Applying for Residencies Q and A - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

Applying for Residencies Q and A

Timeline Overview (All dates are approximate, please confirm specific dates)

Mid-August - ERAS open to submit your application.

Early – Mid-September - It is best to get your applications in as soon as possible.

Early – Mid-September - Residency programs are able to download students’ applications.

Mid-September – Mid-October - Programs offer interviews. Programs continue to offer interviews after this time, but this is the first round.

October - January - Interviews season

November - Dean's letter is released to residency programs

Mid-January - Rank Order List System Opens

Mid-February - Rank Order List System Closes

Mid-March - Match Day.

Your primary method of communicating your qualifications and experiences to anesthesia residency programs is by writing a well organized and informative curriculum vitae (CV) and personal statement. These documents, in addition to your “Dean’s Letter” and letters of recommendation, will support your application.

The Curriculum Vitae
The purpose of the CV is to tell others what you have done and how to contact you. It should be an honest and accurate representation of your qualifications for Anesthesiology residency training.

ERAS will generate a CV for you with the information you enter. To make a separate CV in addition to the ERAS CV (ex- for individuals who will be writing letters of recommendation), here are some basic guidelines.

Include: Name, address, permanent address (if different), email address, phone numbers, and Fax numbers; education: undergraduate, graduate, medical school; license data; honors and achievements; professional associations; work experiences; references (it is okay to state “available on request” if you prefer); and optional items (ex- foreign language ability, special skills, publications and research activities, other interests).

  • Your CV should be a concise document.
  • Try to limit your CV to 2 pages.
  • Organize it in chronological (or reverse chronological) order. Whichever is chosen, be consistent throughout your CV.
  • Print your CV on high quality paper for a professional appearance.
  • No errors in spelling or punctuation!!!
The Personal Statement
The personal statement and your CV should not repeat the same information. The personal statement is your opportunity to convey information not found elsewhere in your application. Its content should allow the reader to see you as an individual.

Writing your personal statement:
  • Ask someone that knows you well about your strengths and talents.
  • Before writing, read some personal statement examples. Identify styles that appeal to you and incorporate these into your personal statement.
  • Think about your own special strengths, talents, qualities, interests, accomplishments, and experiences. Make a list of these. Compare the items on your list with your idea of what might make a “perfect” resident in Anesthesiology. Select attributes from your personal list that resemble or support the characteristics of the “ideal” resident and incorporate these as a focus of your personal statement. DO NOT concentrate on items shared by most applicants (ex- smart and hard working). Emphasize those items that show you to be the best possible candidate for a residency training program.
  • Before you start to write your personal statement, organize your thoughts and make an outline of each paragraph. You may want to describe a special event that led you to medicine or helped you choose Anesthesiology.
  • Make your first paragraph attention grabbing. It does not have to do with medicine.
  • Your second paragraph you can place your special-focus items from your list.
  • Other paragraphs may describe your special skills, hobbies, or family life.
  • You may want to write about your goals and what you are looking for in a training program.
  • Go here for an example of a personal statement.
  • Try to limit your personal statement to one page. (on the ERAS application)
  • Do not have your personal statement less than half a page.
  • Consider a personal statement for transitional programs and another for Anesthesia programs.
  • If you personalize your personal statements to specific programs give your personal statements titles. This will help you to identify the correct statements. Residency programs will not see the titles.
  • Include why you are interested in Anesthesiology.
  • Make your personal statement engaging!!!
  • Make your personal statement unique.
  • Ask your faculty advisor to review your statement.
  • Make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors!!!
The Dean’s Letter and Letters of Recommendation
Meet with the Dean of Students to discuss your goals and review your records so that your Dean’s letter will be realistic and favorable to your applications. You may edit your Dean’s Letter to eliminate redundant comments.

You should get between 3-4 letters of recommendation. One department letter, one anesthesia letter, two letters of your choice (Surgery, Medicine, Pediatrics, or OB/GYN). Find letter writers that can comment on you as an individual and on your abilities. Be sure to meet with all faculty members who will be writing your letters in order to discuss your career plans and to refresh their memories for details that will support your candidacy.

What to give your letter writers:
  • CV
  • Personal Statement (if you are comfortable)
  • It is recommended that you waive your right to see your letters. If you do so, print off letter forms form ERAS.
  • Instructions: Ask your letter writer to have your letter done within 4 weeks or by the end of September.
It is good to get an internal medicine letter for your preliminary programs.

***** If your letter writer has not submitted your letter to the Dean’s office by October, find another letter writer.

Finding Program Information
The best place to find information about specific programs is the department web site.

To get information on transition programs, go to AMA-FRIEDA.

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