Showing posts with label Match related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Match related. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

How to write a Personal Statement for Residency


How to write a Personal Statement for residency

How to begin

  1. Daily start writing down ideas in Evernote/any app which lets you take notes
  2. Think of a strong patient interaction/personal story where you helped the patient and which also shows your medicine-related skills/knowledge/work ethic. Make it about yourself, what you did, and how it helped you. Do not write the entire history of the patient.
  3. Either with the same story as above or explain the reason/reasons why you are interested in that particular field.
  4. Make a list of your hobbies/ non-medical experiences and find a common connection between that skill set, which can actually help you during residency.
  5. Read loads of sample personal statements from google!!!
  6. Do not copy them (plagiarism is HARMFUL). 
  7. Once you are done, send your draft to mentors/English professors/seniors etc.
  8. Make sure there are absolutely no grammatical errors. (English being a 2nd language is not an excuse for poor grammar).



        This is not the time to show off your creative writing skills. We are applying for a residency, not a literature graduate position. Keep it simple and easy to read.

        Do not use super-long sentences. IMGs have a tendency of using a lot of ‘and’ and writing 3-4 line long sentences. Keep it short.

        Target content that fits into one page. 600-700 words approx. Don’t go over 800, don’t stay under 500.

        Do not use negative incidents/ bad mouth your home school or resources.

        Don’t lie. You will get caught. If you say you have worked on multiple research projects and if you are unable to answer basic questions regarding your research, you WON’T be selected.

        You never know how much importance programs give to the PS, so always make sure it is a well-written PS.

        Don’t quote your CV.

        Don’t use clichés or common quotes.

        Don’t start every sentence with “I.”

        Come across as arrogant. This is the place to showcase your strengths, but in a humble way.



How to divide paragraphs: 1st paragraph

        The first and last paragraphs are the most commonly read parts. Make them interesting and strong. It should be personalized.

        Begin strong: Story/Hobby/What got you into medical school or you can skip that and talk about what got you interested in your specialty.

        It should be a story about yourself and how it relates to your specialty, not just a history of the patient you saw.



·        “Every patient has a story to tell.”

·        Some major illness in the family/ death motivated me to become a physician.

·        “I love to travel. Each journey takes us down a different path. Each journey inspired a new thought. I feel medicine is similar to traveling. Every patient has his own journey and I want to be there to make it fruitful for them.” (This is not the right analogy. Travel and medicine have nothing in common)

·        “I will never forget ___”

·        “I grew up with dermatology in my blood”



·        “Growing up in rural ____, I experienced ____. Here I realized _____. The strict value system of perseverance and dedication led me to ____.”

·        Start with your hobby.
E.g. Football….team sport….captain of the football team….motivated my team, resolved conflicts. At the same time I realized, that whenever someone got hurt, I would assist my coach with first aid. I realized that my inclination for helping my injured team mates extended beyond the football field. Bridge it into medical school and how you continued doing the same. Got you interested in EM/ortho etc.

·        “Medicine is a field in which my love for pathophysiology and my commitment to serving others can continue to grow. I have a strong desire to use my problem-solving abilities while helping people through their most difficult times.” And then give an example justifying these 2 statements.



How to divide paragraphs: 2nd, 3rd and 4th paragraphs

        Talk about your strengths in a very SUBTLE way, citing examples.

        Talk about your achievements and extra curriculars, your motivation and end it with what skill-set you derived from it.

        Include hobbies. Connect them with medicine and how it will make you a better resident.

        Relate how your actions and experiences during medical school will make you a strong physician.

        What will you bring to their program?

        Don’t quote your CV.

        Show who you are as a person, not just as an ideal medical student.


        Talk about your strengths in a very SUBTLE way, citing examples.

        Talk about your achievements and extra curriculars, your motivation and end it with what skill-set you derived from it.

        Include hobbies. Connect them with medicine and how it will make you a better resident.

        Relate how your actions and experiences during medical school will make you a strong physician.

