Assess your competitiveness:
◦ Osteopathic GME Match Report 2011
◦ NRMPs 2011 Charting Outcomes in the Match characteristics of the applicants who matched into
various specialties
◦ NRMPs 2012 Results of Program Directors Survey –
specialty specific data from program directors like
factors used in granting interviews, ranking, etc
◦ Match stats on the NMS and NRMP websites
You can request Letters of
Recommendation (LoRs) for your
residency application, especially from
really good rotations:
◦ Use the DCOM Request for LoR Cover Sheet
◦ Be sure to request a STRONG LoR
◦ Provide your letter writers with your CV and
Personal Statement
◦ More LoR info to come…
Wellmont Health System
 AOA accredited Family Medicine Residency Program in
SW VA. Opened 7/1/2010.
 AOA accredited Orthopedic Residency Program at
Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, TN.
Opened 7/1/2011.
Holston Valley Medical Center
Norton Community
Hospital Internal
◦ AOA Accredited
◦ Opened 7/1/2001
◦ Norton, VA
American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
Opportunities Database
AMA: Fellowship and Residency Electronic
Interactive Database (FREIDA)
ACGME Accredited Program Search
Military Graduate Medical Education
Confirm the following for each program
in which you plan to apply:
◦ ERAS participation status
◦ Program requirements:
 LoRs
Many residency programs welcome elective
rotations during 3rd and 4th year
◦ Some programs only 4th year
Apply early (Spring of 3rd year)
You may increase your chances of Matching
into the program with an outstanding
performance during the rotation
Towards the end of your rotation, request a
STRONG Letter of Recommendation
Most residency programs use ERAS
You will receive your ERAS E-Token by email
from me on or before July 1st of your 4th year
Download the MyERAS User Guide and follow
the step-by-step instructions
ERAS Opens July 1st
Complete your applications by
You create/upload on ERAS:
◦ Common Application Form (CAF)/CV
◦ Personal Statement
From your Designated Dean’s Office (me):
Letters of Recommendation (LoRs)
Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
Medical School Transcripts
Photograph (optional)
NOT from your Designated Dean’s Office:
◦ COMLEX Transcript
◦ USMLE Transcript (optional)
In ERAS, you can have an unlimited number of
Personal Statements
◦ Use different Personal Statements for different
◦ Note program requirements
◦ Tip: customize your Personal Statements to reflect
your interest in specific programs
Consist of information about your professional
background, academic and clinical qualifications,
how your decision was made to pursue medicine,
your chosen specialty as a career, and career
Should reflect information about your personality
and style that is relevant to residency training in
your selected specialty
Opportunity to showcase your unique qualities,
talents, and professional passions and to explain
how they might be expressed in a career in
medicine and your specialty
Writing tips and samples of Personal
Statements can be found at the following
 AAFP: How to Write a Personal Statement
 AMA’s Writing Your Personal Statement
 StudentDoc: Writing Personal Statements for
Residency Programs
 UsmleWEB: Samples of specialty-specific personal
 Choices: Writing your Personal
Most programs require a minimum of 3 LoRs, but
you can assign up to 4 in ERAS
Different programs will have different
requirements. For example, some programs will
require letters from particular departments,
others require letters from attendings rather than
Use the LMU-DCOM Request for LoR Cover Sheet
◦ Fill it out and give it to your letter writers. Check off
whether or not you waive your right to view the letter
◦ Also offer your letter writers a copy of your CV and
Personal Statement
It is your decision on whether or not you
waive your right to see the LoR.
Many medical schools recommend waiving
your right to view the LoR for two reasons:
1. This makes your letter confidential and the letter is
then considered more strongly by residency
2. Many program directors see a student’s decision
not to waive their right to see a letter as a red flag.
Pay attention to residency program
Focus on quality, NOT quantity
◦ 5-6 STRONG letters are better than 10
weak letters
Do NOT request ALL specialty-specific
◦ Request some general STRONG letters, too
Ensure your letter writers can provide you
with STRONG letters by asking them!!
Tips on obtaining LoRs can be found at:
 AAFP Tips on LoRs
 Improving Your Medical Residency Application Tips for
Obtaining Optimal LoRs
 How Should I Get Recommendation Letters for
Residency? by Geoffrey Talmon, MD
Formerly known as Dean’s Letter of
Evaluation (DLE)
A comprehensive assessment of your medical
school performance through your third year
of medical school
DCOM MSPE follows the AAMC Guidelines
and Template
 The
MSPE contains:
◦ grade comparison graphs for years
◦ class rank for top quartile students
for years 1-2
◦ preceptor comments from 3rd-year
You will be contacted by email when it is
ready for your review
MSPEs must be reviewed in person (it cannot
be emailed or faxed to you)
Students are permitted to correct factual
errors only. Revision of evaluative statements
is prohibited
Released by ERAS to programs on October 1st
MSPEs are signed by the Dean. Last 3 pages are Medical School
Information pages – see AAMC MSPE Guidelines and Template for more info
Medical School Transcript
◦ Use the ERAS Transcript Request Form
◦ Registrar will send your transcript to me
electronically and I upload transcript directly to the
ERAS Deans Office Workstation
Photographs (optional but recommended)
◦ I can upload your on file photo or you can email
me a professional head shot
Do not expect your designated
dean’s office to attach or transmit
your files at the last minute.
