The eras experiences section of the Residency application is a tough one to fill out. This section has some pretty specific requirements, so it’s important that you know what you are doing when it comes to filling this part of your application out. This blog post will go over what to put in this section and how best to fill it out so that the residency faculty can get a better sense of who you are as an applicant.
What is the ERAS experiences Section
This part of the ERAS application is a great opportunity to give residency faculty a better sense of who you are as an applicant and what makes you unique. It’s also your chance to provide some context for the experiences that end up in other parts of your application, like volunteer work or research experience. What happens here is that you write down everything in bullet points so it’s easy to read. You can also put a few sentences for each bullet point you create if you feel it necessary.
What to Include in the eras experiences Section of your Residency Application.
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when filling out this section, as well as some tips and tricks for how best to fill it out so that residency faculty can get a better sense of who you are. The first thing is just an overall theme, which should be:
– Showcase your unique strengths and interests.
You can do this by including experiences that you’ve had in the past, but don’t limit yourself to just those experiences. You also want to include any new things you are interested in so it’s a good idea to set some time aside each week for exploration of something new. This will allow you to show residency faculty that not only are you good at the things they might see in other parts of your application but also, and more importantly, why it is important for people with a medical background or future aspirations to be involved in something like this too.
Another thing that should be included here is any new experiences you’ve had recently. This can include things like:
– Volunteering or shadowing experiences you’ve had in the past few months, but don’t limit yourself to just those.
– New research experience that may not have been included elsewhere on your application. Include who you worked with and what type of project it was as well as how long you worked on it.
– New clinical experiences you’ve had recently that can show residency faculty how much experience you have in the field of medicine even if there isn’t a lot yet listed elsewhere on your application. This is also good to include as some applicants don’t end up doing research or volunteering until they are applying for Residency so this can also be your chance to make up for that.
– New volunteer activities or community service projects you’ve recently been involved in can help show a different side of yourself and give more context into who you are as an applicant because not everyone is able to get the same experiences before they apply for Residency so those new things will be important too.
Why Residency programs care about this
The Experiences section is a great place to show off who you are as an applicant and really highlight your strengths. This section can also help give residency faculty the context they need for everything else listed on your application, which will make it easier for them to understand why certain things ended up where they did.
When it comes down to it, the experiences section can really make a decision to interview you swing your direction. The experiences that you list on your application are great talking points and can put some great personality to the numbers and stats that are in the rest of the application.
How to beef this up in medical school
As a medical student don’t put too much focus on just this. The most important thing is to make sure your medical education is solid, and you perform well on clinical rotations.
After that, you should really work on your personal statement because that is super important.
Then comes the experiences section. Beefing this up in med school comes down to great volunteer work, great clinical experiences, and honestly any cool things you have been a part of in medical school and if you feel like its applicable then put some stuff from pre-med on there as well.
Do Research Experiences belong here?
Yes, research experiences are great to include on this section of your application. This is also a good place for things that may not have been included elsewhere in the application, like shadowing or clinical exposure you’ve had recently.
Research can go here for sure, and it definitely should. There is an option in this section to verify that it is research experience. So, on that drop down menu be sure to identify your research experience, as opposed to volunteer or the other options there.
So be sure to write down or remember all the details about your research projects so you can make sure they are in this section of your electronic residency application service application.
Do Volunteer Experiences belong here?
Of course, put those in this section.
This section is a great place to put information about all of your experiences in medicine. If it fits anywhere else on the application, it belongs here too!
You can also define what type of volunteer work you did and where so they know exactly how much time was spent there or who you were working with.
Anything goes as long as its related to medicine. If you’ve been involved in a volunteer capacity then put it here!
Volunteer experiences are great to include on this section of your application, and they definitely should be included here if there is space for them. You can even define what type of volunteer work you did and where so the program knows exactly how much time was spent there or who you were working with. Any experience that has to do with medicine should be included here!
Do not continue writing beyond the section boundaries. There is no need for it, and it will mess up your formatting if you do so. Remember save often!
Medical school awards?
This is a great section to put your awards in if you’ve received any.
If you did, definitely include them here! This is a great section to put your awards in if it applies to the eras experiences category. If not there are tons of other places on the application that these can go as well but this might be a good spot for it if anything else fits and they have room for it.
Hands down, if you have awards that you got in medical school then by all means put them in this section!
Does the program director read this
From my understanding yes.
Program directors do read this section of your application and they will take that into consideration when making their final decisions about you.
Program directors do read this section so make sure to beef it up by putting some key words or phrases here! You should also make a point not to list any random experiences from before medical school, just meaningful ones, because the program director wants information on what YOU have done in medical school and how you’ve grown since then.
You can definitely include things like shadowing experiences or clinical exposure as well, because those are great examples of experiences that have helped shape who you are now!
Make sure you do put some effort into this section, but other things as mentioned above should definitely come first!
What Counts as an experience on ERAS
Clinical experiences, whether volunteer or paid, research, volunteer, teaching experiences, really anything like this.
These are great to include in this section of your application as long as they are within the eras guidelines. This is a good place for clinical, volunteer or shadowing experiences but also anything else like research you’ve done that would be beneficial!
It can be medically related or not, and the focus should be on stuff you have done in medical school, but if there is something in the pre-med life that is super big and important to you, then by all means include it!
So, what are you going to put on your ERAS experiences section? I’ve seen everything from very few sentences with no detail about the applicant’s time at their clinical site to detailed descriptions of every patient encounter. There is really no right or wrong answer here because it can be whatever works best for you and your personal experience. What do you plan on putting in this part of the application?