ERAS Online Q&A. Sections. September 8, 2014

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1 1 ERAS Online Q&A September 8, 2014 Sections EXPERIENCES... 2 LICENSES, PROFILE, AND FORMATTING... 4 LORS AND PHOTOS... 5 PROGRAMS... 6 PUBLICATIONS... 7 SCORES... 8 HONORS AND AWARDS... 9

2 2 EXPERIENCES Q: Is it true that one should not include more than 15 experiences in ERAS? A: Our opinion is to only put in experiences that you feel comfortable talking about for 5 minutes in an interview setting. It's true that you don't want to appear as though you are "padding" your application, but if those experiences are relevant, certainly add them in. If you were to have 16 relevant experiences, I don't think anyone will count them and judge you. Q: If someone worked for a year on a research project as their full-time employment, should it be included under "work" and "research," or just "research? A: Put it under research, because you want to be able to add the name of your mentor which you can ONLY do in the "Research" experience box. Q: If you're an anticipated TA for a course other than CPP&T this coming year, where would you put that under work experience? A: It should go under Work Experience, but unfortunately you have to list 2014 as your start year. If your TA experience starts in 2015 (this has been an issue for some TAs), you have to put in 2014 and then in the description box, explain that it really starts in [month] Q: Regarding the "average hours per week" for experiences, would it be okay to not enter anything into this section? I've been arbitrarily choosing a number in the ballpark of what I think is correct. A: You should not leave boxes blank if at all possible, but give your best guess. They are trying to estimate the depth of the experience. The best place to provide an accurate picture of the time you've spent on the experience is in the description box, if the hours are hard to quantify. Q: If I was asked to be a "student ambassador" for S&D, is this considered work or volunteer? A: We would consider it volunteer. Q: Can I put away rotations on the experience tab? A: Please be careful about this, as it could signal that you are most interested in those programs. Q: So you would recommend not listing them at all? A: We advise not listing away rotations in the experience section of MyERAS. They could come up via LoRs. Q: Is it considered poor form to list things twice? The Pritzker sample CV lists CPP&T TA under honors and awards as well as work experience. A: CPP&T is an honor in that the selection is based on academic performance. But it is also work in that the student serves as a TA. It is okay to have it listed twice. Q: What is an appropriate length for descriptions of experiences? For example, in explaining SRP, should I just say "participated in summer research program funded through NIH" or would you recommend also adding more information, like "went on to present findings at a conference..." etc?

3 3 A: Be succinct and be complete! Try having someone else read your draft and give you feedback about whether they understood the experience. Also, I would include the publication in the experience description, as it can be confusing to go back and forth between publication and experience. This will help your reader connect the publication to the research. Q: In regards to SRP under research experience, what would be an appropriate title to list under the "Position" field? A: You could list "Student Investigator" or "Student Researcher". Q: If we are TA-ing a class for credit, do we include it as an experience under work? A: Yes! It's definitely work. If your class starts in 2015, though, you can't put down you'll have to put down 2014 and explain when it starts in the description box. Q: I feel unsure about what to write in the description section under experiences. Do you have any examples? A: If you have the Residency Process Book, you can go to pages to see some formatting examples. Q: For some activities, calculating the average hours per week is difficult to quantitate. Is it okay to input somewhat arbitrary numbers and then give an explanation in the description? A: It's true that calculating hours per week is difficult. I usually recommend coming up with a general guess, then explaining it in one sentence in your description. Something like, "I worked on this project full-time over the summer, and 4 hours per week during fall quarter." If you feel like you overexplained, try paring your explanation down to a sentence or phrase. Q: I was TA for one class in 2013 and a couple more this year. Should I list each class as a separate experience, or combine all into one? A: I would list them separately. Sometimes, students are a TA for the same class over many years (i.e. if they are PhD students), and those I would roll into one. But if they are each different classes, you can list them separately.

4 4 LICENSES, PROFILE, AND FORMATTING Q: Were we ACLS certified during one of those orientation sessions? A: No, you are BLS certified; ACLS certification is not offered until the fourth year. Q: We don't put anything into "training" if we're not a PhD, etc., right? A: Correct; training should be left blank--it is for residents and fellows only. A PhD would be listed in the Education Section. Q: Is our application technically "complete" with no NRMP match number, or should we register before submitting? A: The application is complete with no NRMP match number; you can update your profile throughout the application season and input that number. Feel free to register for the NRMP after 12 pm on 9/15 before you submit ERAS though, and then you won't have to worry about it! Q: Question about the formatting in the ERAS application and CV pdfs: Is this the format that the programs will see? Some of the formatting looks wrong (e.g. incorrect spacing between sections). Is there a way to edit that or is that out of my control? A: I think sadly it is out of your control. You can format things differently in the description boxes by using punctuation marks (semicolons) instead of carriage returns, but please know that everyone is subject to this issue. Q: Can I preview my application on the home tab of the application tab? A: Yes. That way, you can figure out about spacing and formatting better. Q: Is it ok to use abbreviations? For example, simply putting SHM instead of Society of Hospital Medicine? A: It depends on who your audience is. I would err on the side of caution and spell things out if you think that there could be any confusion. Q: There is no reason to put where we went to high school under education, correct? A: You're correct; no reason to add high school. Q: How important it is to get the personal statement to exactly 1 page? A: We have heard from many students that the guidelines we have provided in our Residency Process Book do not come out to 1 page in the new ERAS. This has been discussed with Dr. Woodruff, and we feel that you should submit your personal statements as is. Students who followed the 11-point, Courier typeface guidelines have stated that it does not fit to 1 page in ERAS this year. However, fitting your personal statement onto 1 page by the new ERAS standards would only be about 350 words, which for most students is not enough to articulate everything fully. We would encourage you to keep your personal statement as it stands.

