ERAS Supplemental Application Guide:

During the month of Aug, a new application system was introduced by the ERAS to help the programs identify the most relevant and most suitable candidates out of thousands. Since then, a lot of confusion has been noted and I have received many questions regarding its methodology, filling of questions and the impact upon the interview and the ranking. The following review is an extract of detailed review of the ERAS manuscript with recommendations for an IMG about how to answer the ERAS supplemental application questions.


  1. Why was ERAS Supplemental application introduced?

Statement from AAMC:

“We focused on this early stage because directors reported struggling to identify which applicants are genuinely interested in their programs when deciding whom to invite for interviews,

Before we know how to fill in the questions, we need to focus why would ERAS introduce yet another portal? In addition to ERAS CV and Personal statement, ERAS supplemental application is yet another folder to review a candidate. Every year each program receives thousands of applications especially in Internal medicine and Surgery. They send interview invites to one candidate out of 10 applications received. This new portal is to help the programs to best select their candidates out of those thousands of the applications. Using this information, programs can send interviews to the most relevant candidates and chance of “pick and choose” will be eliminated. This is in addition to all those filters (scores, year of graduation etc) that each program has set up for itself.

  1. Is ERAS supplemental application optional?

Yes. So called optional. But it is paradoxical. Ironically, if you do not want to answer these specific signaling questions, you are indirectly telling the PDs that they can send invites to those who are specific about their geography, type of training and type of the program. So, even it is optional, it becomes a mandatory application so that you would not be considered “a mass random application”.

  1. Are all the programs participating in this portal?

Answer is no. Not all the programs of IM, dermatology and general surgery are participating in the ERAS supplementary portal. You will automatically come to know if a program is participating or not when you will save the program. (ERAS will send you a “supplemental application link” if the program is participating).

  1. Timeline of the Portal:

If you submit the supplemental application between 1st Sep to 19th Sep, programs will review it by 29th Sep.

If you submit it between 20th Sep to 30th Sep, they will review it by 6th Oct.

Please note that this is different from MY ERAS application that cannot be reviewed by the programs before 29th Sep as this is when they will start downloading “my eras applications

What does it imply?

You must be very narrative in your ERAS supplemental application, and you cannot say “please refer to my ERAS application for details” or “as I wrote in my ERAS CV”. It is possible that they may not have your My ERAS CV downloaded by the time they will be reviewing your ERAS supplemental application responses.

  1. What is the difference between my ERAS and ERAS supplemental application?

If you read the whole manuscript, you will know the differences. My Eras talks about your whole CV in general. ERAS supplemental application is more specific regarding what are the 5 most “meaningful” or “impactful” experiences out of all the experiences based upon which you are choosing medicine and this program. Moreover, the candidates also must talk about their geographic preference and the work settings (rural / urban) in ERAS supplemental portal***.** In other words, in my ERAS, you present all the bricks you have collected throughout your career. But in ERAS supplemental portal, you have to stack those bricks in a specific and promising way to build a particular house so that the PD can buy that house*. I will explain this further when I will write how to fill in the application.

  1. What is the difference between Ranking programs vs Signaling 5 programs?