What is Program Signaling?
Program Signaling is a new feature of the ERAS application that has been introduced for the 2024 Match. This section was previously part of the Supplemental ERAS application that has now been eliminated and combined with the main ERAS application.
This feature allows applicants to select programs they would like to send a signal to which would inform them of their extreme interest in their program. Each specialty has a different amount of signals that can be sent to programs, as well as some even have multi-tiered signals (gold or silver) which indicate your level of interest.
How many signals can be sent per specialty?
Each specialty was able to decide if they would like to participate in program signaling, and if they were they were able to designate the amount of signals they would allow an applicant to send. Additionally, they were able to determine if they would allow tiered signaling, meaning that you can choose to send either a gold or silver level signal. Gold signals are considered a high level of interest, and silver is considered slightly lesser but still very interested.
Anesthesiology- 5 gold, 10 silver
Dermatology- 3 gold, 25 silver
Diagnostic Radiology and Interventional Radiology- 6 gold, 6 silver
Emergency Medicine- 7
Family Medicine- 5
General Surgery- 5
Internal Medicine- 7
Neurological Surgery- 25
Neurology – 3
Obstetrics and Gynecology- 3 gold, 15 silver
Orthopedic Surgery- 30
As there are not many signals allotted for most specialties, it is important to understand how to use signaling to create a holistic application for Program Directors.
When do you send a Program Signal?
You have two options on when you would like to select a program to signal, you can select this in the ‘Program Signals’ section of the MyERAS application or you can assign them to programs when you are about to apply to them. However the key here is that you must assign a program signal to a program before your application has been sent to them.
If you send out your first round of applications, but do not use all of your designated program signals for that specialty, you can continue to assign them to programs throughout the application process. This means if you decide to send out a second round of applications in October or November, you can assign signals to programs BEFORE you send them your application.
Once you assign a signal to a program and send your application, you CAN NOT take back that program signal. It is locked in once your application is sent.
How do you decide which programs to signal?
In the same way that you want to ‘Apply Smart’ by carefully selecting the programs you want to apply to based on your preferences and your credentials- you want to do the same thing when determining who to send a Program Signal to! It may be tempting to use Program Signaling as an attempt to stand out to a very competitive program where your credentials don’t exactly align with the Program’s standards, but we would advise against this.
You can use Match A Resident’s customized program list to determine which Programs you are more likely to Match into based on your credentials. Once you have decided which programs you are going to apply to, consider which ones align most with your preferences and goals for the future. If you have connections with a program or have spent time rotating there, this is also a great way to reinforce your interest in the program.
Have questions about Program Signaling or the ERAS application? Contact us today! Our experts are here to help understand and optimize your application so you can apply confidently in the Match! Give us a call at (858)-221-8580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org