Posted by: medhelpteam | July 5, 2009


Who needs ERAS?

Anyone who wishes to participate in the NRMP, American Urological Association, or military (Army or Navy) match will use ERAS to complete the residency application.

What is FREIDA?

The Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA) contains over 7,800 graduate medical education programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education as well as over 200 combined specialty programs. FREIDA is maintained by the AMA. You can access it at

What is a Rank-Order List?

A student prepares a rank-order list of preferred residencies to the applicable matching agency. This list indicates the student’s choices for residency in order of the most preferred to the least preferred program. Students must rank only those programs where they are willing to accept a position.

When’s the best time to ask for my three to four letters of recommendation for my ERAS application?

You should do that at the beginning of your fourth year. You’ll want to request letters from faculty members who know you well and who can speak about your clinical skills.

Do I need a CV and personal statement?

Yes. You should provide a CV and personal statement to your writers to facilitate their process of preparing the most competitive recommendation letter for you. Early match participants need a formal CV as a part of their application. Later on, all of you will need a formal personal statement, which is an integral part of the application. Some students also create formal CV’s to leave with their interviewers on the day they meet with them.

Is the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) counted as one of my letters of recommendation?

No. The MSPE is designed to be an evaluation of your performance in medical school rather than an additional recommendation letter. It has its own slot in the application process.

Do I get to read my letters of recommendation in advance to make sure I want them included with my application?

Students are encouraged to waive the right to read their recommendation letters. If you refuse to waive your rights, that will be noted in the recommendation letter. Some letter writers will choose to give you a copy of what they have written; you may read those letters.

Where should recommendation letters and transcripts be sent for uploading to ERAS?

Recommendation letters should be addressed generally to “Dear Program Director” and forwarded to Jane Trask (see address below). She is also the point person for receiving copies of your University transcript. You can order your transcript directly from the University registrar. These should not be ordered until summer quarter of Med 4. Please wait for instructions before ordering them.

Who sends Medical Student Performance Evaluations to non-ERAS programs?

Karen Hartker in the Office of Medical Education Administration (155 Meiling) sends MSPE’s to non-ERAS programs. You will need to provide the appropriate address labels.

What is a token?

A token is an identification number that you obtain from Jane Trask in order to complete your ERAS application.

What is an Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) number?

This is an ID number provided by the AAMC the first time you use its services as a medical student. Generally, ERAS will provide that number for you. If in doubt, contact Jane Trask on how to contact the AAMC to ascertain the right number.

Where do I find previous match results?

You can stop by 061 Meiling Hall or visit the College’s Web page at

What is a categorical residency?

A categorical residency includes the intern year. You will do your entire residency at one institution if you match into a categorical program.

What is a transitional year? What is a preliminary year? How are they different?

The transitional year is an intern (one-year) experience that rotates through various departments of a residency program. The intent of a transitional year is to provide a broad base of education for those students entering an advanced residency program. The preliminary year is offered in either medicine or surgery. This more-focused intern year also prepares a student to enter an advanced residency or to move into a categorical program at the PGY-2 level. Neither of these programs leads automatically to an advanced program, but a student who takes a preliminary year may be able to step into a second-year residency in medicine or surgery.


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