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2023-2024 Match Cycle Residency Application Timeline

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A preview of Elite Medical Prep's 2023-2024 residency application timeline.


Ready to become a doctor? After investing time in undergrad and medical school, your final year means your goal is in sight. It’s when the residency application journey starts.


Wondering about the nitty-gritty like when residency applications are due or when residency interviews start? Maybe you’re curious about the ERAS residency application or crafting that perfect personal statement for residency? When is your rank list due?


Elite Medical Prep has got you covered! To clear the confusion, we’ve crafted the ultimate 2023-2024 residency application timeline just for you.


Take a look at our video below for a “Basic Overview of the Residency Application Process”, fresh from our 2024 cycle Residency Roundtable webinar:

Our residency interview timeline is more than just dates. It’s a step-by-step guide, highlighting tasks and offering advice on when to tackle them. Enter your email above to get this handy printable guide. We’ve also got hints on creating a standout letter of intent for your medical residency program.


To ensure you’re in the best position for the 2024 match, we recommend connecting with a residency advisor from Elite Medical Prep. They’ll provide insights tailored to your chosen specialty, and prep you for interview season and beyond. Complete the consultation form to get started.


April to May: Letters of Recommendation, Personal Statement, and Away Rotations

By this time, you have hopefully selected your desired specialty and are in the beginning stages of preparing your residency application. It is important to consider the cardinal features of your application which include:


  • A personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Your exam scores (USMLE, COMLEX, etc.)
  • Your clerkship grades


Your ERAS applications include all other activities such as research and volunteer work.


Therefore, it is important to think about who can write you an excellent letter of recommendation. Note that students typically have a standard letter from their medical school, followed by two additional letters. These typically come from those in your specialty though they can also be from other mentors with whom you worked closely. For more information on obtaining letters of recommendation, watch our recorded Residency Roundtable session.


Additionally, around this time you should begin a draft of your personal statement. This will likely be requested by your letter writers to write a unique and compelling recommendation. If you are completing away rotations, your applications should be submitted around this time (though it varies by program).


Those not doing away rotations over the summer often complete their sub-internship in their area over the summer months and obtain a letter of recommendation from one of the clinicians they rotate with.


Also make note that your residency interviews will typically occur during November, December, and January. Thus you will want to be on lighter rotations during this time to accommodate the interviews.


June to July: Begin ERAS and Create a List of Potential Residency Programs


Have your printable residency application timeline ready! We’re getting down to business. In June, you will receive an ERAS (electronic residency application system) token from your school.


It’s now time to begin filling out your application with your basic information. The ERAS application will open in June, see download for the exact dates.


It is important to start filling out your application early. The goal is to submit your ERAS application the day that it opens (given many interviews are provided on a rolling basis). Your ERAS application will include:


  • Your personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation,
  • Grades
  • Your CV


Given you have to manually enter the components of your CV into the designated spots in ERAS, this process is time-consuming and will require several rounds of edits to ensure no errors linger.


Additionally, it is important to compile a list of residency programs to which you would like to apply. Work with an EMP residency advisor to take into account how many programs to apply to, where to apply, and what backup plans to consider if necessary. It is also helpful at this point to send your personal statement to some individuals in your field for feedback prior to its submission.


Lastly, by the end of this time you will need to formally request letters of recommendation from faculty to allow them enough time (ideally more than 4 weeks) to complete the letter.


August to September: Submit Residency Application and Register With the NRMP


At this point of the residency application timeline, you will be uploading your letters of recommendation and your personal statement, and finalizing the details of your application. It is important to also release your USMLE scores to ERAS so programs may view them. Note that your application will require a professional photo, so be sure to set aside time to take this photo.


Your school typically will also create something called a Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE letter). This is a standardized letter of recommendation that is created by you and your medical school which includes a compilation of your clerkship evaluations and a narrative statement of your educational journey. You should have an opportunity to review these comments and make minor edits as needed.


You will want to submit your application on the earliest date possible. For the 2023-2024 cycle that is September 6th, 2023 at 9 AM EST. Additionally, you will want to register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) on September 15th, 2023. This will provide you access to the software where you will eventually submit your match list.


Importantly, residency programs can review applications starting September 27th, 2023. Thus, in order to maximize success with interviews you will want all materials uploaded to ERAS by this point.


October to November: Schedule Your Interviews and Prepare Accordingly


Once you have submitted your ERAS application, you will want to ensure you get notifications of your ERAS interview requests. Desirable interview slots are often taken on a first come first serve basis leaving those who review the email later at a disadvantage. For this reason, many students will have their emails forwarded to their phones and have friends or loved ones cover their inboxes during times they may be away (such as during test taking).


During this downtime, you will want to prepare for your residency interviews. When interviews for residency start you want to be ready. Consider some responses to commonly asked questions, and ensure you have an elevator pitch for yourself when given the opportunity. Additionally, if you do not receive interview invitations from programs you are highly interested in, consider reaching out to the programs to demonstrate interest and increase your odds of receiving an interview.


December to January: End of Interview Season for Residency and Begin Ranking Programs


This is the end of residency interview season, and during this time you will be completing your last residency interviews. Given you will ultimately decide between programs months after you interview there, you will want to make note of interview impressions the day of and distinguishing features of a program that may not be visible on their website or in other supporting documentation.


Consider what questions you will ask programs ahead of time. Often students will take physical notes or record voice memos following these experiences. This will provide additional information with which to make a match list come February.


Many students will also send thank you notes to the interviewers who spent time speaking with them. Note that some programs explicitly request thank you letters not be sent. You will also want to check in with an advisor around this time to ensure you have secured enough interviews to have a probability of success in the match.


By the end of this period, you will want to have a preliminary rank order list of programs. Once you have decided on your top choice program where you have interviewed, you should send a letter of intent. This serves to notify them that you will be ranking them first and why.


Note that the deadline to register with the NRMP is January 31st, 2024. After this date, you will pay a late fee. You must register with the NRMP by March 1st, 2024 to be eligible for the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP).


February to March: Submit Your Rank Order List and Then Review Your Residency Application Results!


The rank order list opens on January 31st, 2024. The deadline to certify your rank order list is March 1st, 2024 at 9PM EST. You will find out if you have matched on March 11th, 2024 at 10 AM EST. Individuals who did not match can enter the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) at 11 AM EST on this date.


Finally, match day is on March 15th, 2024 at 12PM EST, where you find out your new home for your next stage of training!


For help navigating this year’s residency application timeline including CV and personal statement review and editing, mock interviews, letters of intent for residency programs and more, consider enlisting the help of an Elite Medical Prep residency advisor! Schedule your complimentary consultation today to learn more!

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