Top Five Pearls of Electronic Residency Applications

Amiethab Aiyer, MD | Jonathan Kaplan, MD | Matthew Varacallo, MD

September 30, 2020

It’s that time of year again, as students continue to fill out their electronic residency applications. It’s definitely not an easy task and a super important process. Here are some tips for filling it out!


Remember that ERAS are due 10/21/20, this is the day that MSPEs (Medical Student Performance Evaluation) are uploaded and your applications become available to programs.

2Extracurriculars Activities

Selection committees want to know about what you have been doing during medical school. Try to showcase how your activities relate to patient care and your specialty of interest. These activities should be things you have been longitudinally involved with. Additionally, programs want to be see how you have taken initiative, your leadership capabilities, and how you have found harmony between these activities and academic rigors of medical school.


This is a great way to demonstrate your ability to work in teams, to collaborate with various departments or institutions, and critical thinking skills. Make sure you include everything you are involved in or have been involved in, whether completed, submitted, accepted, or none of the above. One way to consider filling it out: experiences should include projects that you have been working on (and manuscripts that have been submitted but not necessarily accepted), and the publication section (including posters/abstracts) should be the resulting items from said experiences.

4Letters Of Recommendation

It’s ideal to have 4 recommendation letters from your specialty of interest, but not an absolute requirement during this cycle. If you have a home program and are getting non-specialty specific letters, they may not be optimally received at different programs. However, certainly letters from those who know you well is best. Lastly, using SLOR (standardized letter of rec) along with narrative letters is optimal.

5Personal Statement (PS)

Do not shrug this off; make sure you have family, friends and mentors review this prior to submission. Programs may very well be paying more attention to the PS this year, and you want to be able to showcase why you would be an amazing resident.

An important caveat to bear in mind is that everything you include is fair game to be asked about during interviews; so if you list it, be able to discuss it. Best of luck!!!

DISCLOSURES: Dr. Aiyer American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society: Board or committee member, Delee & Drez Orthopaedic Sports Medicine (Elsevier): Publishing royalties, financial or material support, Medline: Paid consultant, Medshape: Paid consultant, Miller’s Review of Orthopaedics (Elsevier): Publishing royalties, financial or material support Dr. Kaplan Medline: Paid consultant, Wright Medical Technology, Inc.: Paid consultant Dr. Varacallo This individual reported nothing to disclose.

Read the AAOS Code of Conduct for Discussion Group Terms, Conditions and Disclaimers HERE.

Copyright© 2020 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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