        What will you bring to their program?

        Don’t quote your CV.

        Show who you are as a person, not just as an ideal medical student.


·        I love IM as it is such a broad field with a vast number of diseases.
(Same goes for FM and Peds and all other branches. Avoid such blanket statements.)

·        I want to be trained to manage patients on my own and do right by them to be one of the best in my field.
(Umm…isn’t this what residency is about. Everyone wants that. What is it that you are specifically looking for?)

·        Also, avoid “I love” “I want to”

·        “IM combines the wide spectrum of exotic and the mundane illness, providing a scope of touching maximum lives.”
Do you mean to say FM/EM/ortho/surgery etc. do not provide this?

·        “My mentor taught me more about medicine and how to approach a patient better than I had learned in all of my classes.”
Do not put your other classes in a negative light.



How to divide paragraphs: last paragraph


        Tie in all your major attributes.

        Talk about: What you are looking for in a program

        Talk about: Where do you see yourself in a few years?


        I will bring to residency energy, enthusiasm, integrity, and ability. I expect a challenging, rich environment in which to learn and practice good medicine.

        I know I have set high goals for myself: clinician, educator, and health advocate. The majority of the time I find working with underserved populations extremely rewarding; however, it can also be emotionally demanding.

        The combination of working at an individual level to address health needs and at a more macroscopic level to affect health policy is synergistic for me.

        I eagerly await the unique privilege of participating in such a rewarding and exciting field of patient care.


        Don’t be too specific regarding fellowship goals unless you are absolutely sure.

        If you are sure regarding your fellowship, your CV should have enough experience to back it up.

        “Medicine encompasses numerous areas that I have always found intriguing. Becoming a physician is a lifelong dream that will fulfill both my personal and career goals.”
What are the goals? State them. What are the intriguing areas? It is a vague sentence. Avoid fluff.

        “My career goal is to enter a university-based anesthesiology program.”
Then community programs (forming a major chunk of interviews for IMGs, will not call you for an interview. Be diplomatic.

Time Frame

         June 1st half: Begin jotting down ideas and writing sentences. Focus on ideas. Don’t worry about sounding smart/grammar right now.

        June 2nd half: Start compiling the ideas and sentences into paragraphs. Check the flow. Keep reading samples to understand how to write it.

        July 1st half: Make your 1st draft. Send it to seniors/attendings/mentors.

        July 2nd half: Incorporate the changes suggested by them and make another draft.

        Aug 1st half: Send it out for suggestions again.

        Aug 2nd half: Make a final draft. Here your ideas, stories, hobbies, major points should be finalized and free-flowing. Now run a final grammar check. Send it to someone with professional level English for edits and grammar.

        Sept 1st week: Final draft ready


Take away

        Personal Statements might not fetch you interviews unless it is extra-ordinary. You will get interviews based on your scores and other aspects of the application.

        You may lose out on an interview due to a bad PS. (Incorrect grammar, poorly written)

        Interviewers love to talk about the hobbies mentioned in the personal statement, so make sure they are real!!

        They are looking to know you as a person, so make sure your PS does not describe 1000s of other medical students as well.

        Once you land an interview, the PS might play a role in getting you ranked high. The program wants a candidate that would ‘Match’ their expectations!


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Timeline for USMLE for IMGs


  • September 1st of every year is when ERAS starts accepting applications. The deadline usually is September 15th (except Match 2021 where it was Oct 21st and Match 2022 where it is Sept 29th)

  • This means you need to have all your documents and scores ready before September 15th.

