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Residency Application FAQ


 Can I submit my applications before all my letters of recommendation are in?

Yes, you can apply to programs before all of your letters of recommendation are submitted. A completed application is preferable to an incomplete one, so if you think your letters will be in very soon (i.e., within one week), wait and apply when everything is in. If you think it may be a while before all the letters are in, go ahead and apply now.

 If all my letters are not in when I apply, do the programs frequently check back or re-download my application?

Programs are sent a message each day that tells them when applicants have new information. They are looking to complete your file, so they should download all new information.

 What if I have one letter writer writing different letters for different specialties?

You need to designate the letters so that you know which one is which. You must add the name of the specialty after the letter writer's name.

 Can I apply even though my MSPE won't be released until Oct. 1?

Absolutely. All MSPEs will be released on October 1st. You may apply without it.

 Can we add more programs to our list after we apply?

Yes, you can apply to as many programs as you like. Please be sure to check the program deadlines.

 Can I have more than one personal statement?

You may have as many personal statements as you want, but only one statement can be submitted to each program.

 How important is it to fill out the "Hobbies and Interest" section of the ERAS application?

Very important.

If you have specific hobbies and interests, post these on your application. Be specific in your descriptions. Instead of "running, traveling, music," consider "run in local 5k and 10k races, have traveled 42 of the 50 United States, play bass guitar in a ska band."

This can be an important part of your application in that it tells a lot about who you are and can be a strong connection point between you and someone on the interview committee. If you put a hobby or interest on your application, be sure you can speak to it with passion and conviction or at least know what you are talking about when asked to expand on it during an interview.

 What do I enter for AOA status if I don't know anything yet?

AOA status can be changed. As soon as nominations are available, you can add the information.


 What is an ERAS Token?

"Tokens" are electronic codes that allow you to register and access MyERAS (your personal workstation in ERAS) online. Tokens will be available Fall of M3 year and will be emailed to you. This number will be used one time only to access the MyERAS application, at which time the AAMC ID Number will be assigned. Once you obtain your token from our office, you should go to the MyERAS website and click on "register." After registering, you will be assigned an AAMC ID Number. We strongly recommend that you place the number in a safe place, as you will need it several times during the course of this process.

 When can I register at MyERAS?

AWOME will notify students when the ERAS website opens for applicants to register. It is recommended that you register on MyERAS as soon as possible. It is important to register early. Our office cannot begin working on your supporting documents until you have registered. To register, go to the MyERAS log-in. Click on "register" to access the registration page. Enter your token correctly and carefully answer all required questions.

 When can I apply to the programs?

You can apply to programs starting early September, AWOME will notify students with the specific date. Programs will start to download your information on Sept. 15.

 When is the ERAS application deadline?

ERAS does not set program application deadlines; the individual programs set the deadlines. You should contact the programs directly for their deadlines. The ERAS PostOffice closes on May 31 every year to prepare for the next ERAS application season.

 When can I update my status in MyERAS?

You can update your information in MyProfile at any time, even after you have applied to your programs. After you have saved the updated Profile, the new information will be transmitted to all of the programs to which you have applied previously.

 Do all my supporting documents have to be uploaded to ERAS before I can apply to programs?

No. MyERAS only requires that you select a training type in order to apply to programs. Documents can be assigned any time before or after applying to programs.

However, it is important to keep program deadlines and requirements in mind when assigning documents and applying to programs.

The Assignments Report, which can be found in the Programs menu, is a detailed report of training selections and document assignments for programs you have saved and applied to. Use this report to ensure that the documents assigned to the program meet their application requirements.


 Can I submit a photo for ERAS?

Yes, students can directly upload a photo to ERAS. When selecting a photo, please keep in mind that you can only use the proofs from the photographers hired by AWOME if you purchased a package from the photographer.

 Is a photograph mandatory?

No, it is not mandatory that you submit a photograph; however, many programs will ask you submit one.

 What are the photo requirements from ERAS?

  • It must be the JPEG format.
  • The maximum file size accepted is 100 KB, and the photograph must be no larger than 2.5 by 3.5 inches in size.
  • It must be a clear full front view of your head and shoulders. Your face should be in the middle of the photograph, and your expression should be natural with your eyes open looking directly ahead.
  • It should have a plain white or light-colored background.
  • You must wear professional attire. Remember, this is a job interview.

Letters of Recommendation

 Letter of Recommendation Portal

All of your letters of recommendation must be uploaded through the ERAS Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP). This will be done by your letter authors or their designee. 

 How will I know when a LoR is uploaded so that I can assign it to programs?

In addition to being able to track the status of your LoRs on the Letter of Recommendation page in MyERAS, you will receive a notification in the MyERAS Message Center for each LoR that is uploaded by your LoR Authors. A copy of this notification is also sent to the email address listed for your MyERAS account.

 Why can't I see my documents in MyERAS?

MyERAS is your file. It contains only information that you enter. If we have scanned your documents, they are in our system and, as you know, you cannot see them.

When you apply to your programs, we will transmit your documents to the ERAS PostOffice. You will be able to see the status of your documents via the Applicant Document Tracking System at MyERAS. Visit this page for more information on tracking documents within ERAS.

Medical School Transcripts

 When will my transcript be released?

Transcripts are uploaded twice during the application process. The first transcript upload will take place on September 15th . The second upload is uploaded on October 1st  with the MSPE.

 Is the transcript counted as one of the letters of recommendation?

No, the medical school transcript has its own category.


 Is the MSPE counted as one of the four letters of recommendation?

No. In ERAS there are four categories of documents: MSPE, Medical School Transcript, Color Photograph, Letters of Recommendation.  In addition to your MSPE, you can assign up to four letters of recommendation to each program.

 When can we review our MSPE?

When the draft of your letter is complete, you will receive an email indicating that the draft of your MSPE is ready for your review. The MSPEs will begin to be ready in early September. You can view your transcript through Caesar. If you found any inconsistencies or errors, please use the comment feature of the system to alert us of the potential change or correction.

Ranking Programs

 How do I rank separately for prelim programs vs. my residency programs?

There is a supplemental rank order list that is used by applicants who rank advanced programs ("A" positions beginning in the second year of training) on their primary rank order list and who also want to match to a compatible preliminary or transitional first year program ("P" position) for the first year of training. For each PGY2 "A" program ranked on the primary rank order list, a number of PGY1 programs that correspond to that advanced may be ranked on a supplemental rank order list. Although not a requirement, applicants generally consider geographic location in developing their supplemental rank order lists for specific advanced programs. Therefore, you can have supplemental rank order lists linked to different advanced programs. A supplemental rank order list will be used in the match only if the applicant matches to an advance program on the primary rank order list. The supplemental rank order list is used as part of the main match and is not a separate match. If the NRMP is unable to match the applicant to a first-year program, the match to the advanced program still holds and the applicant must seek a PGY1 position after the match.

USMLE Scores

 Can we release our USMLE Step 1 scores, but not our Step 2 scores?

Your transcript will only be transmitted to programs to which your USMLE transcript has been assigned. Anytime an applicant is notified that new scores are available, they will have to manually retransmit the transcript to programs to which they have applied using the retransmit option on the Documents/USMLE transcript tab.

 Do programs require Step 2 scores?

You need to check with individual programs, more and more are requiring both Step 2 CS and CK. Requirements are different at individual programs. For the programs that require passing of Step 2, please be sure to schedule Step 2 (CK and CS) in plenty of time to have your grades available to programs.