5 5 LORS AND PHOTOS Q: If we apply to particular programs on the 15th, can we still add LORs at a later date for those programs when they come in? A: Yes. We really want to emphasize getting your full application in on the 15th, and then uploading other LORs as they come in. It will advantage you, especially in certain specialties, to get your application in sooner rather than later. Q: If we add LORs later, then will they potentially appear later? Or do we then run the risk of them not being seen at the same time as everything else? A: The letters will "catch up" with your application. However, you cannot assign them in advance of their receipt to our office, so you have to go back to your programs and reassign the letters as they arrive. Some programs do an initial screen of all applicants and then download the full application later. Of course, it's best to have everything in at once, but sometimes that doesn't happen with LORs. As long as you have three, the most important thing is to get your application in as early as possible. Here is the FAQ from the ERAS website about LORs: "ERAS does not prohibit applicants from applying to programs, even if supporting documents have not been uploaded to the ERAS PostOffice. You are able to apply to programs and assign supporting documents at a later time. However, we recommend you first check with programs to ensure that you meet application deadlines and requirements before applying." Q: Is there any way to see our ERAS photo? All I see is the option to send it to a program. A: You can't see your ERAS photo via ERAS, but you should have seen it when you picked it. If you are worried, it can be ed to you. Q: Do people submit LORs from away rotations to all programs or to a select few? A: It depends on your personal preference. If you think you have a strong letter in hand from an away rotation, you can submit it to any program you'd like. However, some LORs from away rotations come in later in the season, and we recommend aiming for as full a slate as possible of LORs by next Tuesday.

6 6 PROGRAMS Q: Will programs still screen applicants prior to uploading of the MSPE early next month? A: Yes, some programs will. Q: Can the programs see which other programs we've selected on ERAS? A: No, they cannot.

7 7 PUBLICATIONS Q: Do people typically list things like our own local Medical Education Day poster presentations as publications? So far I've only added peer-reviewed things or major conference posters. A: You should include your poster presentations even if they are at internal venues. SRP and Medical Education day are perfectly acceptable to include. Q: If we are going to do an oral presentation in a month, do we put "anticipated" oral presentations? A: Yes, you may put your anticipated oral presentation in the application. Q: Can we list the paper we wrote and the poster we made for SRP under Publications? A: Include the oral presentation in the Publications section. If a printed publication has emanated from your SRP, you can list that also. Q: If we were accepted for an oral presentation at a conference, but another person had to present since I could not attend, can I still add that under "oral presentations"? A: No, you should not include that. If it became a published abstract, please include it as a publication with you as co-author (if you in fact are). Q: Do you really not include that even if I did all the work on the research, submitting the abstract, and writing the PowerPoint, but wasn't able to attend because of an emergency? A: I see what you are saying, but since you didn't actually give the presentation, you shouldn't list it, which I know is frustrating. You can list it as a publication. Q: If we were listed as an author on a poster, but didn't present it, do we also not include it? A: If you are an author on a poster, you can certainly include it, but you don't put down that you were a presenter if you weren't a part of the presentation.

8 8 SCORES Q: As I understand we don't need to do anything special from the USMLE/NBME side of things to release our step scores. All we have to do is click the little button in ERAS saying they can be shared, then manually assign them to each program, right? If we do this, they will automatically be transmitted to the programs. Do we need to pay the NBME to release them? A: You are correct in the process of selecting the button then assigning them both steps are necessary and then you are ok. If you decide you like your Step 2 score and want to add it to your application, you do need to go back into ERAS and manually update. You do not need to pay to have the scores released. You can look at slides in this slide show for screenshots of that process: df Q: I am taking Step 2 on September 15 and am currently planning on submitting my ERAS application on perhaps the 16 or 17. Do you think that programs "look down upon" submitting a day or two late or that I will experience any adverse consequences with this plan? A: Great question. It's not a factor of "looking down upon"; it's a factor of making yourself the most competitive. Last year, we saw many students getting interviews on September 16 just one day after application season opened. We highly recommend being ready to submit on September 15, and then going back in when you receive your Step 2 scores and "retransmitting" them if you want to. Q: (Follow-up) Will programs still proceed with fully evaluating my application/ beginning to offer interviews if I submit right when it opens on September 15th, or is it possible that some programs will need the score first? A: Programs will review your application fully without your Step 2. Submit your application when ERAS opens, and then retransmit the score even in December will be plenty of time.

9 9 HONORS AND AWARDS Q: If something was cited as an award or honor in your MSPE, should you include it as such in your ERAS? A: Yes. However, we only list medical school awards in the MSPE, so if you have other awards, you might want to add those to ERAS. Q: In terms of how to list honors, is it common to simply list the organization that you are a part of, then the honor, or do people usually specify "chosen from x number of people? Is it fine to just explain what the organization is? A: Including selection criteria is perfectly fine, but it will vary from honor to honor. You can include it if you feel it is relevant (i.e. if it was very highly selective). Q: Can we list the SRP research grant as a medical school award, or as other award/accomplishment in the education component of MyERAS? A: Being funded by the NIH program-wide is not a research award, so we do not recommend including it in ERAS. Definitely include your SRP project, but only as a research experience. Q: (Follow-up) Can we include research awards we received in undergrad in other awards/accomplishment in the education component of MyERAS (especially if we didn't include these in our experiences section)? What about other undergrad achievements (e.g. summa cum laude, phi beta kappa)? A: Yes, I would recommend including them in the "Other Awards" section. There is no need to explain them too much but you can list them. Q: Are global health scholarships considered awards? A: Yes, you may list that as an award.

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