  • ECFMG certification: This takes anytime between 7 days to 3-4 weeks to arrive from the day you apply for it.
    1. When can you apply for ECFMG certification: When you have all your step 1, 2 CK, and OET scores in hand + You have graduated medical school and your credentials are verified.
    2. Credential verification: Your medical school needs to send your degree and final transcript to ECFMG. This process can take between 1-4 weeks.
    3. There is usually a delay in score reporting that happens for Step 1 and Step 2 CK around May-June every year. Be on the lookout for that and plan accordingly. If there is no delay, your Step scores should come within 3-4 weeks of taking the test. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Interview questions for the residency match

All frequently asked questions are highlighted with (FAQ)
How to approach each question is explained below it
Disclaimer: All these questions are compiled from different sources and personal experiences.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Pediatric Residency Series: Preparing for Fellowships

Welcome to this post of Pediatric Residency Series. In this post, we will talk about fellowships including some factors that can help you in getting the fellowship you want:

Mentors / Research / Conferences:
Please click here for a detailed description of these points.

Know your timeline:
For most Pediatric specialties, ERAS opens early June, you can upload the needed documents till mid July. Interviews in August, September and possibly early October. Finalizing Rank Order List in November. Match results around mid December. You apply at the end of your 2nd year/start of your 3rd year and gets the results at the middle of your 3rd year.
Check ERAS for fellowships timeline and any other updates.
Letters of recommendation (LORs):
LoRs are very essential and have a tremendous impact on your fellowship application. Choose your letter writers carefully. Letters from big names and titles are amazing but are not as good as a personalized letter from another doctor who knows you personally and who has worked with you for a long period of time. LoRs are like a testimony of your worth to the new program. Remember to ask your colleagues about good LoR writers, also remember to approach the potential letter writers politely. Give your writer an ample amount of time to write your letter. It would be great to approach your potential letter writer two months before the application deadline. Whenever ERAS opens, send your personalized ERAS LoR request to the writer so he/she can upload your waived LoR to your account. You will need 3-4 letters for your fellowship applications; one of them will be from your Program Director (PD). Letter writers are not limited to people who supervised you clinically but they can include your research mentors too.

Personal Statement (PS):
Your Personal Statement is your way to express yourself informally after letting your CV show your formal side. Be sure to have a catchy start. Take your time in preparing your PS. Proofread it and make sure it has no grammatical errors. PS can make a PD curious to meet you!

Rotations whether electives or less preferably observerships are your opportunity to prove yourself. They become even more important if you are doing your residency in a small program with a modest patient load. When you are doing an away rotation, you are being compared to the residents in the other program so do your best to impress. You can get amazing LoRs in your away rotations that can be so helpful in your fellowship application. You may also match in a program that you rotated at.

Make it a habit to read one small thing about your desired specialty as frequent as you can. You can not imagine how much info you can have just by reading small things over a long period of time. However, be careful, do not let that interfere with your normal residency studying schedule. Ask your seniors/attendings about the available study material (books, articles, videos..etc).

Choosing programs:
It is advisable to have a checklist for the things you want in your desired fellowship program. Do you want a heavy research program? Does the program have the advanced fellowships that you want? Would you like to live in a city? 
Develop your own approach, do your own extensive research and of course ask seniors and mentors about their input. The interview day itself can either make you want that program more or can ring a bell and let your drop that program to a lower position in your ranking list.
FRIEDA ranks programs per reputation/research output/visa sponsorship..etc. However, make sure to check the website for each program to get the most updated data always since Frieda may not be uptodate all the time.

Comment below if you feel like anything can be added to this post :)

- Murad

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Pediatric Residency Series: Research

In addition to its valuable role in helping humanity, research is one of the most important aspects of the fellowship application.

In this post, I will mention some points that will help in getting more research and in having a more systematic approach towards this field.

1-Start early

Time in residency flies very fast. If you know which specialty you are targeting, start doing research as early as you can. This will expose you to more ideas, allow you to have more possible publications and may also strengthen your clinical grasp on that specialty. 


A mentor can be a current senior or an attending in your program or in any other program. Mentors have more experience and will shine a light on things that you may not consider. They will also give you research ideas and inform you about the conferences specific to your field of interest. The fellowship world is smaller than the residency one and mentors can write you letters of recommendation, put a good word for you and direct you to fellowship programs that best suit you.

