ERAS Support Services for Applicants

Supporting Documents

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About Supporting Documents
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Following are the documents that ERAS Support Services at ECFMG will upload to the ERAS application:

Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

ERAS Document Submission At-a-Glance

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What is the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)?

The Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) evaluates a medical student’s performance during his or her academic career relative to his or her peers. The MSPE should not act as a “predictor” of your future performance but provide information about your academic performance. See Recommendations for Revising the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) to learn more about this document. The MSPE should be written on medical school letterhead with the medical school seal affixed, and signed by the designated medical school official. The MSPE should include your full name.

The MSPE has replaced the term "Dean's letter" to better describe the purpose of this document, which is to evaluate the performance of the medical student. It is not a letter of recommendation. While ERAS Support Services will accept a "Dean's letter" from your medical school, we strongly encourage medical schools to provide an MSPE that follows the MSPE guidelines detailed in the AAMC's Recommendations for Revising the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE).

How do I submit my MSPE?

To obtain an MSPE, you should contact your medical school. ERAS Support Services does not provide MSPEs. Once you secure the MSPE, you can submit the document to ECFMG electronically via ECFMG’s OASIS. Documents uploaded through OASIS will take up to five business days to process. If your medical school participates in EMSWP ERAS, the school will upload the document on your behalf. Documents uploaded through EMSWP will take up to two business days to process. See Document Submission for more information.

When ECFMG receives your MSPE, it will be transmitted to your ERAS application regardless of whether you have applied to a program. All MSPEs are held at ERAS until October 1, at which time they are released to programs to which you have applied. ERAS Support Services strongly recommends that MSPEs arrive at ECFMG no later than September 22 if submitted electronically via OASIS.

The MSPE is not a letter of recommendation and does not need to be finalized as a LoR and assigned to your programs. This is done automatically when the MSPE is submitted.

What if my medical school does not provide an MSPE?

If you are unable to secure the MSPE from your medical school, you must indicate this on the Additional Documents page in the MyERAS application. A neutral placeholder letter will be provided in place of the MSPE. The placeholder letter will be provided to all of the programs to which you apply, and will state, “This document is provided in lieu of the applicant’s MSPE. Please contact the applicant with any questions you may have.” This will ensure that your application will appear as complete for those programs that require an MSPE before considering your application.

My MSPE is not in English. What should I do?

If the MSPE is not in English, you must have an English translation prepared by and certified to be correct by a medical school official (for example, a Dean or Registrar), a government official (for example, a Consular Officer), or a professional translation service. ECFMG’s recommended professional translation service is Straker Translations. Submit only the English translation to ERAS Support Services at ECFMG.

Last updated May 24, 2017.

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Medical school transcript

ERAS Document Submission At-a-Glance

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What is a Medical School Transcript?

Medical school transcripts come in a variety of formats. They may also be known as mark sheets, time sheets, or hour sheets. Ideally, they will give program directors an overview of the subjects you studied in medical school, how long you studied each subject, and how well you did on your exams. The transcript must include your full name and should not be on “security paper” with a busy background. Busy backgrounds make the scanned image illegible. Ask your school to copy your transcript onto plain paper.

I already submitted my transcript to ECFMG. Do I need to resubmit it for my ERAS application?

Although you may have already provided a transcript for ECFMG Certification, you are still required to submit a copy to ERAS Support Services. Contact your medical school as soon as possible to obtain your transcript.

How do I submit my medical school transcript?

Once you receive the transcript, you can submit a copy to ERAS Support Services via ECFMG’s OASIS. Documents uploaded through OASIS will take up to five business days to process. If your medical school participates in EMSWP ERAS, the school will upload the document on your behalf. Documents uploaded through EMSWP will take up to two business days to process. See Document Submission for more information.

What if my medical school does not provide a medical school transcript?