Processing may take a week or
longer. If there is a problem with
transmissions, you may miss a
deadline. Give your designated
dean‘s office and yourself enough
time to meet your deadlines.
Ensure documents are sent to
your designated dean‘s office as
early as possible.
COMLEX Transcript
◦ Request submitted to NBOME through ERAS when
you apply to programs
◦ Be sure to re-request transcript if you have
updated scores! (not automatic in ERAS)
◦ One-time transcript fee
 No additional fee for updates, but you must
resubmit the request
Before you certify your ERAS application,
consider whether you will apply to ACGME
and/or AOA-accredited programs. If you
apply to ACGME-accredited programs and
you have taken the USMLE, you must report
that on your CAF. If you only apply to AOAaccredited programs, you do not have to
report the USMLE on your CAF.
Schedules are program dependent
Usually are scheduled September-January
◦ Can be as early as August
Invites through ERAS and by email
Budget for traveling expenses
We do have an alumni host program!
Administered on behalf of the AOA by
National Matching Services Inc. (NMS)
Administered on behalf of the ACGME by the
National Residency Matching Program (NRMP)
Determines the final placements into
residency programs (separate service from
You can register for both matches, but if you
match in the AOA Match in February, the
NRMP drops you from its process so there is
no chance of matching in two programs. If
you do not match into an AOA program, you
continue in the NRMP Match
Registration begins the end of June and early
registration deadline is in October
Following interviews, students will identify on
their Rank Order Lists, in numerical order of
preference (first choice, second choice, etc.),
the programs where they would like to be
Students should include on their Rank Order
Lists only those programs where they would
agree to accept a contract
The results of the Match are binding for both
the students and the institutions
Students may list as many or as few choices
as they wish
◦ listing too few choices may decrease the probability
of a match taking place
◦ Research shows that applicants with longer rank
order lists are more successful than those with
shorter ones (see NRMP 2011 Charting Outcomes)
◦ List your choices in YOUR true order of preference
Match participants must be fully eligible to
begin residency on July 1st
◦ The majority of programs have orientations in June
COUPLES: Two students who are participating
in the Match at the same time and who wish
to coordinate their matches may participate
in the Match as a "Couple”
Students who wish to participate as a couple
must each register separately for the Match
They then update their profiles to indicate
they are part of a couple and identify their
More information on couples match can be
found on their website
Program Types Offered in the Match
◦ Traditional Rotating Internship: These programs
involve a one-year commitment between the
student and the institution for an OGME-1
internship position only
 For students pursuing an Option 3 specialty
(dermatology, public health and preventative medicine,
proctologic surgery)
 For students who are undecided
◦ Residency: These programs involve a multi-year
commitment between the student and the
institution for training in a specialty
Match Results
Released in February
Match results binding
Contracts sent within 10 days
Unmatched students who registered with NRMP will
continue on to the NRMP Match or they can
“scramble” for an AOA position
◦ Unmatched students who did NOT register with
NRMP can “Scramble” for unfilled AOA positions
 Students will be provided information on programs
with available positions
 Programs with available positions will be provided with
information on unmatched students
We will have a “Scramble Command Center”
on campus
◦ Clinical faculty advisors available
◦ Assistance with application and document
You will contact programs with available
positions and follow their directions for
submission of applications and documents
◦ ERAS (regular charges apply)
◦ Email applications/documents
◦ Fax applications / documents
Same process as AOA match with the
exception of the Scramble---NRMP has
Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program
Also has couples match
Registration begins September 1st and
deadline is late November
◦ Late registration available for additional charge
Rank order list begins mid-January with
deadline in mid-February
Match results released in mid-March
Rank all of the programs in which you would
accept a contract, from highest preference to
Include a mix of highly competitive and less
competitive programs
Rank your most preferred programs in an
alternate specialty (Back-up plan!)
Include all of your qualifications on your
You must register for ERAS and the Match (NMS
and/or NRMP) separately
Register and apply early!
Top 3 criteria used by program directors*:
1. The student rotated through the program director’s
2. Personality match with the program (audition rotations
and/or interviews)
3. COMLEX scores
*According to: Outcomes of the Osteopathic Match, 2009
Take COMLEX Step 2 CE and PE early
Complete applications early and apply early
Budget for interviews, it’s expensive
Take notes during interviews
Rank programs to YOUR preferences (don’t
try to game the system!)
Rank as many programs as you can and are
willing to go to
4th year goes by fast!
Formulate a good application and Match strategy
with a back-up plan (or 2 or 3!)
Apply as early and broadly as possible!
All of this information and more can be found on our …
Residency Application Guide and Resources WebPages
Step-by-step instructions
Application checklist
Useful links and required forms (Request for LoR Cover Sheet, ERAS
Transcript Request form)

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