The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has made some significant changes to the letter of recommendation process for students entering the 2016 Match. For various reasons, the AAMC is no longer allowing medical schools to collect, handle or upload letters of recommendation for students applying to residency positions via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).
Starting with the 2016 Main Residency Match, faculty that are writing a letter of recommendation will need to upload the letter directly to the ERAS Letter of Recommendation Portal themselves (http://go.iu.edu/wpo). This page explains the new process. It also has links to resources for the faculty to learn more about the process and the changes.
If you have any questions or need anything clarified, Emily Walvoord are happy to answer questions and support the faculty and students through this change in process.
Letters of Recommendation Process
Letters are to be submitted through Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) by letter writer.
- AAMC is not allowing OSA to handle or upload letters
- Fellowship letters are already being handled this way
Students will ask for the letter and present a form from ERAS with a unique code and instructions.
- If the students do not bring the form, remind them to enter information in ERAS to generate the form
Faculty will use this code to upload the letter as a PDF
- ERAS Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP)
- Faculty will need to sign up for a free AAMC account
- Directions, support and FAQ from AAMC are at this website
OSA is happy to provide support and guidance.
How do I get good letters of recommendation?
You can ask anyone with whom you’ve worked to write you a letter of recommendation. You’ll want to choose someone who knows you and how you work, rather than someone who has an “important” name, someone who can describe you in a way your CV and application won’t. The goal is to get them to use an example of how you can go above and beyond in the letter.
When you ask your writer be sure to provide a CV and personal statement, and don’t forget to remind them of a scenario in which they taught you something, and you excelled. Also let them know how to upload the letter by attaching the link to Letter of Recommendation instructions.
What do I contribute to my MSPE?
You will want to provide brief responses to the prompts below and send them to your advisor in their preferred format:
- Personal Characteristics
- Most Meaningful Research Experience
- Most Meaningful Extracurricular/Leadership Experience
- Most Meaningful Community Service/Volunteer Experience
- Significant Challenges or Hardships During Medical School
You’ll also want to provide explanations for any extensions, leave of absence or break in your educational program.
How do I submit letters of recommendation?
You don’t! The letter writer should upload the letter of recommendation themselves by following the instructions provided by AAMC. In the past they were able to send the letters to our office, but that is no longer allowed.
Who writes my MSPE letter?
Some faculty may call this a Dean’s Letter, but it is not written by the Dean, the Medical Student Performance Evaluation is written by your advisor.