Residency Application Update - Class of 2019

Message sent to the Class of 2019 by Dean Mellman (7.6.18)

Dear Class of 2019,

I hope you are enjoying D&I so far and its subIs/electives and SP months. You know how far you have come in your training when you see how much more advanced you are in knowledge, skills and confidence compared with more junior students.

 Now that the residency season is upon us, we are aware that writing your residency application, deciding which residency programs to consider, and all the details of the residency season is exciting and not uncommonly somewhat stressful for many students. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need, advice and advisors along the way, and to help you manage any of the stress. We--meaning us deans, advisory deans, and faculty- are here to help you through this.

 As I’ve said, your residency application should most definitely be submitted to ERAS by September 15 at the latest (you can submit as early as September 6 for ERAS), and for ophthalmology by the beginning of August.  

 There are lots of advisors available to help you with residency application planning, including your advisory dean, residency advisors in the specialty, and myself. Also a reminder that I have daily walk in hours and hope you will utilize these for your questions and concerns. They are Mon 12-1 p.m., Wed 3-4 p.m. and Tues, Thurs, Fri 1-2 p.m. (I’m away July 9-13) I send out emails only when they change.

 Meanwhile, here is a list of summer tasks for you:

1. Decide on the specialty to which you are applying if you are still undecided (CERE will survey everyone again next week)

2. Self-assess for matchability and have a backup plan if at risk of not matching in that specialty

3. Self-assess for the number and types of programs you should apply to. You must apply to enough programs to yield enough interviews to match and be satisfied (yield of applications to interviews on Courseworks Match Profile Data). The number to rank is specialty specific and depends on how competitive your application is in that specialty, how many P&S students are applying to that specialty this year, and whether you are couples matching. I included a NRMP match dataset from 2015-2017 in the P&S Residency Guide I emailed you that shows the number of ranks submitted for students who matched, organized by specialty. AAMC Charting Outcomes in the Match (in Courseworks P&S Career Advising) includes data from the 2018 match.  

The NRMP has many datasets regarding recent match results:

You will want to secure a couple more interviews than you need to rank in case there are 1 or 2 programs you really don’t like and would prefer not to rank if you have enough.

Please discuss with your advisory dean or me if there are disparities between these national data and our P&S match profile data, as our dataset is much more comprehensive and specific for our students.

  1. Arrange for your letters of recommendation to ideally be uploaded to ERAS by September 15 so they will be viewable to programs when ERAS applications can be downloaded. If necessary, including for a September elective, have it uploaded at the latest September 30 so it is viewable October 1 when the MSPE is available in ERAS. Letters uploaded after September 30 are at risk of perhaps not being seen by the program if they review your application at the beginning of October.
  2. Meet with at least one faculty advisor in the specialty to which you are applying to discuss your application, plans for letters of recommendation and get suggestions on suitable programs for you, taking into consideration your profile. Suggestions for this individual are on your MSPE and Career Planning Form from my one on one meeting with you and is in your OASIS student file.

 I want to also draw your attention to a few files in the P&S Courseworks Career Advising site in addition to the P&S Residency Guide, that are especially helpful as you are writing your applications and determining which programs to apply to:  

1.      Previous match lists. These are programs that have been well liked by P&S students.

2.      List of P&S 2018 graduates who offered to be contacted –we will email out separately to you

3.      In the section on residency application information:

a.       Evaluating a residency. Tells you what domains to consider, both in determining programs to apply to and is helpful in preparing for interviews

b.      Program comments 2016-2018 (StudentResProgramComments). These are comments, organized by specialty and program, from P&S students who have interviewed at these programs in the past few years.

c.       Comments about application process (StudentResidencyApplicationAdvice)

d.      Personal statement tips

e.       Sample CVs

 Please make use of these resources as well as your advisory dean and me. I hope that many of you will come in during walk in hours, send me emails, etc over these next few months with questions, concerns, and updates, and make use of our advisory deans and faculty residency advisors, all of which allows us to help you be successful with your career goals. Best wishes-we’re in this together.


Lisa A. Mellman, M.D.

Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Samuel Rudin Professor of Psychiatry at CUMC

Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons

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