How and When to Send Residency Interview Thank You Letters

Sending Residency Interview Thank You Letters is common practice for medical residency applicants. Sending them to the right people at the right time is very important. Moreover, sending them with ideal content is essential as well.

We are going to address some of the most common questions regarding Residency Interview Thank You Letters below.


What is the Purpose? 

The goal is to express thanks to the interviewer and reinforce memorable aspects of your interview with key interviewers.


When and to Whom to Send?

Send within 1 week to as many key individuals that interviewed you as is possible and reasonable for each program. If you can send Residency Thank You Letters to only the Program Director and Program Coordinator for some interviews, that is okay.

Keep in mind, you may only have time for so much. As such, focus your efforts on individualizing more letters to your top programs if time will be an issue.


When NOT to Send Residency Thank You Letters?

Do NOT send Thank You Letters to programs who specifically tell you not to and/or have a policy against doing so. Consider, sending such a Thank You would imply that you cannot follow directions, which is of course a bad thing.


What is a Good Subject Line? 

Granted, subject lines can be a bit daunting and ambiguous. However, it is best not to overthink it. Straightforward and professional subject lines include:

  • A Thank You from Jane Doe
  • A Sincere Thank You from John Doe


What Should You Write in Residency Thank You Letters? 

  1. Thanks and gratitude for the interview opportunity.
  2. Reminder of the date the interview took place.
  3. Mentioning memorable moments from the interview (when addressing the Thank You to that particular interviewer).
  4. Summarizing your reasons for interest in that particular program + why you are a good fit.
  5. Hope and desire to potentially work together in the future.


What NOT to Include? 

As always, it is important to be professional and punctual when communicating with residency programs. On this note, here are a few things to avoid:

  • Being overzealous or grandiose in your thanks; keep it grounded and approachable
  • Asking the program about your performance or their interest in you
  • Content that lacks structure, organization, and/or proper spelling and grammar


The Ideal Residency Thank You Letter

Okay, let’s talk about what the best Thank You Letters entail. Such letters would adhere to the following points:

  • Sent within 1 week
  • Sent to PD/PC and other pertinent interviewers
  • Appropriately addressed (use full formal names when addressing!)
  • Professionally written and perfectly edited
  • Between 200-500 words (max!)
  • Includes your ERAS Photograph and AAMC ID in the signature area

Use these key points, and your letters will be sure to reinforce a positive outlook on your candidacy.

Want Help with Your Letters? 

If you’d like assistance putting the polishing touches on your Residency Thank You Letters, Residency Experts is here to ensure maximum impact.

Learn more about our Document Editing Service, which will help edit and craft your Letters of Interest, Thank Yous, and Letters of Intent to perfection.

Or, view our Complete Letter of Communication Guide here.