Working in collaboration with specialty leadership organizations: Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM); Association of Professors of Dermatology (APD); and Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is piloting a potential solution to address the need for a holistic review of residency applicants. The challenges of adopting new review processes beyond academic qualifications have long been a point of conversation. However, recent changes in academic healthcare have underscored the need for direct action.
The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) reported
42,508 active applicants in 2021, a 6 percent increase from 2020. According to AAMC ERAS Statistics
, the average number of applicants per program in 2021 was 505.77 (Dermatology), 3,383.28 (Internal Medicine), and 1,186.45 (Surgery). As the COMLEX-USA Level 1 and USMLE Step 1 transition from reporting three-digit numeric scores to Pass/Fail, program directors will no longer be able to rely on score filters to differentiate qualified candidates who are genuinely interested in a given specialty or specific program.
The supplemental application
will provide applicants with the opportunity to share information about themselves, their education and their experiences in medicine in ways they are not currently able to through the original ERAS application. New dimensions will include geographic data, information regarding their most meaningful experiences (volunteer, work and research), and an indication of their top program choices. While the supplemental application will be mandatory for applicants of the three specialties, participation by residency programs is voluntary.
Applicants for these three specialties will be invited via email from the AAMC to complete the application, which will open on September 1. At the end of the Match 2022 cycle, the AAMC will evaluate the effectiveness of the new application components, building off of research undertaken throughout the year. The data collected for this study will not be shared with program directors. Additional information, including a list of participating programs, is available on the AAMC Supplemental ERAS application (for the ERAS 2022 cycle)