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When to Apply?

Applications for residency positions are sent via Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS(r)). ERAS office starts transmitting your applications to the programs on September 2nd every year. Therefore, the earliest you can apply to any program is September 2nd.

The timeline of important events can be found at relevant web sites. However, here is the pointer that I want to give you.

- If you apply in September, you are applying early and you will get the advantage of early bird.

- If you apply in the first two weeks of October, your application is "in time". You are OK.

- If you apply in late October or worse yet, in November, your application will suffer. You will end up with less interview calls.

Why is that? The programs analyze applications in order of the date of application. If you are a regular candidate but you have applied early, programs will look at your application first and decide there and then whether to give you an interview call. They are more likely to end up calling you because it’s early season and a regular candidate is acceptable.

Now consider the same regular candidate applying in late October. Most of the programs have already called a lot of applicants. There are very few slots left so the programs tend to become more selective. A regular candidate may or may not be acceptable depending upon other options available to the program.

Now the question arises "I will only have my Step 1 score in September… Should I still apply? Will I suffer if I do not have my Step 2 score?” The answer to both the questions is yes.

Let’s go through it step by step.

- Ideally, you should have both Step 1 and Step 2 scores and passed the CS by the time you send in an application. That will give you the maximum advantage. However, that means studying hard and fast, going to US just for the sake of CS and getting it all done and over with before September. Thank God, we do not live in an ideal world so we can get away with less.

- The minimum you need to apply for residency programs is a Step 1 score. That's the bare minimum and most international applicants do that. It is acceptable. In fact, if a program likes your application but requires your Step 2 scores before they grant you an interview, they will wait for you and put your application on hold till than. They will make their final decision whether to call you for an interview or not only after they have received your Step 2 scores.

- The best approach which is both economical and fruitful at the same time is to have Step 1 and 2 scores before application (i.e. September). You take your CS when you go to US for residency interviews. Thus there is only one trip to US and you get the advantage of Step 2 scores as well.

Conclusion: The advantage of early application outweighs the disadvantage of applying without Step 2 scores. Therefore apply early!!!!!!!!

Note: This article has been derived from "Roadmap to Residency" authored by AKU graduates, with permission from few of the authors. Name of the original author, has purposely not been mentioned on request of one of the authors, for privacy reasons. If you are the original author of this article and want your name to be mentioned or wish this article to be modified/ removed from this website, please contact us and we would be more than happy to entertain your request. We fully respect your privacy, acknowledge your efforts put in authoring this article and appreciate your hard work involved in it.

Research after graduation, before residency

Will doing intensive research after MD graduation for around a 1 year or 2 at a known university, increase one's chances of getting into high rank residency programs of university hospitals?

Many thanks!

I'd like to know what you think

Hi Umar
great job.. God bless you for all the hard work and time you've put into this website..
Got a question:
I'm planing on an elective of 2 months that starts september 1st 2012 through october then sit for my Cs exam in early november.. So.. If I apply in early september( while I'm still doing my elective), will the elective go to waste? Or is there a way to include the elective in my application without hurting my chances too much?
Thanks in advance
all the respect in the world..

Thanks for your kind words...

umar's picture

Thanks for your kind words... try to sit for the exam after your electives... however electives are NOT REQUIRED to sit for the exams but they are helpful in the prep...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

guidance needed

Aoa Umar bhai I m an IMG,graduated in 2010.i m a permanant resident of U.S.A, i hv passed my step2 CS n m gona take step1 in may 2011 inshallah n m planning to take step 2 in the start of oct 2011 inshallah do u think i can make it for 2012 matc if i apply in sep2011 wis my step1 and step2 CS score and later submit my step2 score.....?m really confused n i'll b really thankful for ur guidance

Yes you can.... all the best!

umar's picture

Yes you can.... all the best!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

hi, umar plz reply to dat


     u have done a tremendous job regarding this website.i visit it on daily basis.....i have read all the details regarding residency application.

     But I have got sum confusions in my mind bcoz of the experiences of sum seniors from my med school.

     I know , one can apply for match wid step.1 score only dats the minimum requirement

     my step1 and step 2 exam both wil push me upto april 2011( if everything goes according to my plans inshALLAH ) as i have just started

    prepration after completing my house job.

    only after dat i will be able to apply for the visa as i have heard dat embassy usually grants visa with the demand of step 2 score.o

    so,plz tell me dat will i b able to apply for september 2011 match application.

    confusion iz dat a few seniors of mine who are going through with their match application rite now......dey are asking me to hurry up and make

   it feb 2011 for step 2 instead of april 2011.

      dey  are saying dat the residency application procedure will take longer time and i must prepare my application until march 2011.


          plz tell me that my idea of appearing in april 2011 will not hurt my cause of applying for  september 2011.


                                                  thank you

AOA Mubasher, Thanks a lot

umar's picture

AOA Mubasher,

Thanks a lot for your kind words. You are in the same boat as me and I also have almost the same schedule. I don't think your idea of appearing in april 2011 will hurt your cause of applying in september 2011, at all!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

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