L4 Resources

Helpful links

ERAS Electronic Residency Application Service

VSAS Visiting Student Application Service

NRMP National Resident Matching Program


  • Finalize Curriculum Vitae

o   Multiple examples online

o   Use upper levels as resources/advice

o   Optimal if this has been started earlier in school, and you can just add to it as you go and put the finishing touches on it at the end of third year.

  • Begin working on your Personal Statement

o   The most important thing is…just start it!

o   Get ideas from upper levels

o   Dr. Lopez and Dr. Karam are excellent resources and are always more than willing to help

o   The ideal goal is to have this finished by September 1st

§  This is when ERAS opens and you can upload your documents to the website

§  The more competitive the specialty, the safer it is to get your full application in as early as possible!

o   You can have multiple Personal Statements and upload them to ERAS separately

§  You can then send certain Personal Statements to certain programs/specialties

  • Meet with Program Director and Chairman of the specialty you will be pursuing – before you rotate on their service fourth year!

o   Let them know your interest

o   Ask for advice

o   Dress well

o   Come prepared

§  C.V.

§  Personal statement (even if it is a rough/first draft)

§  STEP score(s)

§  Official transcripts are not necessary but add a nice touch

  • Contact Bursar’s office to ask how to get them online
  • Visiting Student Application System (VSAS)

o   Follow the instructions sent via Student Affairs

o   Register/Create VSAS account

o   Discuss with upper levels/current residents in your specialty to decide which programs would be good to visit

§  Email LSU grads who are residents in your chosen specialty (http://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/mentors → Finding a Mentor → click on map)

o   Apply to desired programs on VSAS

o   Sometimes blocks for other programs don’t line up with LSU’s blocks

§  Ask an upper level or someone in student affairs for tips on how to get around this

  • You may have to use a week or two of a “vacation” block to make it work

§  Also, you may ask the program of interest directly if they have a problem with you visiting off of their block schedule

o   Ideally, it is good to finish your aways before November, but this differs on specialty…especially if your specialty is early match

  • Consider beginning a research project with a faculty member in your chosen specialty

o   You might start by emailing a faculty member on the Clinical Advisors list (http://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/mentors –> Clinical Advisors List)

o   This will help you decide on where you might like to do away rotations and where you will eventually apply

  • Schedule Step 2

o   Schedule Step 2 CS when first told to do so by Student Affairs, as dates fill very quickly

o   Schedule Step 2 CK during a block in which you will have ample time to prepare


  • Prepare your Unique Characteristics Paragraph for your Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

o   Dr. Delcarpio will provide you with a template/example paragraphs for you to just insert your own personal information

o   This aids Dr. Delcarpio in writing your Dean’s Letter – so give him all the information you can to help him make you sound as awesome as you are.

o   MSPE’s are typically sent out November 1, so make sure you get this to him by early-mid October so that he has the chance to go over it and get it in and submitted to ERAS on time.

  • Begin getting your letters of recommendation as soon as possible

o   You are able to submit 4 letters to programs via ERAS; some programs only want/need 3

o   Ask upper levels who have chosen your specialty who they got letters from

§  Some specialties only like letters from their specific field

o   Try to do your selected fields rotation/away rotations earlier rather than later

§  This allows you to get letters of recommendation from the department chair and program director far enough in advance

  • Remember, it is optimal to have your entire ERAS application completed by September 1

o   Remember to provide letter writers with a folder that makes it very easy for them to write you a letter

§  C.V., Personal Statement, Transcript, STEP scores, picture (?), addressed envelope to Student Affairs office (if you are on an away), etc.

o   Remember to send hand written thank you notes to letter writers

o   There is a cover sheet that needs to be printed off of the ERAS website

§  This is easy to find; just give it to your letter writers so that they can send it with your letter to Student Affairs

  • This cover sheet allows you to waive your rights to read their letter (Most people do)
  • Register for the Match with NRMP

o   This is easy.  Just follow the directions sent out by student affairs

  • Register with ERAS

o   If you have done your leg work with your C.V. and Personal Statement ahead of time, you are in good shape

o   Basically, you have to re-enter extra-curriculars/volunteer work, awards, and research into one component of the ERAS application

§  This is way easier if you are just reading and retyping your C.V.

o   You also have to upload your Personal Statement(s)

o   You also must designate who your letter writers are…

§  Student Affairs will upload them when they receive them

o   After you have registered, created your profile, and filled in what is mentioned above, the only thing left to do is select the programs you want to apply to

§  Here, you can select which letters of rec and which Personal Statements you want to go to which programs

o   Student Affairs will upload your picture, transcript, MSPE, and letters of recommendation

§  You can track when these are uploaded via ERAS

  • Interviews

o   Interviewing is different for most specialties

§  Talk to your advisors, mentors, and upper levels to get a feel for what to expect

§  The CiM website is also helpful (https://services.aamc.org/careersinmedicine)

§  Interviews typically fall in the November through January range

o   Keep notes throughout your interviews

§  After a while, they all blend together

o   Interview season can be expensive, depending on where you apply and how much you travel

§  Be sure to know your goals, and a lot loan money accordingly

§  Again, talk to upper levels who traveled as much as you plan to travel in order to get an idea of what it may cost

  • Rank list is typically due sometime in January

o   It is important to keep your list to yourself

  • Match Day is typically sometime in March


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