Fourth Year Timeline


  • Search for residency programs (make a list)
  • Write your personal statement and have several peers review it
  • Residency programs (ACGME) start receiving applications through ERAS on SOctober 21  
  • MSPEs are released to all programs in ERAS on October 21 
  • Monitor the number of interview invitations you receive. If you've been offered fewer than 10 interviews by mid- to late October, contact your advisor or student affairs office to discuss your options  
  • Go to residency interviews
  • October 15th, deadline for documentation to be sent to the Military for the Military Match 
  • Military match  
  • Meet with your advisor to discuss how to rank your programs
  • Early registration for the NRMP Residency Match closes January 30 (Late fee added) 
  • Urology residency match results are available
    • Enter your rank order list for the early match by the January deadline.
    • Results will be available in mid-January
  • Rank Order List Opens for The NRMP Match Feb 1
  • Finalize and enter your rank order list for the Main Residency Match, March 3, 2021 deadline
  • Log in to the NRMP’s R3 system on Monday of Match Week (March 15, 2021) to see whether you matched to a program
  • If you didn’t match, you may be eligible to enter the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP). Find details at
  • March 19, 2021 NRMP Match results 
    • Sign the contract with your residency program 
    • Graduate and prepare to begin residency 
    • ERAS season ends on May 31. It is recommended for you to save your application and CV for your records before the ERAS season ends 
    • Start preparing to move
                  1. Do your homework regarding how competitive you are. Ensure you review all the Match and residency applicant data available to ensure you're competitive for the specialty you're considering. Talk with your specialty‐specific advisors about programs you're considering since they'll have a better grasp on program characteristics.
                  2. If you're interested in a competitive specialty, cast your net widely and create a parallel plan. It’s no secret that specialties like dermatology, plastic surgery, anesthesiology, otolaryngology, radiology, ophthalmology, and a few others are especially competitive. If you’ve chosen an especially competitive specialty, plan to apply to more programs to help ensure you'll be successful on Match day. You may also consider a parallel plan, so meet with your advisor early to discuss your individual situation.
                  3. Avoid getting too creative with your personal statement. Programs aren't looking for the next New Yorker columnist. They want a simple, one‐page statement that describes who you are and why you want to enter their specialty. Your personal statement provides the chance to highlight your strengths, outline why you're a good match for your chosen specialty, and indicate how their residency program can help you meet your career goals. As one program director panelist said, “Spell well, use good grammar, and get out!”
                  4. Your letters of recommendation are important in the screening process, so secure good ones. Whom do you ask? Someone who knows you and your work. You want at least one and preferably two (out of three or four letters) from someone in your chosen specialty. To ensure getting a good letter, ask your potential letter‐writers if they feel like they know you and your work well enough to write you a strong letter. If there’s any hesitation, ask someone else.
                  5. Programs review applications early, so submit yours as soon as you can. Many programs begin reviewing applications as soon as the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) opens in September, and some begin offering interviews in October. It's to your advantage to plan well in advance for the application process and prepare your materials early.
                  6. The interview is a two‐way street. Keep in mind that interviews are critical for both the program and the applicant. While it certainly is your time to shine, it’s also your opportunity to assess the program itself and your fit with its residents, faculty, institution, and community. They want you to learn about them as much as they want to learn about you. Preparation is key, so practice answering common interview questions. You should also consider what characteristics are most important to you in a program so you can formulate questions to ask your interviewers.
                  7. Most programs include numerous, different people in their selection process. A review committee can include faculty, residents, chief residents, program coordinators, and of course the program director. So know people are reviewing your application packet from numerous, different backgrounds and perspectives. You never know what may stand out for one person or be a red flag for others. Being a well‐-rounded student who's a good fit with the program (see No. 1) can take you far in this process.
                  8. The more programs you rank, the better your chance of matching, to a degree. The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) has collected data on the relationship between the length of an applicant’s rank order list and whether they match. The data have consistently shown matched applicants average longer rank order lists than unmatched applicants. In the 2016 main residency Match, U.S. seniors who matched ranked an average of 10.6 programs, while unmatched applicants ranked only 4.7 programs.  However, new research from the AAMC finds there are limits to that approach

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