Planning ahead for residency applications is one of the most critical factors for your success. You will have more time to prepare higher quality documents and you will be able to have them edited, reviewed, and revised.
Additionally, the process of planning ahead for residency applications will end up saving you time, money, and most importantly, hours, days, and weeks of unnecessary stress. Instead of rushing to the finish line like most other applicants, you’ll have completed the race before it’s even begun.
Below, learn how planning ahead for residency applications will help optimize your chances for the position you’ve always dreamed of.
1. Prepare for and Schedule USMLE Steps
Suffice to say, many applicants find themselves in a crunch when they realize they scheduled a test too late to have results before application season begins; or worse yet, they failed a Step and now need to retake the exam. So, schedule your exams ahead of application season and study, study, study. You’ll be glad you did. And keep in mind, Step 1 and 2CK scores usually take a couple of weeks for results, while getting approved for Alternative ECFMG Pathways (including the OET) can take many weeks! Don’t forget to factor these delays into your plans.
2. Plan for Strong US-Based Letters of Recommendation
Strong US-based Letters of Recommendation are essential components of planning ahead for residency application success. This means finding experiences, well before application season begins, which could result in such letters. Additionally, be sure to start asking for LoRs early. You can access our comprehensive guide for How to Obtain the Best Residency Letters of Recommendation here. Also, many applicants are asked to write their own Letters of Recommendation. This takes knowledge, time, and effort to do well. Again, don’t delay! View our Writing Residency Letters of Recommendation – Authorship Guide today.
3. Craft the Ideal Medical Residency Personal Statement
Creating a persuasive, well-written, and cohesive personal statement takes time and effort. If you wait until last minute, it’s likely that your personal statement will reflect it. You can start early in the year by brainstorming what you would like to write about, how the structure of your personal journey will appear, and what content you’d like to include. Many applicants find it helpful to utilize professional resources as well. Although you can read all about Crafting the Ideal Medical Residency Personal Statement here, Residency Experts also offers Personal Statement Editing with many of our Packages. Additionally, if you would like your personal statement professionally written from scratch, Residency Statement is a wonderful resource to help.
4. Begin Filling out the MyERAS Application Early
When ERAS opens in June, it is time to start taking the MyERAS Application seriously. There are many written sections that require detailed and thorough responses. Many times, applicants fail to take this section seriously, fill it out incompletely or improperly, or “Certify” their application with errors present within. Remember, once you Certify and Submit the MyERAS Application, it is irrevocably locked in for the entirety of the season, without exception. Luckily, Residency Experts can guide you effortlessly through the MyERAS Written Sections with our step-by-step instructions, expert tips, and more.
5. Understand the Supporting Documents for the Application
These supporting documents would include things like your USMLE Transcript, Medical School Transcript, Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE), California Letter (PTAL), ECFMG Certification, photograph, and more. Visit Match A Resident for a complete list and explanation of the Components of an IMG’s ERAS Application. Don’t get caught off guard by the amount of time it takes to prepare your documents. For example, the PTAL takes no less than 2-3 months!
Planning ahead for residency applications can seem like effort not worth taking, but nothing could be further from the truth. Those applicants who are prepared well in advance have the time to make edits and adjustments to help optimize their applicant profile. Yet, those who procrastinate will face what may feel like insurmountable challenges.
Have confidence in the process, yourself, and your application this upcoming season: planning ahead for residency will be your greatest ally. Understand what it will take and utilize the appropriate professional resources to give yourself the absolute best chances for success.