Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) or “California Letter”
IMPORTANT NOTE: ERAS Support Services at ECFMG does not accept paper documents in support of ERAS residency applications. All supporting documents must be submitted electronically via one of the available methods.
ERAS Document Submission At-a-Glance
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If you apply to programs in California, you must submit a Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) issued by the Medical Board of California with your residency applications. The PTAL was known formerly as the California Applicant Status Letter and may also be referred to simply as the “California Letter.”
The Medical Board of California will require several months to issue the PTAL. You should contact the Medical Board of California for information and apply for the PTAL well in advance of program deadlines.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Medical Board of California has established additional criteria with respect to international medical schools for the purpose of eligibility for medical licensure. If you plan to apply to residency programs in California, consult the Medical Board of California to determine if graduates of your medical school are eligible for licensure in California. ERAS does not preclude any students/graduates from participating in ERAS, based on their eligibility for licensure. Before applying to residency programs in any state, it is your responsibility to become familiar with that state’s licensure requirements and to ensure that you meet any licensure requirements to enter and complete residency training in that state.
In AAMC’s MyERAS, you must include the PTAL as one of your LoRs in your applications to programs in California. Since you can assign a maximum of four LoRs to any one program, this means that you can assign up to three LoRs and the PTAL to any program in California. List the letter as one of your LoRs by checking the box that indicates “This is a California Applicant Status Letter.”
Once you obtain the PTAL, upload it to ERAS Support Services electronically via ECFMG’s OASIS. Documents uploaded through OASIS will take one to two weeks to process. If your medical school participates in EMSWP ERAS and will be providing the PTAL on your behalf, the school can upload it using EMSWP. Documents uploaded through EMSWP will take up to two business days to process. See Electronic Document Submission for more information.
If you do not yet have your PTAL, you need to let programs in California know that you are working to obtain one. To do this, finalize the California Letter as one of your LoRs, as described above, and upload a temporary document, such as the receipt issued by the Medical Board of California or the “Originals Returned” letter that accompanied your returned originals, via ECFMG’s OASIS. When you receive the final PTAL, upload a copy to ERAS Support Services at ECFMG via OASIS.
Obtaining a PTAL (“California Letter”)
Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815
Tel: (916) 263-2382
Information and application materials are also available by visiting www.mbc.ca.gov/ or sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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