ECFMG serves as the designated Dean’s office for all international medical students and graduates (IMGs) who use the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) to apply for first- and second-year (PGY-1 and PGY-2) residency positions in U.S. programs of graduate medical education (GME). As your designated Dean’s office, ECFMG is your primary contact for assistance and information throughout the ERAS application process.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are a student or graduate of a U.S. (LCME- or AOA-accredited) medical school/program, you must apply for residency positions through the Dean’s office at your medical school. If you are a student or graduate of a Canadian medical school/program, the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) acts as your Dean’s office for the purpose of applying to positions in the United States; for more detailed information, go to www.carms.ca.
Your pursuit of a residency position involves three separate organizations:
ERAS Support Services at ECFMG:
- Serves as the designated Dean’s office for international medical students/graduates using ERAS.
- Issues ERAS Tokens and tracks receipt of certain supporting documents by ECFMG via ECFMG’s On-line Applicant Status and Information System (OASIS).
- Collects, uploads, and transmits supporting documents to the ERAS PostOffice.
- Transmits ECFMG Status Report to the ERAS PostOffice.
- Transmits USMLE transcript, if requested by applicant, to the ERAS PostOffice.
AAMC’s Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS):
- Maintains the MyERAS website, where you can register with ERAS and complete residency applications.
- Publishes the list of ERAS participating specialties and programs on the AAMC ERAS website. You cannot use ERAS to apply to programs that do not participate in ERAS; ERAS will not forward supporting documents to such programs.
- Maintains the Applicant Document Tracking System, which you can use to track the status of your ERAS application.
ERAS Support Services at ECFMG strongly encourages you to read the AAMC publication, Roadmap to Residency: From Application to the Match and Beyond (Second Edition), which provides an overview of U.S. graduate medical education recruitment processes.
National Resident Matching Program (NRMP, or “the Match”):
- Collects the preferences of applicants and program directors for available residency positions.
- Matches applicants with available positions. You must register separately with the NRMP to participate in the 2015 Match. (Applying at MyERAS and submitting supporting documents to ERAS Support Services at ECFMG do not register you with the NRMP Match.)
- Requires that you have passed the examinations required for ECFMG Certification, and that your passing examination results are available in time to participate in the Match.
If you are not matched to a position through the Match, you may be eligible to participate in the NRMP’s Supplemental Offer and Acceptance ProgramSM (SOAPSM). SOAP occurs annually during Match Week.
It is vital that you read all websites carefully to understand the role of each organization and to understand the intricacies of resident recruitment, eligibility criteria, and what is expected of you as a prospective candidate for a residency position.
ERAS Support Services at ECFMG also strongly encourages you to read the 2012 NRMP Program Director Survey. This publication provides insight into the factors program directors use in selecting applicants for an interview and in ranking applicants for their programs. Additionally, you are encouraged to read the 2013 NRMP Main Residency Match: Match Results by Specialty and State, which details the number of positions secured by IMGs through the Match by specialty and by state.
For information detailing some of the organizations involved in U.S. GME, please visit the ECFMG Certificate Holders Office’s (ECHO) Guide to Organizations Involved in U.S. GME.
It is important to know that programs may participate in ERAS but not in the Match. The reverse holds true; programs may participate in the Match but not in ERAS. You will need to research this information on your own.
There are fees associated with the services provided by ECFMG, AAMC, and NRMP. You must ensure that you satisfy all fee requirements; otherwise, a hold may be placed on your ERAS application and NRMP activities, and ECFMG will not process your requests.
It is important to know that ECFMG and AAMC are not associated with other services seeking to assist you with the ERAS application process for a fee. ECFMG is the designated Dean’s office and primary contact for IMGs throughout the ERAS application process.
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