What is the SEL for Internal Medicine?

In July 2021, the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine(AAIM)introduced the Internal Medicine Structured Evaluative Letter (SEL). The SEL is intended to replace the Chair/Departmental Letter and can also replace a standard Letter of Recommendation. However, it is not meant to replace all LoRs. Below, we will discuss what the SEL consists of as well as how to obtain and submit one.

What is the SEL for Internal Medicine?

The Structured Evaluative Letter is an evaluation of many different areas made by a mentor who observed you in the medical field. Brief descriptors of your medical school’s assessment process, how metrics are produced, and how students are graded will assist in the review process. It is acceptable and understandable if some components of the SEL cannot be provided. 

Different schools may use different metrics to evaluate the learner’s growth and performance, that is acceptable. Since the IM SEL can allow for more direct comparisons in specific skills important in IM residencies, information on a student’s non-cognitive skills is also preferred. Most importantly, IM SELs that provide more data will benefit applicants and be viewed as a more trusted source. Reinforcement of your ability from an observer provides residency program directors with a strong belief you would be a good candidate.

As for the applicant, you should supply the author with the template the AAIM provides. You can find a mock-up example and template here.

How do you obtain and submit the IM SEL? 

It is important to note, the IM SEL is not mandatory, though it is recommended when possible.

The IM SEL can be completed by an individual observer from their medical school or an internship when a committee is not an option. Details of authorship should include relationship duration and the type of relationship with the applicant (e.g., advisor, direct observer, indirect observer, etc.).

For international medical graduate (IMG) letter writers, IM SEL authorship or responsibility must be adjusted to fit the individual or institution’s process. Details of authorship should be indicated in the IM SEL section on the first page, Statement of Letter Preparation.

The IM SEL should be uploaded into ERAS in the same manner as a standard LoR. It can be uploaded in place of the “Chair/Departmental Letter”, or it can be uploaded instead of a standard LoR. The IM SEL should be uploaded in place of the Chair/Department letter if the residency program requires a Department of Medicine (DOM) letter.

An important part of a strong residency application is to have trustworthy, detailed recommendations. Letters of Recommendation are a big part of that. Our experts can help you edit, or provide review & feedback on your LoRs to make sure they present you in the best light possible! Questions? Email support@residencyexperts.com or call (858)-221-8580