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The Application Process
Candidates must apply to the programs of their choice using the method accepted by the program. Most programs participate in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). A few programs may use their own application. Applicants also are responsible for ensuring that they meet all program prerequisites and institutional policies regarding eligibility for appointment to a residency position prior to ranking a program through the NRMP. In particular, non-U.S. citizens should inquire about visas accepted by the institution.
ERAS is the Electronic Residency Application Service developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges to transmit electronically the residency applications, personal statements, recommendation letters, Medical School Performance Evaluations (MSPE), transcripts, and other supporting credentials from medical schools to residency program directors. The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) serves as the ERAS coordinator for foreign medical graduates. See the ERAS Web site for more information.
Please note: Registering with ERAS does not register applicants with the NRMP nor does registering with the NRMP register applicants for ERAS.
Candidates should review carefully the eligibility requirements when applying to residency programs. For example, one consideration for applicants living abroad is that many programs require on-site interviews. Applications should be submitted as early as possible in order to accommodate deadlines for supporting documents and interview schedules. Late applications may not be considered. Do not send any program applications for residency to the NRMP.
Candidates also should review carefully application materials to determine if the program requires applicants to enroll in the NRMP to obtain residency positions.
Communications with Program Directors
Programs are expected to provide complete, timely, and accurate information to interviewees, including a copy of the contract the applicant will be expected to sign if matched to the program, if such contract is available, or a copy of the contract currently in use. Programs also must provide all institutional policies regarding eligibility for appointment to a residency position. This information must be communicated to interviewees in writing prior to the rank order list certification deadline or at the time the program interviews the applicant during the Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance ProgramSM (SOAPSM). It is recommended that each program obtain a signed acknowledgement of such communication from each applicant.
The ranking of an applicant by a program or of a program by an applicant establishes a binding commitment between them should they be matched. The same binding commitment is established when a position is offered and accepted during SOAP. Failure to honor the binding commitment is a violation of the Match Participation Agreement and violators may suffer penalties as outlined in Section 8.0 of the Match Participation Agreement and in the NRMP's Violations Policy. However, appointments are dependent upon applicants meeting all eligibility and appointment requirements in effect at the time rank order lists or preference lists are submitted. Institutional policies take precedence over the results of The Match.
The Match Participation Agreement does not preclude applicants and programs from expressing their interest in the other; however, they shall not solicit verbal or written statements implying a commitment. Applicants shall at all times be free to keep confidential the names or identifies of programs to which they have or may apply. Moreover, it is a violation of the Match Participation Agreement for a program to request applicants to reveal ranking preferences or for either party to suggest or inform the other that placement on a rank order list is contingent upon submission of a verbal or written statement indicating ranking preferences. Statements implying a commitment should be avoided. Rank order lists take precedence over verbal commitments.
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