Do not forget to check the: AAP Mentorship Program. As an AAP member, you have free access to this mentorship program which links you to mentors through its algorithm based on your preferences. This AAP feature is a hidden jewel that everyone should use.

3-Finding Research:

“How can I find research opportunities?” This is the-million-dollar-question and one of the most frequent ones I get.

I like to divide the answer into two main parts:

*Research at your program

This varies a lot based on your residency program but options include and are not limited to:

A- Case reports and case series

Do you have an interesting case on the Pediatric ward, PICU or NICU? Ask your attending if it is reportable, decide which journal or conference to target and start writing!

AAP has an amazing summary about this here.

B- Retrospective studies

Is your NICU big and with a high patient turnover? Come up with a research hypothesis or let your seniors and attendings aid you in this. These days and especially with the ICD code system, you can think about any research idea and find the research objects within seconds!

C- QI projects

Have you noticed anything in your program that can be improved? Is it an order set that can be added to your EMR? Do you feel a teaching module for residents or students would help? Create your own QI project, compare pre and post intervention results and present the findings at a regional conference or wherever you deem appropriate.

D- Surveys

Surveys are usually easy to do. Come up with the survey questions (search and ask while doing so) and run it by your mentor. You may do a pilot survey on a smaller amount of people before sending your official survey to your target group. The downside is possible low response rates which can make the survey hard to be published.

Do not forget to obtain the needed IRB approval in your program before doing anything :D 

*Research outside your program

A- Meta-analysis / Systematic reviews / Review articles

The above mentioned types of research can be done anywhere and anytime. They are usually carried out in teams including a statistician (or anyone who knows statistics) needed for meta-analysis. They may be time consuming so keep that in mind.

B- Global projects

Collaborative research is a type of research that is recently getting more publicity. There are infinite projects out there that you can join. You just have to know about them. An example is the Covidsurg collaborative project

C- Databases

Databases are incredible - and sometimes costly- sources for retrospective research. The hardest part is formulating the research question. After you have your idea, search online to see if it has been done before. An example is the famous Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) database. This database has many sub-databases with gigantic amounts of info that can be used for research purposes. Every disease you can think of is there with its corresponding ICD code. KID (Kids Inpatient Database) and NIS (National Inpatient Sample) are two subsets that include Pediatric patients. 

D- Twitter

Yes, as you have read! Some research projects can be posted on Twitter and you can directly contact whoever posted them and start.


Conferences are very vital when it comes to research. Not only that attending conferences gives you the chance to meet people who share your interest, socialize and make new connections, find mentors, look for possible away electives and present your work. It also excites you, gives you new ideas and allows you to discover new places which will help in breaking the “stressful” residency routine.

Always know when the conferences are held, the early vs late registration fee, abstract submission opening date and deadlines so you can plan your traveling, accommodation and schedule changes.

Stay tuned for a list for conferences that you can attend/present at whether for general Pediatrics or Pediatric sub-specialties.

This post mainly applies to those in Pediatrics but same principles apply to most other specialties.

-Murad :)

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Being street-smart during interviews: Apps/Websites

We all like free money $$$, don’t we? Doctors, engineers or any other profession you can think of! These days, we are living in a world which is full of apps and nearly all of us have smartphones. What if I tell you that you can use your phone to make money just by doing what you normally do?
Well, these apps and websites are really useful to save money, get some of your money back, get cash and to redeem many offers!

1- Google rewards
A very simple app by Google in which you have to answer a survey and get money from that. For Iphone users, you can redeem each 2 dollars or let them accumulate (survey value can be as low as 10 cents up to 50- 60 cents or even more). For Android users, you can use the money to buy apps/rent movies ..etc in Play Store.
 It is said online that when you go to new places the app may send you more surveys. Keep your location service turned on. The process may take sometime but anyway, you lose nothing, it’s free :D
Go download the app from App store or Play store now!

