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ERAS FAQ

Question:

Should I wait to submit my application until all my letters of recommendation have been received by the Dean's office ?

Answer:

No, you should not wait for our receipt of all letters of recommendation before you submit your application. ERAS is specifically designed to handle applicant information piecemeal, with different parts of your application being transmitted to programs at different times. Once you are happy with your part of the application and at least an initial list of programs to which you want to apply, you can submit your application.

Please remember that the earliest you can submit your application and the earliest that programs can access your ERAS application is September 15.

Question:

Is my advisor's letter (the MSPE) considered to be one of my letters of recommendation ? Do I have to specifically designate the MSPE to go to each program I apply to, like I have to do with letters of recommendation ?

Answer:

No, the MSPE is considered an automatic part of your application, like your transcript. You should NOT list it as one of your letters of recommendation. You do not have to designate it to go to each program you apply to. It will be automatically sent.

Question:

Some programs I'm interested in require a Chair's letter. Does this count as one of my recommendation letters ?

Answer:

In all likelihood, yes. It would certainly be categorized as a letter of recommendation in ERAS, and you would need to attach it to all the programs you want it to go to, just like any other letter of recommendation.

Question:

What is my NBOME number, and how do I find out what it is?

Answer:

You don't have an NBOME number – that's for osteopathic students only. Leave these fields blank on your ERAS application.

Question:

I will be requesting USMLE transcripts be sent to several of the programs I'm applying to, but I don't know my USMLE number.

Answer:

Contact our office to get your USMLE number. Please note that we can't give these numbers out over the phone. We can only provide the numbers via email (and then only if you're using university email) or in person. To get your USMLE number, contact me or stop in our offices (MS 119).

Question:

Should I use the automatic re-transmission option for my USMLE transcript ?

Answer:

If you're requesting USMLE transcripts to be sent to at least some of your programs, it is strongly recommended that you do NOT opt for automatic re-transmission. If you opt for automatic re-transmission, you cannot rescind this request. It is safer to wait to see how you do on Step 2, and then decide whether you want another transcript sent that includes the Step 2 scores. You can then request re-transmission of your USMLE transcript. The only advantage that I am aware of regarding use of the automatic re-transmission option is that programs will likely receive the updated USMLE transcript just a little more quickly.

Question:

I am applying to anesthesia programs. I've noticed that several institutions have both categorical and advanced tracks for anesthesia. Should I apply to both tracks ?

Answer:

Even though the same institution may have both advanced and categorical programs, applying to only one of the tracks may not automatically put you in the applicant pool for the other track. To maximize your chances for matching into anesthesia, it would be prudent to apply to both tracks. Note that anesthesia is not the only discipline that can use both categorical and advanced tracks in this fashion.

Please note that, to some extent, how you handle this is dependent on your personal preferences as well. It may be that you only want to apply to categorical type programs and don't want to be bothered by also needing to apply to advanced and preliminary programs. But, unless you are a very strong candidate, this can be a dangerous gamble. Categorical programs can be more competitive than advanced.

Question:

How can I find out whether my letters of recommendation have been turned in to the Dean's office ?

Answer:

Under the "Documents" tab in ERAS is a sub-section called "Letters of Recommendation". In that section, you can designate letters that you are expecting to use for your application by providing the letter writer's name and title/dept. After you've designated a letter writers, you must "finalize" your listing of letter writers. Once you've done that, our office can scan and upload the letter into your application, and you can then use the Applicant Document Tracking System (ADTS) utility in ERAS to track whether that particular letter has been received by our office and uploaded. Note that you can designate letters and finalize them BEFORE applying to any programs or even listing what programs you may want that particular letter to go to. "Finalizing" a letter doesn't mean that you actually have to use the letter in your application, only that the letter will be available should you decide to send it to programs.

ADTS is even more useful after you have submitted your application, and allows you to monitor what documents in your application are available for programs and what documents individual programs have actually downloaded. This is a very helpful feature of ERAS, and one that you should take advantage of. ADTS is accessible in ERAS by clicking on the "Track Applications" tab in ERAS. A link to ADTS is also available in the LoR section of the Documents.

Question:

Can I apply to more programs after I've already submitted my application ?

Answer:

Yes, you can add programs at any time after you have submitted the initial application. You will need to assign documents to the new programs just as you did for the original program selections.

Question:

I want to submit my application before AOA selections are announced. If I am elected to AOA, how can I communicate this to the programs that I've already applied to ?

Answer:

The "Profile" section of ERAS (a sub-section of "Account" section), contains a question regarding AOA status. If you have already submitted your application and your AOA status changes, simply update this information in ERAS in the "Profile" section. This updated information will automatically be transmitted to all the programs that you had already applied to. Note that you can update the information contained in the "Profile" section of your application at any time, even after you have submitted your application to programs. BUT, MOST OF THE INFORMATION IN YOUR APPLICATION CANNOT BE UPDATED AFTER YOU HAVE SUBMITTED THE APPLICATION (see below).

Question:

I'm anticipating that one of my research papers will be published sometime this winter. Will I be able to update my ERAS application with this information after I've submitted the application ?

Answer:

No. Unlike the AOA information mentioned above, information about your publications is contained in the "Application" portion of ERAS. This section is where the majority of your application information is contained and includes items like educational and work history, academic background, volunteer experiences, etc. Once you have certified and submitted the information in the "Application" section, you cannot update it, even if you apply to new programs later.

Additional FAQs are posted on the ERAS site at: https://www.aamc.org/students/medstudents/eras/eras_faq/

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