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Supplemental ERAS® Application Guidance and Training for Residency Programs

The AAMC has created resources to advise programs on the contents and appropriate use of information collected via the supplemental ERAS application to help ensure a fair residency selection process for all applicants.

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The AAMC strongly recommends that all residency program staff review the training resources and guides before reviewing applicants’ supplemental ERAS application information or working in the supplemental ERAS application dashboard. 

The resources and guides are divided into three sections: 

Training Resources 

Five Things to Know about the Supplemental ERAS Application 

1. Applicant responses to the supplemental ERAS application will be delivered in two phases.

Applicants have a set timeframe to enter and submit their supplemental application. There are two windows for submission to give undecided applicants sufficient time to decide. Applicants may not change their supplemental application information after submission.  

The supplemental application is new this year and was released on a short timeline. Applicants may have had limited access to advising or other resources to support their preparation. Do not interpret applicants’ submission timing (within window 1 or window 2) as a reflection of their level of interest in your program.  

  Applicant Submits the Supplemental ERAS Application  Applications and Signals Provided to Participating Programs 
Window 1 September 1 – 19, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. ET  September 29, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. ET 
Window 2 September 20 – 30, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. ET  October 6, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. ET 

Data for applicants who complete the supplemental application and apply to a participating program after October 6 will be provided to participating programs weekly. 

 2. The supplemental ERAS application is optional for all applicants.  

Applicants may or may not participate in the supplemental application. In addition, all questions in the supplemental ERAS application are optional.  

Because the supplemental application is new, applicants may decide not to participate. Applicants who do participate may choose to skip some questions because they are uncertain about how to respond. Applicants may not have had enough time to prepare and complete the supplemental application. Some may have had limited access to advising or other resources to support their preparation.  

It’s important not to overinterpret missing responses or use missing responses to screen out applicants. Doing so poses risk to applicants and risks overlooking an applicant who could be successful in your program. 

3. Preference signals and geographic information were only designed for use during the application review to inform decisions on whom to interview. 

Applicants’ interest in programs or geographic locations may change after they submit their supplemental application in September due to many factors, including applicants’ experiences on interview day. Therefore, programs should not use preference signals or geographic preferences after the interview offer phase. Doing so poses a risk to both applicants and programs, as applicants’ initial preferences may no longer be accurate. 

4. The Past Experiences section captures applicants’ meaningful and other impactful experiences, not breadth of experience. 

The Past Experiences questions in the supplemental application are intended to help you better understand each applicant and consider the extent to which they align with your program's mission, values, and objectives. They were not designed to capture an applicant’s breadth of experience or full list of publications or presentations. Use this information, along with the complete set of experiences in the Program Director's WorkStation (PDWS), to evaluate their qualifications and suitability for your program. 

5. The supplemental ERAS application dashboard is designed to provide a snapshot of your applicant pool, tell a story about each applicant, and provide context to each application. 

The supplemental ERAS application dashboard includes two views. The Program view provides a snapshot of applicants to your program who submitted the supplemental application. The Candidate view is designed to tell a story about the applicant and provide context to the rest of their application through the meaningful and impactful experiences they share.  

Best Practices and Appropriate Use for Supplemental ERAS Application Information 

Do:

  • Consider information from the supplemental application alongside other application information in the PDWS to get a more complete picture of the applicant and their accomplishments
  • Use preference signals and geographic preferences as "plus factors"
  • Return to the dashboard on October 6 to review responses from applicants who submitted during Window 2

Don't:

  • Screen out applicants who submitted the supplemental application in Window 2 or did not submit a supplemental application at all
  • Overinterpret missing responses to questions 
  • Assume that 5 experiences represent the breadth of applicants' experiences or a full list of publications and presentations
  • Overweigh preferences when deciding who to invite for interview 
  • Use preference signals and geographic preferences after the interview offer phase of application review 
  • Disclose the identification of an applicant who has sent your program a signal or communicated a preference for your region 
  • Ask an applicant whether they are participating in signaling and to which programs they have sent signals or for which regions they have communicated a preference* 
  • Disclose the number of signals your program has received, except for research and evaluation purposes 

*Section 6.4 of the National Resident Matching Program® Match Agreement prohibits programs from asking applicants to reveal the numbers, names, specialties, geographic locations, or other identifying information about programs to which they applied or may apply or with which they have interviewed or may interview.  

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