Ibotta is one of the available rebate apps. Check the offers in the app, tick them and then buy the thing you need from available places- whether online via the app or in-store-. Nearly all the superstores (Walmart, Kroger, Target) and famous online stores (Amazon) are there. You can redeem your money after you accumulate 20 dollars via Vimeo or PayPal. You get money when you refer friends and you all may get money when you all work as one team!
Here is the link for the app, let us make one big team :D
(better to open the phone using your phone directly)

3- Sweatcoin
As this app advertises itself: “It pays to walk”. This amaaazing app converts your steps into “sweatcoins”. You can use your sweatcoins to redeem many offers through the apps. As of now, one of the offers is an iphone XS or a 1000$ cash if you collect 20000 sweatcoins in 2 years! Offers include small electronics, clothes, music services...etc.
This app can be your friend during the whole match journey as well as when you go to the gym, you ll collect these coins without even trying :D more thing, when you refer anyone, both of you will get 5 sweatcoins so use the link below to download it..Get 5 sweatcoins for free and refer your friends.
This app will literally encourages you to “move it move it”

4- MileagePlus X (from United)
One of the best apps to travel for free! When you collect 10K or 12.5K miles through this app, you can simply book a flight for free using the miles you earned!
Many merchants are included within this app (Starbucks, Airbnb, The Home Depot, Uber, Walmart, Under Armour..etc). Just buy a gift card through the app and use it to pay at these places whether in-store or online. Miles range from as low as 0.5 Mile per each dollar spent to 12 Miles per dollar with some offers time limited. Before buying from any store, check this app and see if you can get some miles :)
The app also has MileagePlus dining which will give you miles when you eat in participating restaurants! Treat yourself and your stomach and get some free miles :D

5- Google Express
This nice app from google will not let give you money per se but it will help you in comparing the price of one product between different stores (Walmart, Target..etc). It comes with a cool 20$ (up to 20$) off your first purchase through the app.

6- Retailmenot and Slickdeals
These 2 websites will have deals and coupons for different things. Check them, crop or copy the coupon, buy for less.

7--Honey (extension)
Add this extension to your browser and it ll look for any working coupon that your can use when you are doing your online shopping on Amazon.

Let me know if you know other apps that should be added to this list!

-Murad :)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

New application process for ECFMG registration


This post is regarding new application process for ecfmg registration.

STEP1 : The process for obtaining USMLE ID is still the same which has been described very clearly here


1)when you go to IWA and login to your account you will only have one option : apply for certification (no application for examination any more ) so you will just click on that.

2)simply follow the steps and confirm you information and you will end up getting a payment page of 125$.

STEP3 - FORM 186 :

1)After payment they will send you form 186 (unlike before you dont need to go to your medical school and have it signed by your deen)

2)You will simply go to the website :-


1)Fill an application and upload form (186) and high quality image of your passport or photo ID preferably but not necessarily in english.

2)You will receive an email from one of the online notaries and schedule an appointment of an online meeting with him/her.

3)If you are ready at the moment you can schedule an appointment immediately(which is what i did) or you can schedule for an appointment later.

4)During your meeting with the notary please prepare your passport as you will be asked to show it, to confirm your identity.

5)Afterwards the notary will ask you to position your self to the mid of screen and ask your permission for taking a screenshot.(If your webcam is of low quality they will ask you to mail them a passport picture of yours,so be ready with that too)

6)Then you will have to electronically sign your form-no need to actually sign it,they will display your name in few fonts and you have select one.

7)Now you have done your part.The notary will seal the document and send it to the ecfmg.

8)You will get an 2 emails after this process-one from notary that they have sent your form186 to ECFMG and second email is from ECFMG which you will be getting after few days that they have accepted your form 186.

-Srikar Sama

Friday, June 8, 2018

Letters of Recommendation [LORs] 101

The letters of recommendation are very important for the residency application process. All the programs require a minimum of three and a maximum of four letters of recommendation for a complete application. So, I thought I will put together all the information needed to know about Letters of Recommendation[LORs].

