The Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS) application deadline is on September 28, 2022. For those hoping to participate in the 2023 Match, it will be important to ensure all required documents are uploaded before this ERAS date. This includes letters of recommendation.
All applications will be dated September 28, the day programs receive them. This is a bit of good news for those applicants who still need a little extra time to upload documents or LoRs, as it creates a level playing field for all applications. However, both ERAS Support Services and the ECFMG recommend uploading all documents by September 21 to ensure applicants have uploaded everything correctly.
The mid-September deadline creates an awkward timeline for applicants who still need to earn an LoR and are hoping to earn one from a precepting physician during a rotation. If this is you, there’s no reason to stress! Keep reading for why a September rotation is still an option for earning your LoR in time for the ERAS deadline.
Stay Ahead of the ERAS Application Deadline
No matter when you are rotating, if you hope to earn a letter of recommendation, it is vital to communicate that expectation to your preceptor. However, if you are rotating this September and hoping to earn an LoR before the ERAS deadline, communicating that expectation with your preceptor is extra important.
The recommended ERAS application deadline is less than three weeks after the September programs start date and less than four weeks from the hard deadline. Because of this, we recommend letting your preceptor know of your intent to earn a letter of recommendation within the first week or even the first few days of your rotation. It is also a good idea to let your preceptor know you are hoping to use the LoR on the ERAS application and alert her/him that the deadline is before the end of the rotation.
It is also worthwhile to schedule a time to meet with your preceptor to discuss your goals for the rotation and beyond and to discuss your background and experience. Again, this meeting should come within the first week of your rotation. With such a short turnaround, your preceptor will have less time to observe you and get to know you. Having this conversation early not only gives your preceptor some things to look out for during your rotation, but it helps create a connection that can lead to a more personal LoR.
While AMO encourages its preceptors to write LoRs for trainees, LoRs are ultimately merit-based and at the discretion of the preceptor. After establishing the expectation with your preceptor, it is important to stay engaged with your rotation. This can (and should) mean two things.
First, you should be engaged with the workload and attentive to your learning and interactions with patients. Showing up each day and putting in a full effort will show your preceptor you care and are serious about the field of medicine. Clinical rotations are a place to learn and learning often means mistakes are made. This is okay! Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, but be sure you are learning from these mistakes and growing throughout your rotation.
Secondly, staying engaged should also mean staying engaged with your preceptor about the letter itself. Throughout the rotation, keep in touch with your preceptor once or twice a week. Ask you her/him if there is anything s/he needs from you for the letter (for example, a C/V or a personal statement). Perhaps schedule a meeting to discuss your performance during the rotation and where you can still grow.
Your AMO Coach
A final resource is your AMO coach. Your AMO coach is there to support you before, during, and after your rotation and want to help you reach your medical education goals. Similar to communicating with your preceptor, communicating with your Coach will let him/her know to provide support in helping you earn your LoR before the ERAS deadline. Always feel free to check in with your Coach throughout the rotation to update them on the progress toward the LoR and ask any questions you may have.
For more information on LoRs, click here
Ready to book your rotation and earn an LoR ahead of the ERAS deadline? Apply here!