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Jefferson Medical College Alpha Omega Alpha Guide to Residency
Timeline and Additional Important Information
Timeline (for NRMP applicants)
Very helpful people in your specific field. Usually the department chair or the program director. They know the ins and outs of applying to your field better than anyone else (and definitely better than you do!). Ask them who to get letters from, which programs to apply to and how many. Get back to them later as more questions arise throughout the process. Check the specialty pages for particularly helpful people in the specialty you’re interested in. If you pick one and they aren’t helpful, find someone else! This is important!
Medical School Performance EvaluationUsed to be called the Dean’s letter. The student affairs deans will give you all the details before your 4 th year. Basically it’s a letter that documents your time in medical school. Included are a short paragraph about you (where you went to undergrad, any honors, any out of school activities you did, etc), excerpts directly from your clinical evaluations, grades from the first two years (as compared with the rest of the class) and your class rank. (Class rank-probably not a number but a group (like “Middle third”). This will vary by year and you should ask the deans how they will do it for your year if you really want to know.) The dean’s letter writers are a group of faculty who are good at writing these letters and are randomly assigned to you. You may not know your writer, but it doesn’t matter. They will meet with you, prepare the letter (it’s really more like a report) and send it to the student affairs office where they will be looked over by one designated person and submitted to the registrar’s office. Then you will have one opportunity to read over your letter and make any changes (usually it’s spelling or typos) and then the letters are uploaded to ERAS and sent out on November 1.
When to Take Step II
Differs by person and specialty. Some programs require a passing score in order to be ranked. In that case, you should take it before December. Some people want to strengthen their application by improving on their Step I score, in which case they should take the exam in time to have scores reported before interviews are offered (August). Remember that during the first three months you are going to be trying to really shine in your rotations in order to get letters, so you might not want to have to worry about studying for a board exam. Some people take the exam right after 3 rd year, using the two-week vacation to study. It really depends on your situation. Talk to your advisor about their recommendations. Remember that you don’t have to automatically release your scores as long as you take the exam after you’ve initially submitted ERAS. Jefferson (unlike some schools) requires both parts of Step II be passed prior to graduation.
You should also research policies on Step II-CS at the programs you’re interested in. Some will not rank an applicant who has not passed this part of the Step. Another key thing to know is that Step II (both parts) costs around $1500 and this is budgeted into your 3rd year budget. Plan accordingly!
Last updated: March 2010