FAQs for the AAMC-Thalamus Strategic Collaboration
The AAMC and Thalamus have announced a strategic collaboration to accelerate innovation and ease the transition to residency for medical students, medical schools and residency programs. The following FAQs answer questions about this initiative and what it means for the graduate medical education (GME) community.
What products does Thalamus offer and which are included in this strategic collaboration?
Complimentary access provided to all ERAS® residency and fellowship programs:
- Thalamus Core: Thalamus interview management platform
- Itinerary Wizard: Used to easily generate applicant/faculty interview day schedules with links
- Cerebellum: Data/analytics dashboard to assess diversity, equity, inclusivity, and geographic recruitment outcomes
Please complete a sign-up form to indicate your program’s or institution’s interest in accessing the Thalamus products included in this collaboration. These sign-up forms are available on both the AAMC and Thalamus websites.
Offered to all ERAS residency and fellowship programs for an additional fee:
- Thalamus Video: Thalamus video interview platform
- Cortex: Technology-assisted holistic review and application screening
Contact email@example.com for more information, to schedule a demo, or to obtain a quote.
Why did the AAMC and Thalamus decide to work together?
The AAMC and Thalamus have formed a strategic collaboration to accelerate innovation and ease the transition to residency and fellowships for medical students, residents, medical schools, and GME programs. The collaboration will combine the AAMC long-established tenure leading innovation along the continuum from medical school through residency training and continuing medical education, with Thalamus market-leading product and software development expertise. The organizations will leverage their data, technology, and expertise to transform the medical residency and fellowship recruitment processes for applicants and programs by increasing transparency, supporting equity through holistic review, reducing fragmentation, and improving the learner experience.
Why is this strategic collaboration happening now?
In recent years, the AAMC has completed in-depth research and enhanced the Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®) suite of application and selection tools. Thalamus has completed unique research related to the physician workforce including how geography influences The Match® and specialty-specific interview practices. This collaboration is well-timed to further modernize the ERAS application portfolio and streamline the GME recruitment process to meet the needs of the next generation of doctors. As the transition to residency and fellowship continues to evolve, our two organizations are well positioned to drive positive change in the process.
Are future collaborations like this anticipated?
Over the years, both organizations have collaborated with others in the GME community to improve the transition to residency for all parties. For example, the AAMC and eight other organizations presently collaborate to provide the Residency Explorer™ tool. Thalamus has partnered with the American Medical Association to support obstetrics and gynecology programs and conducts research with the National Resident Matching Program®. Exploring additional collaborations is very likely in the future.
Will this collaboration affect residency and fellowship applicants during the ERAS 2024 season?
For the 2024 ERAS application season, applicants will benefit from the newly updated MyERAS® application that the AAMC has already planned, which will now incorporate program signals, geographic preferences, and impactful experiences. Additionally, many applicants will benefit from Thalamus’ comprehensive interview management platform including enhancements around multiple interviews, social events, and more.
The AAMC and Thalamus plan to share data that will help improve insights into the selection process, including application and interview data for reporting, and work together to research the key issues in the transition to residency and fellowship to help stakeholders make informed decisions through data and analytics.
For the ERAS 2025 season, the AAMC and Thalamus aim to provide applicants with a more integrated application and interview management experience, including enhanced data to manage their interviews more easily.
Will ERAS and Thalamus applicant and program data be safe and secure?
Yes, data security is paramount to the GME community. The ERAS program and Thalamus will continue to prioritize data practices using industry best practices. All new systems and services will be continuously developed and tested to ensure data integrity and regulatory compliance.
How can my program learn more about the Thalamus products and services?
Please visit the Thalamus website and knowledge base, which include several articles and video walkthroughs of key product features. Specific details regarding the collaboration are included on the Thalamus website and on the shared sign-up form page.
Thalamus also offers training sessions which programs can access through the Thalamus training page. The Thalamus customer success team, the majority of which are former program coordinators and administrators, can be contacted at any time through the help button at the bottom right-hand corner of any Thalamus webpage or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Thalamus team is excited to help the community make this transition to Thalamus products and services.
Additionally, there will be several webinars offered jointly by the AAMC and Thalamus to prepare the GME community to use the enhanced offering.
How does my program sign up to use Thalamus products?
Will there be a fee for ERAS participating programs to use Thalamus Core, Interview Wizard, or Cerebellum after the 2024 ERAS season?
