Tip of the week: How to manage the second review of applications

Residency Program Insider, October 25, 2013

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During the second review, program directors, faculty, and coordinators will thoroughly review the application and supporting documents to ensure compliance with program standards. The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) has a feature that allows the program coordinator to designate who may review applications. Program coordinators can send the applications to those reviewers. The reviewer receives an email from ERAS indicating that there are applications to review and provides the list of and link to

Keep the following in mind when reviewing applications:
• Account for all dates listed. If there is a break, look for the reason. Was the applicant studying for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)? Was he or she working, and if so, where? Was the applicant on medical leave or involved with caring for a family member? These are normal reasons for a gap and the candidate usually explains the time off within the application materials. Look into any unexplained breaks. Falsifying an application or engaging in illegal or unprofessional activities can disqualify an applicant.
• The personal statement is the only part of the application that is candidate-driven. How candidates express themselves will give you insight into their personality and their reasons for going into medicine, so do not skim over this document.
• Look at applicants’ interests to get an idea of whether they work well in teams and have manual dexterity and problem-solving skills. For surgeons, manual dexterity is crucial. Any hobbies that require fine motor skills will lend themselves well to the potential residents’ ability to control surgical instruments and manage those    instruments in small spaces. Additionally, most physicians work and interact with multiple caregivers. Hobbies or interests in team sports may indicate that the applicant works well with others.

This tip is from the Residency Coordinator’s Handbook, Second Edition, by Ruth H. Nawotniak, MS, C-TAGME. 

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