There is nothing worse than certifying your application and then realizing you made a mistake in some way, whether that was a typo, missing section, or an error in the information you presented. Today’s medical residency application discussion focuses on MyERAS Mistakes that are both all too common, and also easy to avoid.
Taking a look at 15 of the most common MyERAS Mistakes below will help you prepare an application that is complete, error-free, and has interview-winning content.
Here are Residency Expert’s Top 15 MyERAS Mistakes to Avoid:
Certifying your MyERAS Application prematurely.
This is the absolute NUMBER 1 MISTAKE TO AVOID! The truth is, once you certify, you CANNOT make edits or changes to your MyERAS Application. Any grammatical errors, missing information, or misnomers in any way are permanent. The only portion which you can edit throughout the application season is your Personal Information, which brings us to Number 2.
Not keeping your Personal Information up to date.
What if you miss an interview because you are no longer using the email or phone number that you provided? Agh! Terrible right? That’s why it is incredibly important to keep this information accurate throughout the entirety of the application season.
Your email is unprofessional or unreliable.
Who doesn’t love firstname.lastname@example.org? Residency programs. Your email should be professional, ideally including a first and last name. If you don’t have a professional email by now, it’s well time that you make one. Also, it is preferred that you use a more reliable email services provider such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook.
You do not have a US-based phone number.
If you are at all able to connect a US phone number to your cell, do it! An example of this is Vonage. Residency programs may not be able to contact your international number and may be put off by the fact that you expected them to try.
Filling out written sections directly into the ERAS System.
Use an external writing program like Word or Pages so that they can help you determine errors in spelling, grammar, and format before copying and pasting content into the ERAS System. Keep in mind that ERAS does not allow special symbols or formatting, so be sure that everything transfers properly.
Waiting until the last minute.
Conversely of the first point, getting started drafting your application is something you definitely want to begin early. This will give you time to read, re-read, proof, edit, and allow for second opinions. You should ideally have all your content finalized 2 weeks before ERAS allows you to start certifying and submitting your application starting September 6th. Nothing could be worse than certifying your application and then realizing it says that you graduated 10 years prior when you just graduated… be prepared! Write early and edit a-plenty.
Watering down your application with extraneous information.
Bear this point in mind: It is better to have 1-2 activities that you can talk extensively about, including your active participation, dynamic involvement, and growth, rather than 8 groups you can claim to have ‘been a member’ of. Programs are going for genuine humanity, believe it or not. They would rather have someone passionate, dedicated, and focused, compared to someone whose involvement clearly revolves around filling up space on a CV/Resume.
You are missing English as a Language Fluency.
Don’t assume programs think you are proficient in English! Be sure to include this as one of your Fluencies and to rate yourself honestly.
Your Hobbies & Interests Section is not properly utilized.
This is a great place to showcase your personability, humanity, and outgoingness. Again, a long list of all the things you are interested in is not the way to go. Rather, focus on 2-3 hobbies and interests that show character, depth, and ones you would be able to passionately discuss in detail. This section should be written in a paragraph format and should answer questions like: What is the hobby? Why did you start? How does the hobby shape you and what do you get out of it?
You are missing a medical school you’ve attended or a transcript.
You are required to fill out ALL medical schools you’ve attended, and you will be expected to provide a transcript from EACH, not just the most recent one.
Your Experiences are jumbled or not adequately detailed.
Teaching and Clinical experiences belong in the Work Experiences section. Any unpaid extracurricular involvement and committees you’ve served on belong in the Volunteer section. Each experience leaves room for a detailed description (full narrative with sentences) which should include a background of the experience, skill development, and personal growth. Additionally, don’t be afraid to showcase work experiences outside of medicine that you think will make you appear more qualified and well rounded. Some examples might be previously teaching yoga or performing as a wedding musician.
Your Reasons for Leaving create more questions than answers.
Be sure your Reasons for Leaving are concise. If you ended an experience early, briefly explain this in a positive light that focuses on growth and working towards the future.
Red flags in the Licensure section are not well incorporated.
Again, as with Number 12, focus on the issue, like a misdemeanor, for example, in a positive light. Be brief, but adequately explain what you have learned and why this is not a cause for any concern. It is best to be short, confident, and avoid sounding like you are making any excuses.
You inaccurately described a Publication.
Errors would include listing a publication that does not actually exist. You unduly included yourself as an author when authorship was not granted. You incorrectly listed your name as the first author. Simple enough to avoid, yes?
It’s showcasing, not showboating.
Arrogance and self-aggrandizement imply a lack of humility, a turn-off to nearly every program. It is important that you come off as competent, confident in your abilities, and willing to learn and grow as a valuable team member.
Fantastic. Now you are aware of 15 MyERAS Mistakes you will be sure not to make. These common mistakes can rob an otherwise solid application from chances at an interview. Again, be sure to start drafting content well in advance of September, so that when ERAS opens the gates, you are ready to jump out at the head of the pack.
If you are seeking assistance in crafting the ideal MyERAS Application, Residency Experts is happy to put our years of medical residency application experience to work for you. Learn more about our MyERAS Editing Service or call us at 858-221-8580.