Parts of the ERAS Application
1. United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Transcript
A USMLE transcript is a student’s performance as a score and percentile on the USMLE Step 1, 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and 2 Clinical Skills (CS) and Step 3. It is uploaded by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and can be requested by paying a small fee.
2. Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)
ECFMG Certification is an effective screening mechanism for ensuring that IMGs, in patient care situations, have met minimum US standards. Each year thousands of IMGs in the certification process, apply to ECFMG for USMLE. The process of getting ECFMG certification involves multiple steps:
a. The ECFMG Certification process begins by confirming the student’s medical school eligibility for ECFMG certification.
b. The student applies for a USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number.
c. The student completes the Application for ECFMG Certification along with a notarized Certification of Identification Form (Form 186).
d. Once the application is accepted, exams may be taken. The following steps are mandatory to pass in order to apply for ECFMG certification: USMLE Step 1, Step 2 (CK), and Step 2 (CS).
e. The following IMG’s medical education credentials are verified: medical diploma, medical school transcript, and any transferred academic credits.
f. An ECFMG certificate is issued.
3. US Clinical Experience (USCE)
USCE can be divided into three distinct categories:
1. Clerkship/Elective rotations are part of the medical student’s clinical education. They are sometimes referred to as “away” rotations. These can only be done during an ongoing medical education. This type of USCE falls under the hands-on category.
2. Observerships refer to shadowing-only rotations with no direct patient-care. These programs are open to both medical students and graduates (IMGs) and can take place in a variety of settings: hospitals, clinics, ambulatory care, urgent care, etc. Students observe the attendings in their day-to-day work schedule, shadowing them as they go. This does not account for hands-on category.
Observerships are an excellent way to open opportunities to participate in research, volunteer to present cases, work on networking, and earn recommendations.
3. Externships are hands-on clinical experiences. Since they are only open to IMGs, they often follow a similar educational curriculum to clerkship/core rotations. These externships for graduates can be arranged directly with the hospitals.
Externs are typically involved in many aspects of patient care. They may be permitted to write Subjective Objective Assessment Plan (SOAP) notes, make differential diagnoses, involve in team meetings, participate in teaching rounds, create progress notes, and learn Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems. Externs can make a great impression and earn LORs.
4. Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
The LOR is a reflection of the applicant’s academic and distinguished personal qualities as evaluated by an American physician. The LOR can be broadly classified into two categories:
1. Generic LOR is template based given to applicants who spend a short duration with an attending. It is very formal and has a very limited value. Most program directors are familiar with such LOR and would immediately identify one upon seeing it.
2. Personalized LOR is much longer and detailed that may include some personal event of the applicant and his or her perception by the attending. This letter goes in depth to explain certain cases that the applicant came across during his USCE and discusses in detail how the applicant addressed it. It may also include some personal anecdotal events with the applicant.
This type of LOR is highly valuable in the USA. Such recommendations are only written if the applicant has spent a significant amount of time with the attending who has known the applicant on a personal level. Very rarely one would expect such a descriptive narrative for a short USCE.
5. Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
The MSPE is a document that is uploaded by the medical university from where you graduated from. The MSPE is a short summary letter of evaluation that replaced the previously called Dean's Letter. The MSPE objectively summarizes the student’s personal qualities, academic performance on a yearly basis, and the overall impression by the faculty.
6. Medical School Transcript
A medical school transcript is also called a grade/mark sheet and includes a student’s performance subject wise. It includes grades, honors/distinctions, or repeats during medical years.
7. Personal Statement
A personal statement is a one page narrative about an applicant. It answers the question of why the program should interview the applicant beyond the ERAS curriculum vitae (CV), making it one of the most important documents in your ERAS application. Residency directors are able to comprehend an applicant’s character, motivations, and unique details.The personal statement may showcase the individual’s experience during a specific clinical rotation, and what inspired him to choose a particular speciality. This is an opportunity for the applicant to show his personality before meeting the program director.
8. Electronic Residency Application Service Curriculum Vitae (ERAS CV)
The ERAS Curriculum Vitae (CV) populates the information you entered in the application section of MyERAS. It is formatted differently for the benefit of those programs that prefer to view applications in a CV format.
The ERAS CV contains the following information:
1. Personal Information
Note: This section of the application should be kept up-to-date throughout the application season and is the only part of the ERAS CV that can be edited.
Contact Phone Number
Contact E-mail Address
Current Mailing Address
2. Biographical Information
Gender, Birth Place, and Birth Date
Hobbies and/or interests
Membership in honorary and/or professional societies
4. Work Experience
Prior Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Internship
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Residency
Applicants must enter each clinical and teaching experience as work experiences.
Publication types available are:
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles/Abstracts (published and non-published)
Peer Reviewed Book Chapter
Online Publication (peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed)
Once you fill this information in the ERAS CV, you certify and submit the application.