If you provided your medical school transcript to ECFMG as part of the ECFMG Certification process, you can request that ECFMG transfer a copy of that document to your ERAS application. To submit the request, first register your ERAS Token with AAMC's MyERAS website. Then log in to ECFMG's OASIS, and go to the ERAS Support Services section to access the Request for ECFMG-verified Transcript page. Carefully review the information on that page, and click on Submit Request. The processing time for this request will be the same as all other document uploads (up to five business days). Please note that if your school participates in EMSWP ERAS, your school must upload the document on your behalf so you will not be able to submit this request.

If you are unable to provide a medical school transcript, you must indicate this on the Additional Documents page of the MyERAS application. A neutral placeholder letter will be provided in place of the transcript. The placeholder letter will be provided to all of the programs to which you apply, and will state, “This document is provided in lieu of the applicant’s medical school transcript. Please contact the applicant with any questions you may have.” This will ensure that your application will appear as complete for those programs that require a medical school transcript before considering your application.

My medical school transcript is not in English. What should I do?

If the medical school transcript is not in English, you must have an English translation prepared by and certified to be correct by a medical school official (for example, a Dean or Registrar), a government official (for example, a Consular Officer), or a professional translation service. ECFMG’s recommended professional translation service is Straker Translations. Submit only the English translation to ERAS Support Services at ECFMG.

I am a transfer student. How do I submit both of my medical school transcripts?

If you are a transfer student and would like to submit more than one medical school transcript for your ERAS application, you must scan all pages of all transcripts as one file and upload that file. If your medical school participates in EMSWP ERAS, see the EMSWP ERAS page for more information. If you have any questions about the processing of your transcripts, please contact ERAS Support Services at ECFMG.

The transcript does not need to be assigned to your programs. This is done automatically when the transcript is submitted.

Last updated May 24, 2017.

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Letters of recommendation (LoRs)

ERAS Document Submission At-a-Glance

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Submitting letters of recommendation (LoRs) that are substantive in content will ultimately provide the residency training program director with information pertinent to the residency recruitment and selection process. You should select your letter writers carefully and contact each program for its LoR requirements. Your LoRs should give the residency program director a clear picture of your current skills and clinical ability, in addition to your personal characteristics such as professionalism, leadership, and interpersonal skills both in the patient setting as well as with hospital staff.

For more detailed information, refer to Asking for a Letter of Recommendation (LoR), published by the ECFMG Certificate Holders Office (ECHO). This resource provides suggestions for the content of LoRs. It also provides suggestions for whom you should approach for a LoR; how to approach them; and what documents and information you should provide to your letter writers. Finally, it addresses the issue of whether you should waive your right to view your LoRs.

How do I submit my LoRs?

LoRs can be submitted through the AAMC’s Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP). If you have waived your right to view an LoR, your letter writer must upload the letter on your behalf through AAMC’s LoRP. If you have not waived your right to view an LoR, you are permitted to upload a copy through the AAMC’s LoRP, logging in using your AAMC account. Programs are able to view who has uploaded the document. For tips on uploading your LoRs, please see the Letter Writer Assistance page on the ECFMG website.

For detailed information on how your letters should be submitted using the AAMC’s Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP), refer to AAMC’s Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP) page.

It is your responsibility to follow up with letter writers to ensure that LoRs are ready in time to meet program deadlines.

In order for your LoRs to be available to programs, you must confirm for upload your LoR Authors and assign the letters to programs in MyERAS. There is no limit to how many LoRs you can submit, however, you can assign a maximum of four LoRs to each program.

How do I reuse LoRs from the previous ERAS application season?

For detailed instructions on reusing your LoRs, please visit Reusing Documents.

My LoR is not in English. What should I do?

If the LoR is not in English, you must have an English translation prepared by and certified to be correct by a medical school official (for example, a Dean or Registrar), a government official (for example, a Consular Officer), or a professional translation service. ECFMG’s recommended professional translation service is Straker Translations. Submit only the English translation to ERAS Support Services at ECFMG.

