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The Residency Application and Process

Applying to residency is a stressful and expensive time for all fourth year medical students. I have included the components for residency as well as the process and steps required to help make this residency match a little smoother and less stressful. If you have any questions with this topic, please don't hesitate to reach out! Good luck on the 2020 Match! 

  • How do I apply for residency?

    • Have an idea of what specialty you're interested in ​

    • Apply for your ERAS application (IMGs need a token given by ECFMG) and NRMP Application

    • Make sure you've taken at least USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 CK 

    • Make sure are/will be done with rotations and ready for residency by July 1st

    • I have included videos on how the match works and making a rank order list below

  • What are the components for Residency? ​​​​

    • ERAS Application

      • USMLE Exams

        • You should have Step 1 and CK in by September 15. As an IMG, it is preferable to have all 3 scores in since some programs automatically filter by application completion

        • Programs like to see an improvement from Step 1 to CK

        • The LATEST date to take Step 2 CS and have those scores in by rank day is December 31, 2019 *You must have everything in by Rank Day for programs to rank you

        • Any failures on any exam will really affect your application

      • ERAS Photo

        • You can get this done at any photo place (JCPenney, etc)

        • You upload your photo through OASIS via ECFMG which will automatically get placed in ERAS

      • CV

        • Start working on your CV from Day 1

        • I've used this EMRA Career Planning site for my CV

        • I've included some screenshots of my CV below

        • Add all the volunteer opportunities you’ve done as well as the organizations you are/were a part of

        • It is also good to be a member of professional organizations especially in the specialty you are interested in. I've listed a couple of the organizations below for some specialties 

        • Also include any of the conference you’ve been to 

          • I suggest going to these conferences since most of them have medical student related activities such as residency fairs which is a great opportunity to network


            • EMRA/ACEP 2019 Conference: October 27-30, 2019 in Denver, CO ​

            • AAFP 2019 National Conference: July 25 - 27, 2019 in Kansas City, MO 

      • Hobbies

      • SLOE*/LOR

        • In order to have an LOR uploaded, you must have an open ERAS application and must add in the information of the letter writer (name, department, title) and either send it directly by email or download the letter request form and then send it to the letter writer

        • Sometimes letter writers will want your CV, personal statement, and sometimes photo so have these three ready!

        • *SLOE: SLOEs should be from a hospital with a residency program. It is okay if you are unable to do so as long as the SLOE writer is EM board certified but places with residency programs are preferred

        • There are also other SLOEs for things such as Peds EM

      • SVI*

        • It is a required component for EM applicants only

      • Personal Statement

    • NRMP Application

      • You need to pay for this since this is how you match (you can have an ERAS application open, not apply to NRMP and not match) ​

    • The Interview Process

      • Once you start getting interviews (alerted via ERAS) you will have to start scheduling dates and also flights

      • It’s best to try and group interviews in the same areas together but that can be really difficult (which is why you should have a COMPLETE application by the time Sep 15 rolls in so you get the best outcome and best opportunities for interviews)

      • You should also be diligent when you get an interview and reply as soon as possible so you can get your optimal date and time

      • If you are a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, the medical fraternity, you get discounts for various things (travel, attire)

      • AUA schedules mock interviews around May and June which I recommend. They will also look at your personal statement and CV if you bring a copy

      • Interview Questions

        • From friends and from my interview experiences:

          • What two things in medicine would you change if you could?

          • How would you deal with physician burnout?

          • Explain to me your perfect healthcare system?

          • Why ___ (specialty)?

        • Other questions

          • Dr Majestic has great residency resources here

      • Pre-Interview Dinner - ALWAYS GO IF YOU CAN!

        • Attire

          • Business casual for males and females

        • T/T

          • You are still being watched so definitely be on your best behavior

          • You can choose to either have no drink or 1 drink. NO MORE than 1. 

      • Interview Day

        • Attire

          • Males - suit, nice shoes, padfolio

          • Females - suit jacket with a blouse + pants or even suit jacket and collared shirts + pants; flats or heels (whatever is more comfortable to you)  

        • T/T

          • Always be prepared with questions

          • Socialize but watch what you say

          • Be yourself

      • Post-Interviews

        • Thank your interviewers and the GME department by sending thank you emails or even handwritten cards

        • Always mention something you and the interviewer discussed which helps you become memorable to them 

    • The Rank Order List

      • This is the time when you decide to rank all the programs you have interviewed at

      • Some factors included in this decision making are: location, pay, their time with the residents, fellowships, research opportunities

      • If you applied to more than one specialty, rank the programs in your #1 specialty FIRST followed by the following specialty (don’t mix the programs together)​​

      • You make your rank order list through NRMP

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Kandria Ledesma, MD

Emergency Medicine resident

NJ -> Antigua -> NY -> CA

Medicine, Running, Birds, Plants, Food, Dinos 


*I removed my full name and contact information but it should be at the beginning of your CV above Education





Dino of the Month: Carnotaurus

Plant of the Month: Nepenthes Attenboroughii

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