Residency Application Process

The residency application process actually begins in April with the Strolling Through the Match (STTM) Workshop. This workshop is designed to introduce third year medical students to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), and provide insight into the various specialties. [Review STTM Workshop slide presentation]

Student should use the timeline below as a guide. Click the links to review more detailed information.Questions regarding the residency application process should be directed to Debbey Hester at (901) 448-5531.


Commonly referred to during application process:

  • AAMC: Assc of American Med Colleges
  • ERAS: Electronic Res Application Svc
  • MSPE: Med Student Performance Eval
  • NRMP: Nat'l Resident Matching Prg
  • SFMatch: San Fran Matching Prg
  • AUA: American Urological Assoc

Areas of Interest

Residency Application Time Line

Request registration materials from SF Match May
Request Letters of Recommendation using
UTHSC ERAS LOR Cover Sheet/UTHSC Sponsored ApplicantsMay
Begin scheduling appointments for Medical
Student Performance Evaluation
(MSPE) Mid-June (appts begin July)
Applicant ERAS Electronic Tokens mailed Late June
MyERAS Web site opens Mid-July
Class RankEarly September
NRMP On-line Applicant RegistrationMid-August
ERAS Post Office Opens September 1
Complete CAS Application for SFMatch (target date) Early September
Alpha Omega Alpha (Fall M4 selection process) Early September
Official release date for
Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) November 1
Interview with programs Mid November-February
AUA Match January
SFMatch application deadline January
SFMatch results faxed to Student Affairs January
AAMC Graduation Questionnaire January-March
NRMP R3 System (Ranking) Mid-January to Mid-February
NRMP Match WeekThird Week in March
MATCH DAY! Third Thursday in March

Preparing Your Application

  • No magical or right answer!
  • Take advantage of career counseling opportunities
    • Strolling Through the Match [April]
    • Pathway Evaluation Workshops / Careers in Medicine [December-February]
    • Specialty group luncheons [offered by individual departments]
    • Senior year junior internships & electives
    • Opportunity to "try on" your potential specialty
    • Family and friends
    • Classmates
    • Current M4 students
    • Residents in your chosen specialty
    • Physicians practicing in chosen specialty
    • Faculty advisor
  • Have fall-backs for both specialty and program
    • Better than going unmatched!
  • If you know you eventually want a specialty fellowship, consider a program strong in that area which can provide you with:
    • Good teaching
    • Subsequent effective references
  • If you are not sure about an academic career, go to a more academic program to keep your options open
  • If you are sure about private practice, choose a geographic area in which you would like to practice to establish hospital ties
  • Don't over or under estimate yourself
  • Choice of M4 electives and junior internships (JI)
    • Tremendous opportunity to:
      • Broaden knowledge base in multiple disciplines
      • Solidify career choice
      • Explore internship opportunities
  • Should I take most of my electives within and close to my "specialty choice?"
    • Check first with the department chair or residency advisor in the discipline
    • Give serious consideration that will prepare you for your specialty, but may not be available as focused experience in a residency program.
  • Application
    • Fill in ALL the blanks! [don't put "refer to CV"]
    • Include CV even if it isn't specifically requested
    • Read the fine print to make sure you know of any additional information asked for specifically by that program
    • Transcript
      • All transcripts must be requested in writing by the student
      • For ERAS, students must request official "white" copies
      • For Non-ERAS (i.e., SF Match), students must request official "blue" copies

Preparing Your Credentials: Curriculum Vitae

Sample CV


  • Try to limit it to one page (exception Research and publications)
  • Ask friends, family, faculty to proofread and comment
  • Be prepared to discuss any research documented
  • Explain any awards

Suggested Format

  • Identifying information
    Name, address, telephone number (Don't include age, marital status, SS# or AAMC ID#, place of birth, courses taken, career plan
  • Education
    • Medical
      University of Tennessee Health Science Center
      Doctor of Medicine
      Anticipated, June 2003
    • Undergraduate experiences (college, not high school)
      School, years of attendance, major, degree.
      Add GPA, class standing only if impressive

      University of Tennessee, Knoxville
      Bachelor of Science, Biology
      History minor
      Summa cum laude, 1999
  • Honors
    Alpha Omega Alpha, 2002
    Presidential Scholarship, 1995-1999
    Summer Honors Research Scholar, 1998

  • Activities
    • Do not list them all
    • Limit Society memberships (unless an officer)