Last updated May 24, 2017.

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Photograph

ERAS Document Submission At-a-Glance

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Should you be selected for an interview by a program, the program will use your photograph to identify you at the interview and as a memory aid when creating a rank order list. The photograph must be a clear, full front view of your head and shoulders. Your face should be in the middle of the photograph, and your expression should be natural with your eyes open and looking directly ahead.

If you wish to submit a photograph, you must submit a digital photograph via ECFMG’s OASIS or via the MyECFMG mobile app.

Submitting your Photograph via the MyECFMG mobile app

ERAS Support Services at ECFMG strongly recommends that you use the MyECFMG mobile app to submit your photograph for your ERAS application. Through the app, you can take a photograph using your mobile device’s camera and review it before submission, or select a photograph file from your device to use. The app will automatically adjust the photograph to meet the file size and format required by ERAS. The MyECFMG mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices.

Submitting your Photograph via OASIS

Before you attempt to submit a photograph, make sure that it conforms to the following technical specifications:

  • It must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.
  • The maximum file size accepted is 100 KB.
  • It must be no larger than 2.5 by 3.5 inches in size.

Log in to ECFMG’s OASIS or MyECFMG and click on the link for ERAS Support Services. From the ERAS Support Services screen, select Upload Photograph. Click the Browse button to select the photograph file from your device, then click Upload to upload the photograph.

You will receive confirmation of acceptance if the system uploads your digital photograph successfully.

If your photograph is rejected, you will need to submit a new file that meets the specifications above. Do not e-mail your photograph to ERAS Support Services at ECFMG. We are unable to modify files for applicants.

To make your photograph available to programs, you must assign it on the Additional Documents tab of MyERAS.

You can update your photograph at any time by submitting a new version via the MyECFMG mobile app or OASIS. Once processed it will replace the previous version in your ERAS application. Please allow two business days for the photograph to be uploaded to your ERAS application.

Last updated May 24, 2017.

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ECFMG Status Report

ERAS Document Submission At-a-Glance

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The ECFMG Status Report confirms your ECFMG certification status. The ECFMG Status Report contains the month and year that you passed examinations for ECFMG Certification. It does not include your USMLE scores, which can be reported only as part of an official USMLE transcript.*

ECFMG Status Reports contain the following information:

  • USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number
  • Applicant name
  • Birth date
  • ECFMG-certified: (Yes or No)
  • Certificate issue date
  • Exams passed for ECFMG Certification*
  • CSA valid through date, if applicable
  • Medical school of graduation
  • Degree year
  • Medical Education Credential Status (complete or incomplete)
  • Explanatory notes (if applicable)

*If you received your Standard ECFMG Certificate based on any of the following exams, the scores will be listed on your ECFMG Status Report:

  • One-day ECFMG Examination
  • FMGEMS
  • VQE
  • NBME Part exams
  • FLEX

Your ECFMG Status Report will be transmitted automatically to your ERAS application, and will update automatically as new information is available. You do not need to request the Status Report or automatic updates, and the cost is included in your ERAS Token fee.

Last updated May 24, 2017.

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USMLE transcript

ERAS Document Submission At-a-Glance

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The USMLE transcript contains your examination history on Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS), and, if taken, Step 3. It includes all attempts: passed, failed, incomplete, etc. For complete information on what is included in the USMLE transcript, refer to Official USMLE Transcripts and Providing Scores to Third Parties in the USMLE Bulletin of Information.

The USMLE transcript is not transmitted automatically. You need to request its transmission, assign it to your programs, and pay the one-time $80 processing fee. You can request the release of your current USMLE transcript from the Documents tab of MyERAS. Please read the instructions carefully. Should new scores become available after you first release your USMLE transcript, you will need to retransmit it from the Documents tab of MyERAS after you have obtained your new scores. USMLE scores may only be reported in an official USMLE transcript.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your USMLE transcript request will not be processed until you have applied to at least one program. Each time you apply to a program, it can take one to two business days for your USMLE transcript to be transmitted to the ERAS application, where it can be accessed by the program.

