What does this mean?

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May 23, 2002
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"All applicants request residency application materials directly from hospitals. Applicants can register with ERAS, a program separate from NRMP."

The preceding is a quote from medfools.com.

Do we actually have to write to each hospital individually to solicit application materials? Kinda defeats the purpose of a common app, no? (And what materials are we soliciting, anyway; i.e., isn't it all on ERAS?)

Also, if ERAS is separate from the NRMP, as noted in the quote above, does that mean that there is a non-ERAS way to apply to the match?

Even if we do choose to use ERAS, do we have also to register with NRMP somehow?

Estoy muy confundido. Ayudame, por favor.


Senior Member
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May 30, 2002
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Here's how I understand it so far:

ERAS is the application center - where you fill out online all the info from your cv and personal statement plus what programs you want to apply to. Your school's dean's office also sends them your letters of rec, dean's letters, and transcripts. ERAS keeps all this in a database, which the programs you have listed download it all from. Then the programs decide if they want to interview you. This compilation of info happens from July-Nov, and interviews are usally offered in the Nov-Jan period.

The initial application with ERAS is just like a wish list of programs - if the programs don't offer you an interview, you haven't made the cut and there is no way you can match there. You can only match with a program who you've interviewed with.

NRMP is the matching program. Here you rank, in order, the programs you want to go to, and the programs rank the students they want in February. NRMP uses an alogorithm to go down both lists and find you the highest program on your list that also ranked you relatively highly - thier website has a great example of exactly how this works. Then NRMP notifies your school on the designated Match Day in March and everyone finds out where they are going on the same day. Unless you haven't matched to any on your list, in which case your dean's office will notify you a day or two before and you can try to "scramble" into an open slot in any program that hasnt' filled through the match.

Seems to me this whole system of ERAs handling applications and NRMP handling the match is just a way to collect more fees from students, since you pay each of them per program you want to list. I guess there are a few programs that do their own applications and dont' participate in ERAS, so you have to check their website and see - most programs have all info on the web and you don't have to request brochures in the mail these days. I think some specialties, like maybe urology do individual applications, not ERAS, so that's why you have to check and see, but most programs and specialties do use ERAS.

Best thing to do is check out these websites - www.aamc.org/eras
and the www.ama.org site for the FRIEDA online guide of all the programs wher you can get info for all the programs.