      Vice President of Academic Affairs, 1999-present
      President of Class Notes, 1999-2001
      President of ER Medicine Special Interest Club, 2001
      Boys and Girls Club volunteer, 1999-present

  • Employment
    • List medically related experiences first
  • Research (publications)
  • Personal interests
    • Painting, hiking, photography
    • Special abilities
      • Capable in sign language, fluent in Spanish

Preparing Your Credentials: Personal Statement

[Note: When reviewing these samples, students should focus on the articulation of the content and not necessarily the specialty for which the personal statement was written]
Sample1 | Sample2

  • Suggestions
    • Who you are that is not revealed in your transcript or your CV
    • Don't describe your life chronologically
    • This is your own statement; individualize
    • Make an attempt to reveal who you are on paper
  • Suggested format
    • One page long
    • Have others proofread: spelling, proper English, flow and appropriateness of content
    • Use good paper and attractive, easy to read font
    • Use humor
    • Talk about fears, poignant events in life if they are relevant
    • Be positive about the traits you possess that will help make you a good resident
  • Suggested Paragraphs
    • An introductory sentence to capture interest
    • Why did I choose Medicine?
    • How did I choose this specialty
    • Where do I see myself?
    • Insight into family and very special interests

Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

Who you can choose from to author your MSPE: all authors write on behalf of the Dean. Although it makes no difference which author you choose, some students may feel more comfortable choosing one author over another. This is perfectly okay!

  • Owen Phillips, M.D.
  • Gerald Presbury, M.D.
  • David Stockton, M.D. (Knoxville)

What you should bring with you to your appointment:

  • curriculum vitae (draft)
  • personal statement (draft)
  • senior year schedule of classes (can be handwritten or print out from the Student Information System)
  • brief statement describing what you believe are your "unique characteristics"

National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)

The NRMP Main Match provides an impartial venue for matching applicants' preferences for residency positions with program directors' preferences for applicants. Each year approximately 16,000 U.S. allopathic medical school seniors and 15,000 graduates of osteopathic, Canadian or foreign medical schools compete for approximately 23,000 residency positions. [More]

The Rank Order List:

  • All Rank Order Lists (ROL) for a Match are submitted to NRMP electronically via the NRMP Registration, Ranking, and Results (R3) System. Applicants must certify their ROLs when they are complete to indicate the ROL is ready to be used in the Match.
  • Applicants indicate their preferences from among the programs they have applied to and wish to attend on Rank Order Lists. The final preferences of program directors and applicants, as reflected on the Rank Order Lists, will determine which positions are offered to which applicants and where the applicants are subsequently placed. [More]

The Scramble:

  • Filled and Unfilled results for individual programs posted to the website at 11:30 am EST. Locations of all unfilled positions are released to applicants and programs at 12:00 noon EST. Unmatched applicants begin contacting unfilled programs at 12:00 noon EST.

Match Day!

  • Match Day, next to graduation, is one of the most exciting days in a medical student's life. Students in the graduating medical school class at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine are among thousands of applicants participating in the National Resident Matching Program who, on this day, learn which residency program they will enter for post graduated training. Match Day is but one day in a week-long celebration with friends and family that is planned and organized by the class' graduation committee.

Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)

ERAS is the Electronic Residency Application Service. It is commonly used by medical graduates or medical students in their final year of medical college to apply for specialized graduate training in residency programs in the U.S. [More]

Students and/or sponsored graduates of the University of Tennessee HSC (only) should contact Debbey Hester, (901) 448-5531, regarding "Token" information/distribution. NOTE: Graduates from institutions other than the University of Tennessee Health Science Center wishing to participate in the residency application process should contact their own school of medicine for ERAS information and Token distribution.

The MyERAS applicant support site contains necessary information for all applicants applying for residency and/or fellowship, including the Applicant Info Sheet, Applicant Manual, ERAS Timeline, CAF Worksheet, Equipment Requirements, LoR Cover Sheet, Program Listing, etc.

The completed ERAS LOR Coversheet for UTHSC College of Medicine Seniors/Graduates provides UTHSC sponsored applicants with a completed downloadable version of the LOR Cover Sheet needed when requesting letters of recommendation.

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Contact Us

Office of Student Affairs

910 Madison Ave, #1031
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-5684
Fax: (901) 448-7085 

Associate Dean:
Susan C. Brewer, M.D.

Executive Dean:
Steve J. Schwab, M.D.