Ask the expert: What is ERAS?

Residency Program Insider, August 24, 2010

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The advent of the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) transformed the application process for both candidates and programs. Developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges, ERAS is a clearinghouse used by applicants and programs to store, send, and receive all application materials. The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates uses ERAS to coordinate foreign medical graduates’ information as well. Most programs that use ERAS participate in the National Resident Matching Program, a third-party organization that matches candidates and programs based on their rank lists.

The process standardized the application format, making reviewing applications more effective and efficient. Many directors and coordinators still recall receiving hundreds of paper applications and supporting documents, creating huge stacks of paper and volumes of mail. Using ERAS to track the progress and status of applications has streamlined this process, making it virtually paperless.

ERAS has four components:

  • MyERAS website: The interface applicants use to collect, submit, and track his or her documentation and select training programs to apply to.
  • The Dean’s Office Workstation: The interface the medical school deans’ offices use to collect and scan documentation to forward to the selected training programs’ ERAS Post Offices.
  • The Program Directors Workstation: The interface program directors and coordinators use to manage the application materials and the application process.
  • The ERAS Post Office: The central bank of computers that transmits the selected application materials to the designated training programs.

This week’s question and answer are from The Complete Residency Program Management Guide by Ruth H. Nawotniak, MS, C-TAGME.

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