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Residency Application Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1- Getting Started (Year 1+) :

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) both provide very useful information to assist you on your journey to a rewarding osteopathic medical career.

AACOM Career Advising Program

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) has a Career Advising Program under their Information for Medical Students tab. This program can be very useful in planning your residency as well as your choice of specialty. Once you have utilized AACOM's Career Advising Program, please make sure to contact the office of the Department of Career Services with feedback regarding how the site was used and any suggestions for improvement which will be forwarded to AACOM.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) provides a medical specialty decision-making questionnaire to help you make this import career step as well as tips on how to choose a specialty.

AAMC - Careers in Medicine

Excellent information and tips on the AOA, medical school, examinations, rotations, ERAS, the Match, and residency and beyond.

Step 2 - Research Residency Programs (Year 3):

Pay careful attention to eligibility requirements and deadlines.

These links will be useful in your research of residency programs.

 Specialty organization websites provide detailed residency application advisement. Examples include:

How Should I Plan an Audition Rotation? By Megan L. Fix, MD at

Please contact the DCOM Alumni Services about MATCHMaker for Alumni Specialty Mentor contacts or further information.


Step 3: Assessment of Qualifications (End of Year 3)

Honestly assess your qualifications (academic record, board scores, etc) as compared to those applicants who matched into your desired specialty by reviewing the following reports:

Review the match statistics from prior years to determine the competitiveness of the specialties in which you plan to apply. These match statistics are available on the NRMP sites.


Step 4- Residency Applications (Beginning of Year 4):

Most residency programs use the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). ERAS is a service that transmits applications, Letters of Recommendation (LoRs), Medical Student Performance Evaluations (MSPEs), medical school transcripts, USMLE transcripts, COMLEX transcripts, and other supporting credentials from you and your designated dean's office to program directors using the Internet. ERAS consists of MyERAS (the Web site where you create your application), the Dean's Office Workstation (DWS), the Program Director's Workstation (PDWS), and the ERAS PostOffice.

Note: ERAS is a separate and distinct service from the Match. ERAS is used by students to apply to programs while the Match determines final placement of students into programs. You must register for both separately.

ERAS Medical School Transcript Request
LMU-DCOM's ERAS Medical School Transcript Request Form


Step 5 - The Match:

The Match is administered by the ACGME by the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). Each student must register directly and NRMP in order to be eligible to participate in The Match. The Match determines the final placements into residency programs. There is also a Military Match for medical students on active duty, the San Francisco Early Matching Program, and the American Urological Association. Please see the links below for more information.

National Residency Matching Program (NRMP)
The NRMP Main Match provides an impartial venue for matching Allopathic, Osteopathic, Canadian, and Foreign Medical School applicants' preferences for residency positions accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) with program directors' preferences for applicants. Registration begins mid-August.

Military Match

Please see the Military Match folder on the DCOM Career Services Blackboard Organization. 

San Francisco Early Matching Program
The San Francisco Matching Program handles Child Neurology and Ophthalmology with their Central Application Service (CAS). Please visit the website for detailed information about deadlines, timelines, etc. Applicants are advised to review the website carefully prior to registration for the match.

American Urological Association (AUA)
Includes residency program match information for urology positions only. Applicants are advised to review the information available on the website very carefully and completely.

FindAResident: Offered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), FindAResidentB. is a powerful, Web-based search tool to help you find open residency and fellowship positions. Best of all, it can put you in direct contact with the programs looking to fill these positions.


Step 6 - Residency / Internship:

Send requests for letters needed for residency and/or state licensing, any documents that need to be processed by LMU-DCOM for residency and/or state licensing, and requests for certified copies of diplomas (you must provide a copy for certification) to the LMU-DCOM Department of Career Services.

After graduation, LMU-DCOM will continue to be your ERAS Designated Dean's Office with the exception of Fellowships. Fellowship applicants should contact the ERAS Fellowships Documents Office (EFDO). They are the designated Dean's Office for Fellowship applicants. The EFDO can be reached at 215-966-3940 or online at


Information on Residency Application Supporting Documents

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The Curriculum Vitae or "CV" is a succinct chronicle of your past experiences and training. Writing tips, samples, and a CV template can be found at the following links:
AAMC Preparing Your Curriculum Vitae
American College of Physicians (ACP): Cover Letter, Resume, and CV

Please contact the DCOM Department of Career Services for more CV samples or further information.

Personal Statements

A personal statement typically consists of information about your professional background, academic and clinical qualifications, how your decision was made to pursue medicine and your chosen specialty as a career, and career goals. The personal statement also should reflect information about your personality and style that is relevant to residency training in your selected specialty. It is an opportunity to showcase your unique qualities, talents, and professional passions and to explain how they might be expressed in a career in medicine and your specialty. Writing tips and samples of Personal Statements can be found in the DCOM Career Services Blackboard Organization.

Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)/Dean's Letter of Evaluation (DLE)

The Office of the Dean is responsible for the formatting, academic integration, collection of data, and the production of the MSPE following the AAMC Guidelines and Template. The MSPE is assembled by the Career Services Director under the direction of the Dean of Clinical Medicine and the Associate Dean of Students. The MSPE is a comprehensive assessment of your medical school performance through your third year and part of your fourth year. Appointments should be made to review the MSPE and authorize its release to ERAS and residency programs. The Career Services Director will contact students by email when their MSPE is ready for review. Students are permitted to correct factual errors only. Revision of evaluative statements is prohibited. For more information on the MSPE please see the AAMC Guidelines and Template, our FAQs section or contact the Career Services Department.

Letters of Recommendation (LoRs)

Most programs require a minimum of three letters of recommendation from each applicant. In ERAS, the applicant may assign and send up to four letters to each program. You must check off whether you waive your right or you do not waive your right to see the LoR and sign the cover sheet before giving it to your letter writer. Osteopathic training programs can begin contacting the ERAS PostOffice to download application files in mid-July. Please try to have all supporting documents in by September.

***It is highly recommended that you request STRONG LoRs, and provide letter writers with your CV and Personal Statement (if available).***

Deadlines for LoRs and other ERAS documents:

The residency programs for which you will be applying to through ERAS will have application deadlines for ERAS supporting documents like Letters of Recommendation (LoRs). Also, residency programs can start downloading your application and supporting documents (like LoRs) on September 15th. It is recommended that you relay this information to your letter writers. If your letter writer is having trouble meeting your deadline, you may want to consider asking someone else who meets your program's requirements and deadlines, and can write you a strong LoR.

Tips on obtaining LoRs can be found at: Careers in Medicine

More Residency Resources:

AAMC: Roadmap to Residency
NRMP: How the Matching Algorithm Works

AMSA Residency and Medical Education Guide

For more information, questions, or problems, please contact Lisa Shelburne, LMU-DCOM Department of Career Services, at DCOM #328 or (423) 869-6832.