DISCLAIMER: Long post!!

1. How important are LORs?

LORs are compulsory while applying for a residency program. Most of the programs require at least three LORs for a complete application.

2. Do all the LORs need to be from the states?

It is good to have all the LORs from the clinical experience from the states. But, a few programs require a letter from the department head of your med school. In such cases, you need to submit one from your med school.

If you don’t have all the LORs from the states, try to get at least two. Its easier for the program director to believe if someone from the same country says that you are well versed with the system than from someone who is outside the country.

But is there not anyone who matched without any letters from the states? There are!! But there are many terms and conditions involved like stellar scores, strong contacts etc. So, to be on the safe side it's better to apply with letters written by someone in the states.

3. What is the difference between a waived LOR and non-waived LOR?

Waived LOR is uploaded by the LOR writer or someone on his behalf and it by default means you never saw the letter.

Non-Waived LOR is uploaded by you or the letter writer. It means that you have seen the letter and know the contents.

Waived LORs are supposed to carry more value than non-waived. But, if you believe that a non- waived LOR is stronger than a different waived LOR you have, definitely use the strong one.

Value: strong waived LOR> strong Non-waived LOR> weak waived LOR>weak Non-waived LOR.

4. How do I send a request/upload a LOR into the ERAS?

There is a tab for LORs on ERAS. Follow the instructions and it gives a printable form to send to the LOR author to upload the letter. You can also send the request directly via ERAS to the author. It has step by step process on how to upload a LOR.

Remember the author should have an AMA account to upload.

5. When do I ask for a LOR?

Usually in the last week or last day of your rotation. Ask your author for a feedback first and assess what he/she feels about you and then ask for a LOR.


“Hi doctor, it has been a pleasure working with you. I would like to take any feedback you have for me regarding my performance”

“I will be applying for so and so residency this year, will you be comfortable in writing a strong LOR for me?”

If they say yes, ask them if they are comfortable uploading it to ERAS and if they are familiar with it. 
Tell them you will send the ERAS request form once the application season starts. If they are not, offer to help them upload the letter explaining to them the importance of a waived LOR.

Never push them to do what they are not comfortable with. Be polite.

6. My LOR author offered me to write my own LOR, what do I do?

Never leave such an opportunity. It means that the mentor trusts you to write a letter. This is an opportunity to write a strong LOR. Try to include the following in the LOR:
    A) Start with how the author knows you and how long he/she worked with you.
    B) Try to give examples to the positive features described. Ex: Don’t say this student is punctual, say something like he/she always arrived before time and left only after the work is done. It will show you are punctual and committed.
    C) Put in strong adjectives. Ex: Rather than hardworking say very hardworking.
Keep a proforma in handy. Some authors might ask proforma. Try to personalize as much as you can.

7. I did a lot of rotations and have a lot of LORs, which ones do I use?

This usually happens with repeat applicants. First of all, use the LORs which you feel are the strongest. If you believe that all of them are strong enough, use the LORs specifically from the same region as the program. Ex: If you are applying to programs in Michigan, and if you happen to have a LOR written by someone in Michigan-use it.

If any your LORs are from people in higher positions like PD, APD, Chairman and are strong LORs- use them.

8. How do I get my LORs from the previous year?

Just buy the token and login into your ERAS account, LORs would have been transferred.

9. I have a LOR from a specialty different from what I am applying for, Is it useful?

Yes! Although it is better to have a LOR from the same specialty, it is not bad to have LOR from a different specialty.

Any LOR is better than no LOR. But make sure that LOR doesn’t say that you are interested in a specialty different from the one you are applying to. Or ask your LOR author to mention your dedication to the specialty you are applying for.
Ex: If a pediatrics author is writing LOR for IM application, Ask them to mention you are dedicated for IM and not to mention you like peds.