No. There are no plans to charge ERAS participating residency and fellowship programs for the use of these tools as part of the multi-year strategic collaboration. Programs can choose to pay an additional fee to use Thalamus Video, the video interview platform, or Cortex, the technology-assisted holistic review and applicant screening platform.
Which organization do I contact for support?
ERAS program: For all support and troubleshooting questions for AAMC login and ERAS products and services, please contact ERAS support.
Thalamus: For all support and troubleshooting questions for all Thalamus products, services, and login, please contact the Thalamus customer success team or click the “help” button on the bottom right-hand corner of any Thalamus webpage.
Programs using ERAS Interview Scheduler
When can ERAS programs using the ERAS Interview Scheduler switch to Thalamus Core?
ERAS programs will have the option to switch to Thalamus Core for the ERAS 2024 season beginning in summer 2023 for fellowship and fall 2023 for residency.
For the ERAS 2025 season, Thalamus Core will replace ERAS Interview Scheduler as the main interview management platform for all applicants and programs.
How much will it cost programs to switch to Thalamus Core?
There is no cost to programs. Beginning in June 2023, all ERAS-participating residency and fellowship programs will receive complimentary access to Thalamus’ leading interview management platform – Thalamus Core and Itinerary Wizard – as well as Cerebellum, a novel data and analytics dashboard to assess recruitment outcomes, specifically from a diversity, equity, inclusion, and geographic perspective.
ERAS-participating programs will continue to have complimentary access to all three of these products. Beginning with the 2025 ERAS season, they will be an integral part of the enhanced suite of ERAS tools, data analytics, and research as part of this multi-year collaboration.
What is the process for switching and how long will it take? Can my program switch before we start scheduling interviews in July or October?
ERAS Interview Scheduler users can transition to Thalamus Core in summer 2023 for the upcoming ERAS 2024 season which includes the July (Fellowship), September (Residency) and December (Fellowship) application cycles.
Programs interested in transitioning to the Thalamus platform can complete the program interest sign-up form available on both the AAMC and Thalamus websites to indicate their program’s interest. Program accounts will then be provisioned for residency and fellowship programs on a first-come, first-served basis starting June 21, coinciding with when programs receive early access to the ERAS Program Director’s Workstation (PDWS) for the ERAS 2024 season. More information can be found on the Thalamus website or by contacting email@example.com.
If my program likes using ERAS Interview Scheduler, can we keep using it?
The AAMC and Thalamus are working to consolidate the interview management process which will result in Thalamus Core replacing ERAS Interview Scheduler. Programs may continue using the ERAS Interviewer Scheduler or switch to Thalamus Core for the upcoming 2024 ERAS season, beginning summer 2023.
Our two organizations are then targeting summer 2024 at the beginning of the ERAS 2025 season for the full transition. Offering one primary interview scheduling system reduces complexity for the applicants and better enables national research to improve the transition to residency.
Will the ERAS system and the Program Director’s WorkStation (PDWS) be replaced now that the AAMC is collaborating with Thalamus?
No. The PDWS will continue to be the central component for programs to receive ERAS data. This collaboration is part of the AAMC’s efforts to enable significant and rapid improvements to the ERAS system’s functionality, data analytics, and ongoing research initiatives to improve the transition to residency process for the community. Beginning in the 2025 ERAS season, ERAS Interview Scheduler within the PDWS will be replaced by Thalamus Core, and ERAS Analytics for Institutions will be replaced with Cerebellum. Program users will continue to have the ability to use the PDWS for pre- and post-interview activities in addition to selecting which applicants to move to Thalamus Core and/or Cortex.
How will Thalamus Core and the ERAS Program Director’s Workstation (PDWS) integrate?
The AAMC and Thalamus are still finalizing details regarding the integration of the ERAS PDWS and Thalamus Core. The vision is to create mechanisms to easily share data between the systems and enable users to seamlessly move between the two platforms. Our organizations plan to gather feedback from the program and applicant communities to inform final designs and decisions.
Can a program keep ERAS Interview Scheduler and only use Thalamus Cerebellum?
To take advantage of Thalamus Cerebellum, a novel data and analytics dashboard to assess recruitment outcomes, residency and fellowship programs must use the Thalamus Core software.
Our two organizations are working to consolidate the interview management program which will result in the ERAS Interview Scheduler being replaced by Thalamus Core. This is being targeted for the ERAS 2025 season (summer 2024). More information about progress and plans will be shared as they become available.
