The Office of Career Advisement
The Office of Career Advisement (OCA) assists students who are preparing for residency by advising on the application process and providing documents necessary to enter matching services such as the National Resident Matching program, Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), San Francisco, Match and Urology Match.
The Noteworthy Characteristics is an important section of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) letter. It includes three bullet points with unique attributes and/or experiences that contribute to your strength as a residency candidate. Noteworthy Characteristics are now preferred to the previous Unique Characteristics section.
Students and graduates entering the Match are responsible for writing and submitting Noteworthy Characteristics when requesting an MSPE letter. We strongly encourage students to take advantage of both our guide and our editing service prior to submission.
Request Feedback on Your Noteworthy Characteristics (due by April 1)
IMPORTANT: Please submit Noteworthy Characteristics on a word doc and include your name, D number, preferred specialty and parallel specialty (if applicable). Send to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Noteworthy Characteristics Review
AUC students who are in their fourth year and currently preparing for the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), also known as the Match, are encouraged to speak to a Physician Match Advisor (PMA). All PMAs hold an MD degree and will provide individualized recommendations to students in order to increase his or her chances of successfully obtaining a desired position in the Match. it is a great resource for a student’s professional development.
AUC students or graduates will schedule a one-hour meeting with the PMA to discuss the following important topics:
Academic performance in medical school and how it relates to specific specialties
Personal Statement and CV (required to submit request)
Residency Interview Webinar: Presentation
Iserson’s Getting into a Residency: A Guide for Medical Students by Kenneth V. Iserson
Preparing for Residency Interview by the American College of Physicians
Follow-up Email to Programs Template - Students who have not heard back from programs in which they have applied should follow up either by phone or via email in order to possibly secure additional interviews. Students should tailor their message according to their specific circumstances and let the program know if they have ties to the area or rotated at the program. Students should ensure to maintain a polite and professional tone with no spelling or grammatical errors. Remember, this is only for the programs from in which students have not heard back.
Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) letters are submitted in support of residency and fellowship applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and released to residency programs on Oct. 1. AUC’s MSPE letter is composed in accordance with AAMC guidelines and will only include academic performance information and accomplishments achieved during medical school.
The deadline to request an MSPE letter is July 1 prior to the year a student plans to participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), aka “The Match.” All MSPE letters will be generated in mid- to late-August to capture as many rotation grades and comments as possible.
How to Request a Letter
MSPE Letter Request form (for students who have never requested an MSPE Letter)
MSPE Letter Update form (for students/graduates who have received their MSPE letter and would like it updated with additional rotation comments and grades)
An OCA staff member will construct the MSPE letter using academic performance information and Noteworthy Characteristics supplied by students. Students and graduates will be given the opportunity to review the letter for factual or grammatical errors prior to uploading to ERAS and should return to their assigned OCA staff member within 5 business days. MSPE letters are processed in the order they are received.
It’s imperative that students and graduates verify all documents were received by ECFMG. Receipt of documents can be tracked in the ERAS Support Services Document Tracking System, which can be accessed via ECFMG’s OASIS.
To stay on track for the NRMP Match, OCA has created suggested timelines for students starting clinical sciences in the January, May and September cohorts.
The following presentations and online webinars were developed to help guide students as they prepare for the residency application process:
These all-in-one resources are specifically designed for AUC students who are preparing for either the NRMP Match or the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). Topics include information on the residency application process, required supporting documents, FAQs, available resources, stringent residency and licensure states, paths to licensure, target scores for each specialty, as well as sample CV and MSPE Letter.
The AAMC recently changed the process for transmission of Letters of Recommendation (LOR). All letters must be uploaded by the author or the author’s designee using the Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP). Medical schools will no longer be able to upload letters on the student’s behalf.
Students have the ability to submit LORs that they have waived their rights to view in the year before they intend to apply to US residency programs through the Electronic Resident Application Service. Please see ECFMG's section on Submitting LORs Early for more information.
Students will enter and finalize LOR authors and print out a Letter Request Form along with instructions for the Author to upload the letter. Students will submit these Request Forms and instructions to each author by email, mail, or in person. Authors complete their LOR, save it in PDF format, and access the LORP to upload their letter.
AUC RESIDENCY PLACEMENTS
View past lists of where AUC students and graduates secured residencies in previous years. It’s a great way to determine International Medical School (IMG) friendly programs.
The survey is published every two years with information to help students learn about the factors programs use in selecting and ranking applicants. Pay attention to the charts titled “Average USMLE Step 1 and CK Scores Programs Consider When Granting Interviews” to develop target scores for different specialties.
The report is published each year and summarizes data from the Main Residency Match. Table 1 shows how many positions were offered for each specialty as well as what percentage was filled by US Seniors – a useful way in determining IMG-friendly specialties. Take note the number of positions for primary care specialties such as Internal Medicine (Categorical) and Family Medicine compared to other specialties.
AAMC’s new residency application resource, Residency Explorer, is a free resource that allows applicants to research individual residency programs in 11 specialties and to compare themselves to applicants who previously matched at those programs. Residency Explorer offers verified data from reputable organizations as an alternative to crowdsourced resources that may not be reliable or trustworthy.
Residency Program Research Tools
ACGME-accredited Program Search
Former AOA Programs That Have Transitioned to ACGME Accreditation (a list containing all programs that withdrew their AOA approval after achieving ACGME accreditation)
The American Medical Association (AMA) offers FREIDA Online, a database with over 9,500 graduate medical education programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). If you are not a member of the AMA your first step is to establish an account before beginning to search for programs by specialty, state, institution, and optional criteria.
Emergency Medicine Program Research
EMRA Match is a collaboration between the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association (EMRA), Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine (CDEM), Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine (CORD) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) that was created as an alternative to commercial residency directories which have attempted to rank programs. The goal is to provide students with ready access to easily filterable information that will help them determine which programs will be the best fit for them.
OTHER RESOURCES AND SUPPORT
A variety of resources presented by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate Holder’s Office (ECHO) to help IMGs prepare for the residency application process. Articles provide information on the residency interview, personal statement, research and much more.
Students’ primary source for questions about the residency application, supporting documents, eligibility requirements, timelines and fees. The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) works alongside ECFMG and NRMP to house and transmit residency application supporting documents when students apply for residency in their fourth year.