10. How useful are the letters of reference?

Letters of reference are written by a physician who you didn’t work with but know you personally. This is a gray area. It worked for some people and some consider it useless.

1. Use google to find proformas online. Don’t copy paste but try to understand the format.
2. Try to send it to people who matched, they might help you make corrections and make it stronger.
3. Authors might not upload the same LOR you gave them. Remember, they have the liberty to change-they are the authors.
4. If someone offers you to write a LOR after September, ask them to write it and take it by hand to interviews and give it to the PDs. Most PDs will e interested in reading them and will appreciate the effort taken by your mentor. It is a bigggg plus.
5. If your rotations happened well before application season, stay in touch with your mentor through Emails, tell them about your progress. Once the application season begins, remind them of the LOR.
6. ERAS takes a maximum of two weeks to process the LOR during peak times. So, keep that in mind. Don’t keep them not uploaded till the last minute.
7.If your author is not uploading the LOR on time send them Emails with subject “gentle reminder” beginning July 15th and tell them they have to upload by September 1st or else you might not be able to apply for residency. Remember they are very very busy.

This whole information is through personal experience and from questions I usually find online. Hope this compilation helps. Feel free to ask questions or contribute to this. 😊

Give as you live <3
Much love <3

Thursday, June 7, 2018

How to choose which residency programs to apply to?

Match season is coming and everyone is asking: What programs should I apply to :D ?
Well, there is no magical answer for this and each applicant has his/her own situation.

Below are some sources that may help in gathering some info about programs:


This paid (79$) website provides a list of programs that you are eligible to apply to after filling the following requirements: USMLE scores, Visa Status, AMG or IMG, time since graduation, having US clinical experience or not and of course the specialty you are applying for.
It gives you a list of the programs, arranged alphabetically according to state with USMLEs and year of graduation cut-offs in addition to “IMG-friendliness” of the program among many other factors.

2- ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service)

ERAS itself will show you all the programs available but without any filters, so you will need to check the website of each program individually to avoid applying for nothing. For example, ERAS won’t stop you from applying to a program in California even if you don’t have a PTAL - which is a requirement for all California programs.
Keep in mind is ERAS is the place where you apply to programs, so regardless of any source you use to create your list, ERAS is the final destination to choose programs from.

3- Website of each program

One of the most reliable ways to know about a program is to check the website itself. You ll find the info you need mostly under the name/title/tab of: Prospective Applicants or How to Apply and sometimes in the FAQ section.
Unfortunately, some programs websites are deficient and not organized or not even accessible. In this case, you ll have to use the other sources mentioned in this post to get the info you want.

4- FRIEDA (Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database)

FRIEDA is an online database of all graduate medical education programs in the United States that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
Click here to access FRIEDA or just search FRIEDA on Google. Make an account and enjoy searching. You can use filters like: states, visa sponsorship..etc.

5- Doximity

Doximity is an online social networking service for U.S. clinicians. You can create an account and see programs in different specialties arranged according to research output or reputation and US news ranking.

6- Already made lists

You ll find many lists circulating around the internet. You may use them too but an advise it to double check them and make sure that they are uptodate since programs policies may change over the years.

7- Asking seniors

Seniors may help and give you a more detailed insight about programs and states. Ask them :)
> In order to apply to California programs, you need what is so-called: a PTAL ( Postgraduate-Training Accreditation Letter). For more information, click here.

> The situation may be different in different specialties. For instance, Peds has less than 200 programs which means searching will need less time and effort than IM which has 400+ progs!

> It is good to use more than one source. You can use matcharesident list in addition to checking ERAS and the website of each program. Matcharesident may rarely miss a program and sometimes programs show up late in ERAS.

> Search well and specify some good time to search programs. This is a very important decision that may affect the rest of your life :D

> Apply to all programs in a particular geographical location if you have a strong family tie and you REALLY want to match there. DO NOT MISS OUT ON ANY PROGRAM IN THAT CITY/STATE.

Wishing you a good Match season everyone :)