ERAS Support Services for Letter WritersERAS Support Services Overview AAMC's Letter of Recommendation Portal Assistance
COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) ANNOUNCEMENT
ECFMG|FAIMER has adapted some aspects of our operations to help ensure the continuity of our programs and to enhance flexibility for stakeholders who also have made operational changes in response to the pandemic, including the USMLE program, AAMC ERAS, and NRMP. For consolidated information on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on ECFMG|FAIMER programs and what we are doing in response, please visit our COVID-19 (Coronavirus) web page. Please also monitor the ECFMG, AAMC, and NRMP websites frequently for updates throughout the ERAS 2021 season.
AAMC’s Letter of Recommendation Portal Assistance
The Frequently Asked Questions below provide a few common solutions to problems letter writers may encounter when trying to access AAMC’s Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP) or when formatting or uploading their documents.
1. Why can’t I log in to AAMC’s Letter of Recommendation Portal?
2. What is professional letterhead?
Professional letterhead gives program directors information about the source of the letter. Professional letterhead may come from the hospital, institution, or private practice where you are employed. If you do not have access to the official letterhead from your institution, we will accept personal letterhead. Most importantly, the letterhead must include contact information, such as address, phone number, and e-mail address, so that program directors may get in touch with you to validate the information in the letter of recommendation, should they decide to do so.
Program directors do not have access to the contact information that you provide in your AAMC account. Program directors see the actual document uploaded by the letter writer or applicant through AAMC’s LoR Portal, including the date it was uploaded and the name of the person uploading the document. It is in the best interest of the applicant that the document appears to be professional and reputable, and includes your contact information.
3. How do I convert my document to Portable Document Format (PDF)?
Documents uploaded to AAMC’s LoR Portal must be in the Portable Document Format (PDF). In order to save a file as a PDF, you must have PDF conversion software installed on your computer. Depending on your system, you may be able to “save” your document as PDF or “print” your document to PDF. If you do not see the option to save or print your document as a PDF, you may not have PDF conversion software installed. There are many free, on-line conversion tools. To find one that meets your needs, we suggest typing “convert to PDF for free” into your preferred Internet search engine.
If you have scanned your document in an image format, such as a Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) or Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), you may first need to copy and paste the image into a Microsoft Word document before your computer system will allow you to save or print the document as a PDF. This will only work if your system has PDF conversion software installed.
4. My file is too big to upload. How can I reduce the file size?
The maximum file size accepted for upload to AAMC’s LoR Portal is 1 MB (1,000 KB). If you try to upload a file that is larger than this, you will receive an error message.
Many factors contribute to the file size of your letter, but the length of the actual letter likely is not the reason your file is too large. Images, colors, and the version of Adobe Acrobat you may be using are the main factors in a large PDF file. Here are some tips to keep your LoR file size small:
- If you are writing your letter in Microsoft Word, make sure the document is in black and white, including any images in your letterhead. Also, make sure your document does not have any active hyperlinks. You can remove the hyperlink by right clicking on the link and choosing the Remove Hyperlink option.
- If you are scanning the document in to your computer, try setting your scanner software to a lower resolution. Most software will default to a 300 dots per inch (dpi) or higher resolution, when a resolution of 150 dpi is usually sufficient. Also, be sure to scan your documents in black and white.
- The system will not accept ZIP files, but there are many free PDF compressing tools available online to help reduce the file size.
5. What should I do if I have an issue that isn’t addressed on this page?