Supplemental ERAS Application: Meaningful Experiences

During the 2021-2022 Match cycle the AAMC introduced a new optional step to the ERAS application: the Supplemental ERAS Application. While it is not required for all specialties, it is useful when applicable. A major part of this application is the meaningful experiences section, which is a chance to share what has shaped the specific qualities you will bring to a residency program. In this blog, we will discuss what experiences are relevant and how to complete this section.

What Experiences should be included in the Meaningful Experiences Section?

The experiences section is divided into two parts, meaningful experiences and impactful experiences. When filling out the meaningful experiences section, you will be allotted space for 5 experiences. Each experience should be described with a short, detailed essay. The limit is 300 characters, so be sure to make your point clear.

In addition, you need to provide descriptive information:

  • Position Title
  • Organization Name
  • Start/End Dates
  • Frequency of Participation
  • elect an experience type, primary focus area, and key characteristic, as applicable.

A big difference between the experiences that you share in ERAS, is the Supplemental Application can be more of a broad scope. In other words, these experiences can be prior to medical school or not clinical. You can share the same experiences you did in the ERAS, but it is a good opportunity to present another side of yourself.

These experiences should complement the other parts of your application. Ideally, your meaningful experience essays should not repeat information from your MSPE or Personal Statement. While there may be overlap in the experiences mentioned in ERAS, consider how to provide additional insight or emphasize how these experiences have shaped who you are and what is important to you. 

Tips for the Meaningful Experiences Section

  • Create a list of experiences for the MyERAS application. Your meaningful experiences may be selected from the full list of MyERAS experiences or include experiences that are not in your MyERAS experiences. If you select experiences from your MyERAS experiences, use the same position title, organization name, and approximate start and end dates to help programs integrate your information.
  • The supplemental application allows you to highlight and expand upon experiences that are important to you. Reflect and identify experiences that communicate who you are, what you are passionate about, and your values. Programs are not interested in one type of applicant. Most programs are seeking a variety of applicants who have different experiences and passions, so do not try to fit a mold.
  • Consider your meaningful experiences as a complete set. Use them to paint a picture of yourself. You may tag an experience type, primary focus area, and key characteristic. However, you don’t need to for every experience. As a set, your meaningful experiences should display what is important to you and specific qualities you will bring to a residency program. 
  • Focus your essay on why the experience was meaningful and the lesson it taught you. You should provide a brief description, especially if the experience is not in your MyERAS application. Programs are looking for you to show introspection and growth. If you tag a characteristic and/or focus area to an experience, your essay should be clear as to why you made that choice.

Nervous about the quality of your essays? Our team of experts are here to make sure your Supplemental ERAS Application shines! Give us a call at (858)-221-8580 or email support@residencyexperts.com for more information.