For students at Ross University Medical School (RUSM), graduation and the attainment of a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree is a remarkable achievement. However, it is not the end of the process.
New medical school graduates are not yet ready to practice medicine. They must first pass Step 3, the last of the United States Medical License Exams® (USMLE®), and complete a medical school residency. So how long is medical residency—and what are residency requirements? Depending on the specialty, a medical residency program may last from three to seven years. The requirements for entry also vary according to specialty, but the basic steps are described below.
In the fourth and final year of medical school, students begin their residency applications and are invited to attend medical residency interviews. Students then create a “rank order list” of preferred residency programs which is matched against a similar list created by the programs. In late March, on “Match Day”, students learn if they have been matched with a residency program to fill post-graduate training positions accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The vast majority of RUSM students and graduates—a 96 percent first-time residency attainment rate in 2022—attain a residency and continue their medical education.
RUSM medical students receive the education needed to advance to residency. However, residency requirements call for more than just good grades and medical knowledge. Students often need personalized help and attention to navigate a rather complex residency matching system—and the RUSM Office of Career Advisement (OCA) can provide that help and attention. The OCA advises students in residency preparation, prepares student documents in preparation for residency, and assists graduated students by facilitating their ongoing postgraduate professional pursuits.
RESIDENCY PREP TIMELINE
APPLICATIONS AND MEDICAL RESIDENCY INTERVIEWS
Beginning in September of the fourth year of medical school, the OCA helps RUSM students apply to ACGME-accredited residency programs through the Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®) offered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). ERAS distributes student applications to residency program directors. In the residency application portfolio, each student includes a curriculum vitae (CV), letters of recommendation, a medical residency personal statement, photographs, and other supporting credentials. RUSM provides medical school and licensing exam transcripts and the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE). The OCA also registers RUSM students with the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®), a residency match system in the United States that pairs the preferences of residency applicants with the preferences of residency program directors.
After positive responses from residency programs, the OCA helps students prepare for medical residency interviews from October through February. The residency application provides a first impression of a student to program directors, but medical residency interviews are critical to the final acceptance decision. Interviews are also the best opportunity to determine how compatible each program is with each student’s professional goals and personal preferences. After interviewing, students should have a good idea of how to rank programs in order of preference for The MATCH ℠. Programs will then begin assembling their lists of preferred applicants. Students and program directors then submit their “rank order lists” to the NRMP, which uses these lists to match students and residencies.
Every year, the third week of March is Match Week, a highly anticipated event in the world of fourth-year medical students. This exciting week begins on that Monday, when applicants learn if but not yet where they matched. In 2021, the NRMP reported that 94.9 percent of all applicants were placed into residency programs on Match Monday. For those who are matched, it is a thrilling moment. For unmatched applicants, there is disappointment, but all is not lost. The Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) offers unmatched or partially matched applicants the chance to fill residency spots left unfilled after the NRMP matching algorithm has been processed.
Friday—residency Match Day—is even more exciting: students—including many SOAP applicants—learn exactly where they will be training for their residencies and in what medical specialty. In 2021, NRMP statistics show that 46.4 percent of U.S. MD seniors matched with their first choice of residency program, and 72.3 percent matched to one of their top three choices. Students applying to more competitive specialties may be matched with programs lower down their list.
RUSM, like medical schools in the United States and Canada, has a special celebratory ceremony every year as graduates receive the news that they have matched at leading teaching hospitals. In 2021-2022, the RUSM first-time residency attainment rate for 2021-2022 students and graduates was 96 percent in 16 medical disciplines.
RESIDENCY PREP FAQ’S
Applicants able to enter graduate medical education (GME) on July 1 in the year of the match are eligible to apply. Students must meet all requirements for entry into GME as prescribed by the ACGME.
Students may begin applying to residencies on September 1. ERAS recommends that students apply no later than September 21 to help ensure their applications are available on September 29 when programs begin accessing residency applications.
Yes. ERAS and the NRMP are separate organizations and students must register separately for each one.
Students may register for ERAs beginning in June. NRMP registration is available from September 15 through January 31. Programs cannot rank applicants until NRMP registration is complete.
Interviews at residency programs typically take place from October through February.
Rank order lists can be submitted beginning February 1 until early March. Applicants should rank programs in order of true preference, not where they think they will match.
Yes. Students enter a binding agreement with the NRMP when they register for The MATCH. Unless a special waiver is secured from the NRMP, students are obligated to attend training in the program to which they are matched.
Are you trying to decide how to choose a medical school? Learn more about why the MD Program at RUSM may be the right choice for you.
The Ross University School of Medicine curriculum is designed to enable students to acquire and master basic sciences concepts and prepare to integrate knowledge of these concepts into clinical care.
The Ross Advantage: Personalized support throughout your medical education. We support your success every step of the way.
The majority of our graduates secure residencies through the National Resident Matching Program.