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Residency Application Process

The residency application process 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 the Office of Student Affairs at 901.448.5684.

Residency Application Timeline

  • Request registration materials from SF Match: May
  • Request Letters of Recommendation using UTHSC ERAS LOR Cover Sheet/UTHSC Sponsored Applicants: May
  • Begin scheduling appointments for Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE): Late June (appointments begin July)
  • Applicant ERAS Electronic Tokens mailed: Late May
  • MyERAS Web site opens: Mid-July
  • Class Rank: Early September
  • NRMP Online Applicant Registration: Mid-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): October 21
  • Interview with programs: Mid November through 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 Week: Third Week in March
  • Match Day: Third Friday in March


Common Abbreviations

Commonly referred to during application process:

  • AAMC: Assoc 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
  • No magical or right answer!
  • Take advantage of career counseling opportunities
    • Strolling Through the Match [June]
    • 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 fallback plan 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

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

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
  • Make an MSPE Appointment
  • MSPE Format
  • Class Rank: Class rank is determined in early Fall and is based on all grades received at the time the GPA report is generated. Since The University of Tennessee College of Medicine does not officially provide a class rank, the Office of Student Affairs generates this report during the residency application process to determine AOA eligibility for the Fall Selection Process and to determine a student's "overall medical school performance" rating as indicated on the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE). Available Early September.

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!

  • Catherine Womack, MD
  • Deirdre James, MD
  • Sara Cross, MD
  • Andrew Olinger, MD
  • Mukta Panda, MD (Chattanooga)
  • William “Bill” Dabbs, MD(Knoxville)
  • Gerald Presbury, MD

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)
  • unofficial transcript
  • three (3) brief bullet formated "unique characteristics"

NRMP Website

Residency Placement/Summary Archives

The purpose of the Main Residency Match is to provide a uniform time for both applicants and programs to make their training selections without pressure. Through the Main Residency Match, applicants may be “matched” to programs using the certified rank order lists (ROL) of the applicants and program directors, or they may obtain one of the available unfilled positions during the Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program®. The Main Residency Match is managed through the NRMP’s Registration, Ranking, and Results® R3® system[More]

The Applicant Checklist

The Rank Order List:

  • After registering for the Match and completing interviews, applicants submit to the NRMP a list of programs, ranked in order of preference, where they wish to train. At the same time, program directors submit to the NRMP a list of applicants, ranked in order of preference, whom they have interviewed and wish to train. It is the final preferences of applicants and program directors, as expressed on their rank order lists (ROLs), that determines the Match outcome.
  • ROLs are created and certified electronically in the NRMP Registration, Ranking, and Results® (R3®) system. ROLs must be saved after each change, and only the most recent version of a ROL is saved. NOTE: ROLs cannot be imported on a mobile device.

Match Week and SOAP

  • 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.
  • Positions left unfilled after the matching algorithm has been processed are offered to eligible applicants through the Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®). Applicants should spend time familiarizing themselves with Match Week information and resources.

ERAS ® streamlines the residency application process for applicants, their Designated Dean's Offices, Letter of Recommendation (LoR) authors and program directors. By providing applicants the ability to build and deliver their application and supporting materials individually or as a package to programs, ERAS provides a centralized, but flexible solution to the residency application and documents distribution process. [More]

Students and/or sponsored graduates of the University of Tennessee HSC (only) should contact Alise Miller,, 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 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 Portal, Program Listing, etc.

May 26, 2022