If you are applying to programs that do not participate in ERAS and require a USMLE transcript, request a paper transcript from ECFMG.

Last updated May 24, 2017.

Go to ERAS Support Services at ECFMG

Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) or “California Letter”

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 may also be referred to 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 assign the PTAL as one of your documents in your applications to programs in California. Indicate on the Additional Documents page in MyERAS that you will be using a PTAL.

Once you obtain the PTAL, upload it to ERAS Support Services via ECFMG’s OASIS. Documents uploaded through OASIS will take up to five business days 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 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, indicate in MyERAS that you will provide a PTAL, 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 and it will replace the previous temporary document on file.

Obtaining a PTAL (“California Letter”)

Please contact:
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 webmaster@mbc.ca.gov.

Last updated May 24, 2017.

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Fifth Pathway Certificate

ERAS Document Submission At-a-Glance

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The Fifth Pathway was a pathway by which certain students who completed four years at a foreign medical school were able to complete their supervised clinical work at a U.S. medical school, become eligible for entry to U.S. residency training, and ultimately obtain a license to practice in the United States. The Fifth Pathway is no longer supported. Fifth Pathway participants did not receive a final medical diploma and were not eligible for ECFMG Certification.

To indicate that you participated in a Fifth Pathway program, you need to enter “Fifth Pathway” as your school of graduation on the registration page of the MyERAS application. Otherwise, programs may wonder why you do not have an ECFMG Certificate.

You must include the Fifth Pathway Certificate as one of your LoRs in your applications to programs. 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 Fifth Pathway Certificate to any program. List the certificate as one of your LoRs by entering “Fifth Pathway Certificate” instead of a letter writer’s name in your application on the AAMC’s MyERAS website. Then contact ERAS Support Services at ECFMG for instructions on submitting that document.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Currently, the USMLE program accepts either a valid Standard ECFMG Certificate or a valid Fifth Pathway Certificate (issued through December 31, 2009) from international medical graduates for purposes of meeting Step 3 eligibility requirements. The USMLE program will cease accepting Fifth Pathway Certificates for the purpose of meeting Step 3 eligibility requirements, effective January 1, 2017. Individuals who hold valid Fifth Pathway Certificates, and are otherwise eligible, may use their Fifth Pathway Certificates to meet Step 3 eligibility requirements, and may apply for Step 3, through December 31, 2016. Individuals holding Fifth Pathway Certificates that are not accepted by the USMLE program for purposes of meeting Step 3 eligibility will be required to obtain ECFMG Certification in order to be eligible for Step 3.

Last updated May 24, 2016.

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There are different methods for submitting supporting documents, depending on the document type. Refer to the detailed pages for each document type for specific instructions and to Submission At-a-Glance for an overview of all ERAS documents.

Please note that documents submitted to ECFMG via ECFMG’s On-line Applicant Status and Information System (OASIS) may take five business days to process.

If a program requests additional document types not listed on this page, you should make arrangements with the program to have these additional documents sent directly to the program. This practice is in accordance with the AAMC ERAS policy. ERAS will not process these documents.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some international medical schools submit supporting documents on behalf of their students/graduates who participate in ERAS through the secure ECFMG Medical School Web Portal (EMSWP). Schools that participate in the EMSWP ERAS program can electronically submit supporting documents on behalf of ERAS applicants. If your medical school participates in EMSWP ERAS, you will not be able to submit your MSPE and transcripts using OASIS. Please contact your medical school to have these documents uploaded via EMSWP ERAS on your behalf. ERAS Support Services uploads these documents to your ERAS application within two business days of their receipt. To find out if your medical school participates in EMSWP ERAS, you can use the MyECFMG mobile app or contact the Dean’s office at your medical school.

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