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What to Know About ERAS Updates and Signaling

With the opening of the 2023-2024 ERAS application season, the MyERAS portal has been enhanced to improve the experience for all users and encourage a holistic review of residency applications. Below are a few highlights; more information can be found here.

  1. The Supplemental ERAS application: As the name suggests, this application is supplemental in the MyERAS platform and allows students to expand on prior experiences and interests. For the 2023-2024 season this application has been fully integrated into the main MyERAS application, allowing easier access for GME personnel.
    1. Applicants will now only be able to list up to 10 experiences with required contact information. Focus on the quality of these experiences versus the quantity.
    2. Of these, applicants can now list 3 of those experiences as most meaningful and expand on them with a 300-character description, similar to a mini personal statement.
  2. Date of Birth: Applicants can now opt out of sharing their date of birth to remove possible bias based on age.
  3. Impactful Experiences: ERAS applications now have a dedicated area for these, although it is not mandatory to complete.
  4. Geographical Preferences: Applicants can now indicate their preference for up to three locations, based on US Census divisions. Please note that only programs within that division will be notified of indicated interest; those outside will not. Applicants can now also indicate their setting preference, i.e., academic, community, rural, etc. Unlike geographic preference, a setting preference will go to ALL programs applied to.
  5. Signaling: Signaling is now offered to even more specialties, but participation is optional. Applicants should check here for participating specialties and the number of signals available.
    1. Signaling indicates a genuine interest in a program on the applicant’s part, and programs use these signals when deciding whether to offer an interview. Signals are meant to help level the playing field for applicants and are not used during Rank List creation.
    2. The AAMC suggests that applicants signal their most interested programs regardless of whether they are home or away rotations.
    3. Within the specialties not all programs are participating with “signaling.”
    4. Participating specialties have different numbers of “signals.” A complete listing is here.
    5. Some participating specialties have tiered “signals” i.e. gold versus silver which allows distinguishing your most desired choices.
    6. A signal will only be seen by that program, not by other programs to which a candidate has applied. Please note that a signal, once sent, cannot be retracted.
    7. Sent signals do not indicate an applicant’s qualifications for a program. Applicants do not have to send “signals” as this is purely optional, but it is highly recommended that you send signals to programs that you are genuinely interested in.

As you navigate your ERAS application and the Match timeline, don’t forget you have several resources available to help, such as Residency Explorer, FREIDA, and Doximity. Connecting with current residents can be helpful, as can talking to your advisor about the process and next steps.

Good luck in 2024!