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Applying to Emergency Medicine

Hi everyone! I am sorry for not posting much on Instagram as well as through here, but things have been quite hectic after finishing my first month in my residency and am learning how to work with my schedule. (I went from having 9 shifts to 20!)

As most of you know, applications for the 2020 Match open in September and so many fourth year medical students are scheduling rotations before September in order to get LORs in time before applications are sent out. I have gotten a few requests with some components of the application process in emergency medicine and so I'll be going through these components in this post. For all my fellow fourth year medical students applying to EM, I hope this helps you!

*Please note, these components are for all medical students (US and non US) however I am an IMG therefore it will be more catered to IMGs based on my experience


SLOEs (Standard Letter of Evaluation) are one of the most difficult components to obtain when applying to an emergency medicine residency program. These are specific letters of recommendation which can only be filled out by physicans who are EM board certified as well by hospitals with an emergency medicine residency program. There are three different types of SLOEs: standard one from an EM program, one from a hospital without an EM program, specialized one (i.e Pediatric EM). Most programs will hold the standard SLOE higher than the others, especially from a place without an EM residency program.

You need to apply for these rotations and audition to impress the attendings and program. The SLOEs will then be uploaded similar to an LOR on ERAS (You will need to send a LOR request form to the attending who will write your SLOE). The best way to obtain these away rotations is to ask your school, classmates who have matched into EM, and research programs and call them to see if they accept students.

My experience was extremely difficult because my school only had affiliations with ONE hospital that had a EM residency program so spots were difficult to get before applications came out in September. Fortunately, I had spoken with the dean of my school who was able to secure a visiting/away rotation with a hospital in California (my current residency program) before it became an official affiliation with my school.

You will need a minimum of 2 SLOEs.

2. SVI

The SVI (standard video interview) is also another component specific to emergency medicine residency alongside the SLOEs. It is a program set by the AAMC where you will need to record yourself answering 6 questions about 3 minutes long per question. These questions are ethics based and you will get about 30 seconds to think about before answering. When you apply for your ERAS application, you must select "Yes" at the last page in regards to an invitation for the SVI. Then in 24 hours, you will receive an invitation link for your SVI interview which ends July 16 (more or less).

You are able to practice answering questions, recording yourself and situating yourself/laptop before beginning which is nice. There will be 6 judges rating your answer, giving you a score ranging from 0 to 6 with a total score of 30. Your score will be released about 1 month later.

For more information, please visit aamc as well as this website:

3. ERAS Application

The ERAS application is pretty standard and similar to other specialties. You may want to add other work experience/volunteer experience in regards to emergency medicine such as being a member of EMRA (emergency medicine residents association) and participating in ACEP 2019.

You definitely will want to have your Step 1 and CK score (or CS score) in before applications are out because it will be difficult for a program to assess you based on one score. Any failures on any exam will definitely hurt your application.

4. Personal Statement

The personal statement will definitely be catered to emergency medicine. You should be explaining how you are a great fit for the specialty and why as well as where you see yourself later on. More information and links are on my website here:

5. CV

Please see #3.

6. NRMP Application

In order to participate for the match, you'll need to apply via as well. It should open in September and you will need to fill out similar information like in ERAS along with your AAMC/ECFMG ID (as an IMG). This is where you will be submitting your rank lists.


This is not mandatory for applying to residency starting now. If you match into a California residency, you will be completing a form afterwards that is similar to the PTAL.


I hope this has helped those still confused with the application process in regards to emergency medicine. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me!


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Kandria Ledesma, MD

Emergency Medicine resident

NJ      Antigua      NY       CA

Medicine, Running, Birds, Plants, Food, Dinos 


Dino of the Month: Carnotaurus

Plant of the Month: Nepenthes Attenboroughii

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