For the upcoming ERAS 2024 season (beginning summer 2023), ERAS Interview Scheduler will remain available.
Programs using Thalamus Core
When will Thalamus users stop paying for Core? How quickly will you credit us for the rest of the year?
For programs already using Thalamus Core, Itinerary Wizard, and Cerebellum, the collaboration between the AAMC and Thalamus will now enable them to have complimentary access.
Programs that already paid for the upcoming ERAS 2024 season (starting summer 2023) will be refunded any expenses related to those Thalamus products starting June 21. Refunds may be requested by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: Please allow 6-8 weeks for Thalamus to process the refund.
Current Thalamus programs that have yet to pay for this season will not be charged for Thalamus Core, Itinerary Wizard, or Cerebellum. Those programs that currently use Thalamus Video and/or Cortex will continue to receive access and be charged an adjusted rate (based on program size, institutional use/discounts, etc.) consistent with current Thalamus pricing. Other Thalamus services, such as premium support, will continue to be offered to programs for an additional fee.
Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Will ERAS data automatically be in Thalamus Core?
For the upcoming ERAS 2024 season, programs will use Thalamus Core in the same way as past seasons by exporting CSV data from the ERAS PDWS and importing into Thalamus Core. The future vision for the ERAS 2025 season is to create mechanisms to integrate the flow of data to easily share data between the systems via more automated processes, such as an application programming interface (API).
Will current Thalamus Core users who use Cortex still need bulk downloads?
Yes. For the upcoming ERAS 2024 season, programs will continue to use the PDWS bulk print features to create application PDFs for upload into Cortex.
Note: The collaboration between AAMC and Thalamus currently only includes complimentary access to Thalamus Core, Itinerary Wizard, and Cerebellum. Cortex and Thalamus Video are available for programs for an additional fee.
For future seasons, the organizations are working together to develop an automated process (such as an API) for sharing data between the PDWS and Thalamus. This new process envisioned for moving ERAS data into Thalamus Core will likely also replace how data transfers into Cortex.
Programs using other interview scheduling tools
My program uses and likes another interview management system. Can we stay where we are?
Yes, you can stay with your existing system, but your data in Thalamus Cerebellum will be limited. This will continue to cause a fragmented interview experience for applicants and make it challenging to support specialty-specific processes, research, and innovation.
My program uses another interview management system. What will it cost to switch to Thalamus Core?
Thalamus Core, Itinerary Wizard, and Cerebellum will be offered complimentary to all ERAS programs. Thalamus Video and/or Cortex are available for additional fees, and pricing may be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Medical Schools and Applicants
Will Thalamus products be integrated into the ERAS Dean’s Office WorkStation (DWS)?
The ERAS Interview Scheduler will not change for the 2024 ERAS season. The DWS will have the same functionality and tools as in past seasons. If a student releases their interview data, it will be visible in the DWS. Applicants can also self-report interview information in the MyERAS portal when they receive interview invitations from other scheduler systems to be reported in the DWS.
The ERAS and Thalamus teams are targeting the 2025 ERAS season to provide integrated interview data in the DWS.
What can medical schools expect from the strategic collaboration between the AAMC and Thalamus?
The AAMC-Thalamus collaboration will yield a wealth of valuable data that will provide our colleagues at participating specialties, institutions, programs, and medical schools with information that will benefit them at the organization level and will contribute to our collective work to ease the transition to residency and improve graduate medical education. This data will be included in our new DWS analytics dashboard scheduled to be launched in the fall/winter of 2023.
In addition, applicants will be able to schedule their interviews through the Thalamus interview scheduling software on both web and mobile. Thalamus data, which was previously not included in DWS reports, will now be collected and shared with schools via DWS reports.
How will this collaboration help learners in the future?
Both the AAMC and Thalamus are committed to providing a fair, equitable, and effective transition to residency. By improving the ERAS application and broadening use of Thalamus interview management tools, both organizations are contributing to an improved process for applicants going forward. By providing data at the school, program, and institutional level, applicants are contributing information that can be used to make further enhancements for learners in years to come. In addition, the data can be used to enhance resources like the Residency Explorer™ tool to strengthen information learners use to make application decisions.
How will information about this collaboration be shared with medical schools and residency/fellowship applicants?
In response to the AAMC community’s excitement about the collaboration, the AAMC and Thalamus teams have been hosting a series of seven virtual events to share information about the collaboration. They are also working together to develop resources for their respective websites, including videos, webinars, and more.