Residency Support - Timeline
Here are some thoughts on the application timeline and how I can help you:
Your medical school (or the ECFMG) will issue you a login token so you can access ERAS and begin working on your Common Application Form and personal statement, request letters of recommendation, and release your USMLE scores. Residency programs cannot yet see anything you do. This is a great time to begin working with a professional on your application. All residency directors know that you are able to work on your application this early, so don't wait too long to get your token!
- July 1 - ERAS opens (for applicants; not for residency program directors)
If you've finished your Common Application Form and personal statement, you can start applying to residency programs. You do not need to apply to all of the programs at the same time; you can always add more. But the version of the Common Application Form that you send to one program is the same one that all programs will receive, and you can't change it after you certify it.
- September 15 - the first day that ERAS allows you to transmit your applicationNote - September 15 is not a final deadline. IMGs have been told for years that they must complete their applications on the very first day or they will not get any interviews, and that is false. September 15 is the first day that applicants are allowed to send out their information to programs, and many people will apply on this date. IMGs should send their applications out early to ensure that program directors will pay more attention, and it's a great target date. But don't certify your CAF or send it out early with mistakes! You absolutely should take the time to have your CAF and personal statement thoroughly reviewed and edited by a professional like me first; certifying your application with errors and poor grammar won't help you, no matter how early the program directors see it.
Every residency program sets its own application deadline. These deadlines are not specialty-specific and vary from site to site. However, this time frame is a great target deadline to set to have your entire application finished. If you have not yet had your application reviewed by a professional, do so now. Almost all applicants will certify and transmit applications before the MSPEs are released on October 1.
- Late September - when many people *should* transmit their applications
All residency program directors will log into ERAS on or just after this date to get your MSPE. Any documents that have been assigned and scanned (such as a letter of recommendation or transcript) will be automatically downloaded too.
- October 1 - all MSPEs / dean's letters are transmitted through ERAS
Program directors will review the applications they have received and decide who to invite. While some of these directors will continue to download new documents through ERAS, many residency directors will not, because after they receive MSPEs in early October, they will certainly have enough applications already. So the longer you wait to apply, the more of a risk you're taking. Try to apply in September!
- Mid-October - program directors decide who to invite for interviews
Make sure you have started practicing your answers to sample interview questions with a residency support professional! A great ERAS application means nothing if you don't succeed during the interview too.
- November through January - interview season
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.
- Late February - the final deadline to register your rank list with the NRMP
If you are unmatched, you will be able to try to "Scramble" into open residency programs during this week through the NRMP's Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) process. You are limited to applying to only a few dozen hospitals on the NRMP Dynamic List of Unfilled Programs.
- Mid-March - first find out *if* you matched, but not *where* you matched (actual match destinations are announced later in the week)