As the 2021 ERAS season begins, students and graduates are issued tokens from their medical schools to begin the application process. International Medical Graduates will get their applications from the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. It is important to emphasize the slow and thoughtful completion of the ERAS application. Sloppy work and inconsistent information indicates that the applicant does not think paperwork is important and that is a big red flag for programs.
Go slow and be accurate while completing the information. Remember to use complete sentences in your answers. Be consistent in verb tense throughout the application. Fill out one section at a time and stop and find information when not sure about the correct answer.
This year applicants have extra time before programs can review applications, so do everything right. Do not wait to finish the application to begin asking preceptors for Letters of recommendation. It takes time for doctors to write and upload these and they may have many letters to upload so give them as much time as possible to do this.
The 2021 ERAS season will have more challenges then ever before, but don’t wait for a later season to apply. Medical schools are graduating more and more medical students each year, but new residency positions are not keeping pace with the increase. Each year, the competition will become more intense, so now is the time to apply. In addition to starting the application, start researching programs. This can help in deciding how to frame some of the answers on the application.
Finally, before verifying and submitting the application, have someone review it for spelling, grammar, and clarity in information. This will be the first impression to medical schools. It needs to be the best possible. Good luck.