Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions


Can you re-upload my MSPE as new grades come in?
OSA will upload all MSPEs on October 1st. Any evaluations that come in before that date will be included on your MSPE. After October 1st, we will allow one re-upload of your MSPE into ERAS.

If I am elected to AOA or the Gold Humanism Honor Society, will that information be included in the MSPE?

Is my MSPE tailored to my specialty choice?
The MSPE does not include the specialty you have chosen. We make sure that it is generic because some students apply to more than one specialty.

Will I be able to review my MSPE?
Yes. In mid-September, OSA will send out a PDF version of your MSPE for you to review. We will only correct spelling and grammatical errors.


Will you re-upload my transcript after September 15th?
OSA will only re-upload a transcript into ERAS if you are missing a third-year clerkship grade. The MPSE will have all the updated grades.


I need help with my CV. Who can help me?
Students may ask:

  • OSA Dean's
  • Philip Dittmar, MD
  • Your House Mentor
  • Campus Writing Center


When should I take my photo?
Before September 1st. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Who uploads the photo to ERAS?
You are responsible for uploading your photo. ERAS will not take high res. The easiest way to do it… just right-click on your photo in MedScope, save it and upload it to ERAS. 

Letters of Recommendation

The title/department is too long to fit in the field given? What do I do?
You may need to abbreviate.

My letter writer has several titles? Which one do I put in ERAS?
If your letter writer has several titles, you should use the title of their highest rank.

Should I wait to submit my application for all of my LOR's to come in?
Do not wait for your LORs to come in before submitting. Submit on September 15th, and the letters will come in when they come in.

Can I still create letter slots after I certify and submit my application?

Personal Statements

I created my personal statement outside of ERAS. How do I import it into ERAS?
Personal statement created outside of ERAS should be done in plain text using Notepad (or SimpleText for Mac). The limit is 700 characters.

Step Scores

When should I transmit your Step scores?
Please see the diagram below for when to release your step scores:

ERAS Applications

I have submitted my application, but now I need to make a change? What do I do?
Once you have certified and submitted your application you will not be able to make any changes to your application outside of the information contained on the personal information page of MyERAS.

ERAS is asking for my NRMP ID # but I don't have it. Where do I get that number?
You do not yet have this # yet. This question is mainly for alumni re-entering the match, so please leave it blank.

When I am looking at the certify and submit screen, my bullet points run together. Is this how programs will see my application?
No. If you would like to see what programs will see, view the PDF version of the application.

How should I format my activities in the application?
We suggest brief descriptions of your activities in ERAS as PDs must read a lot of applications. This can be short sentences or bullets.

Does submitting an application before 9/15 give me an advantage over other applications?
All applications submitted between 9/6 and 9/15 will all be date stamped "9/15." You will have no distinct advantage in regards to residencies seeing the application early as compared to submitting on 9/15.

How are the publications sorted?
Publications are sorted by type. They are sorted in the order that is shown when you go to choose the publication type.


Can I submit to programs that have a status other than 'Participating'?
When searching for programs if you notice a status other than ‘Participating’ you should contact the program directly.

Couples Matching

When is a good time to compare our offers?
Around late October. Make sure you reach out to PDs to try to secure offers in the same city if those are lacking.

Preliminary/Transitional Programs

How many programs do I have to visit?
This number depends on whether you are applying just locally (maybe 6-7) or also in locations where you are looking for a PGY-2 (perhaps 10 – 15). If you have a couple of academic programs on your list, you may be able to visit numbers on the lower end of the range. If you have applied to only highly desirable community programs, you may need to visit more places.

How do I know I need a preliminary or transitional program?
Here is a list of post-graduate position requirements by specialty:

Specialty PGY-1 Needed
Anesthesiology Some programs require PGY-1
Child Neurology Yes
Dermatology Yes
Emergency Medicine Some programs require PGY-1
Family Medicine No
General Surgery No
Internal Medicine No
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics No
Neurological Surgery No
Neurology Yes
Obstetrics & Gynecology No
Ophthalmology Yes
Orthopaedic Surgery No
Otolaryngology No
Pathology No
Pediatrics No
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Yes
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery No
Psychiatry No
Radiation Oncology Yes
Radiology Yes
Urology Yes


Should I accept all my offers?
It is OK to accept offers and turn them down later as you review all options and decide how many interviews you actually care to attend. However, it is polite to give programs a week or two’s notice, if possible, so that they can fill your spot with someone else who is anxiously awaiting offers. It is never OK to not show up and not let anyone know in advance.

I was invited to the 'Informal Meeting with Residents' the night before the interview, should I go?
It is nice if you can go to meet the residents in an informal situation. Speaking with residents is one of the most important parts of your interview day.  Most programs will arrange for you to spend time with the residents, even if you can not attend the pre-interview social event.

What is my target number of interviews to get?
12 – 14. Statistically, if you are able to rank about 11, you will match.

Should I send a thank you note to a program after I have interviewed with them?
The most important thing to note is that if a program says they do not want any, believe them, and do not send one. Beyond that, whether or not you send one, and whether is it an electronic or hard copy, is really a personal decision. We do not know that sending either makes a difference in how programs will perceive/rank you.