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ERAS Madness

Annaburkhead72x721Anna Burkhead -- This week, ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) opens for fourth year medical students all over the world to submit their applications to US residency programs. However, if you’re anything like me and my neurotic friends, today certainly isn’t the first day you’ve logged in and browsed through the application system. (Not to worry anyone! If today is your first day on ERAS, you still have plenty of time!)

I am applying for Dermatology residencies, with an Internal Medicine preliminary year. Since Dermatology is considered to be quite a competitive specialty with a low match rate, I have to apply to a large number of programs. The reported average number of programs applied to is 55. Right now, I have 53 programs on my list! I have yet to preview my invoice for my application. I may just have to shut my eyes, enter my credit card number blindly, and hit submit, so I won’t have some sort of respiratory arrest before my application goes out!

With a list topping 50 programs, there are certainly ones I’m more interested in than others. In fact, when I’m poking through the super-elaborate spreadsheet that I’ve made detailing program characteristics, I occasionally catch a glimpse of a program name and find myself wondering what state it’s in.

When and if (please when!) interview offers start coming in, I’ll have to do some better research. When applying for medical school, it was easy for me to keep my programs straight, since I only applied to two. But for residency, my ideal plan is to interview at about 15 programs, and that will require much more careful research and documentation.

Right now, ERAS is the topic of choice in every medical school circle I’ve been a part of for the past few weeks. Not that I’m complaining; I certainly have just as many questions and complaints as the next Joe, MS4. However, I am looking forward to the few months during which we’ll be at an ERAS standstill. Applications will be out, with no changes to be made. We won’t expect interviews to be offered until a few months later (at least that’s true for Derm, most of the interviews are mid-December and the whole of January).

I have one reminder to myself for every time I stress about ERAS and applications. I have about eight months left out of four years of medical school. That means I’m about 83% done. In other words, the “damage” is done. I have done nearly everything I possibly can in order to make myself a good candidate for a Dermatology residency. This ERAS stuff is basically just wrapping all that information up and sticking a big fancy bow on it.

September 5, 2008 in Anna Burkhead | Permalink


Good luck!!!
As an IMG dermatology feels out of range, so I´m thinking Internal Medicine then Rheuma or Pulmonology. That will be next year as I have still ahead Step 2 CK and graduation.

Posted by: | Sep 6, 2008 8:57:15 PM

its a crazy time thats for sure..its my 3rd time hitting the match as an IMG i have had my share of heartaches..first it was a late application and the second time it was a VISA issue and this time it better not be any of the above...i also have to take step 3 before the match ...ERAS has become a household name for me!

Posted by: meebo123 | Sep 9, 2008 3:38:27 PM

As an IMG i feel much much stressed about ERAS, because, it is our future that depends on it, and we IMG´s have more stakes to lose than nationals.
It would be interesting though, that more information about ERAS application is out there for us.
Anyways wish you luck.

Posted by: sarah | Sep 10, 2008 1:51:52 PM

well.you mentioned this ERAS provide the chance for ( 4th year medical students).so didnt chose your specialityyet so i dont understand is this residency program a period of training in one of fields you are interested in or is it a final choice of determining your speciality,i guess our system is different than USA and i dont get it totally.i'm an eypt in my last year of medical school and it's a dream to continue my study and career in USA.i wanna know if i passed through 3 steps of exams of USMLE,do i apply directly to the ERAS or will i have more steps to go to ?

Posted by: bassant | Sep 11, 2008 2:16:11 PM

I am a 6th year med student,my last year.And i want to pass the USMLE ,i'll begin to prepare it this october.I want to study the neurology.I want more information about ERAS.

Posted by: Josephe Archie Honorat | Sep 11, 2008 5:09:43 PM

Good luck to you!
I'm sure you'l find yourself in a better position when you get to know this....IMG's end up applying for atleast 150-200 programs...!!!! All I can say is that it's a huge GAMBLE...!

Posted by: | Sep 18, 2008 3:42:57 PM

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