The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh Student Affairs School of Medicine




In January you will be emailed the Third Year Questionnaire along with other helpful information regarding the steps for career decision/residency application.

Once you have completed this questionnaire, forward it by email to Joanne at (  You may then schedule an appointment with Dr. Maurice Clifton, Director of Student Advising and Career Development by contacting Diane Smith-Kihonia ( in the Office of Student Affairs.  These meetings are usually scheduled during the months of March, April and May.  At this initial meeting Dr. Clifton will review your questionnaire with you and other aspects of preparation for your residency application.

The next step in the process will be to schedule a meeting with Dr. Joan Harvey, Associate Dean for Student Affairs.  Generally, they occur in June, July and August.  

It is not necessary that you know your residency choice for the meeting.  She will talk with you about where you are in the Residency Application Process, issues pertinent to the Dean's Letter.  A rough draft of your C.V. should be handed into the office approximately three (3) days prior to your appointment.  A rough copy of you personal statement is also helpful, if available.


Once your letter is ready for review, (usually in October) you will receive an email that will ask you to report to the Office of Student Affairs within three days of the receipt of the message. It will take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete this review process, therefore you are asked to come to the office between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. so that you have ample time. Your review packet will consist of a cover sheet explaining the Dean's Letter Review process, A Consent Form and your Dean's Letter in draft form. Read the instruction sheet carefully.

You must sign the Consent Form in order to have your letter released to Residency Programs. You are permitted to make your changes/deletions/additions directly on the draft copy and initial the first page. After you have reviewed your letter Dr. Harvey will make the final decision as to whether or not your corrections/ additions/deletions will be considered.

Due to the large volume of letters processed from the Office of Student Affairs, you have only one opportunity to review and make changes to your letter.


(Electronic Residency Application Service)

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has instituted the ERAS program to transmit residency application and information to residency programs via the Internet. To find out if your specialty is participating you may check the ERAS website or contact Residency Programs for requirements, deadlines, and general information. Please keep in mind that it is not mandatory for programs to participate.

Students till be issued a Token - a special code - from the Office of Student Affairs that is needed to register and access MyERAS on-line.  MyERAS includes work areas where you will complete your application, select programs and create and assign supporting documents.  There will be an online manual to assist you in the process of completing your ERAS application.

Once your receive your Token, you are able to access the website.  You should point your web browser to  Click on New User.  Carefully fill out all required information.  You may continually work on your application, keeping in mind to only CERTIFY WHEN YOU ARE SURE THAT YOUR INFORMATION IS CORRECT AND COMPLETE.  You will not be able to make changes to your Application once it has been sent to the ERAS Post Office.    

It is very important that you have a working E-mail account.  This is the only way that the Student Affairs Office, ERAS, and Programs will correspond with you regarding your application.

The Dean's Letters are locked into the system and are automatically sent on November 1st. 


When you pick up your Token in the Office of Student Affairs, you will complete a TRANSCRIPT REQUEST form. It will be sent to the Registrar's Office requesting that a transcript be printed on plain paper to allow it to be scanned into the system. Because a special exception has been made to accommodate this request student ARE NOT PERMITTED TO VIEW THIS TRANSCRIPT. IT IS FOR USE IN THE ERAS SYSTEM ONLY!


You are required to provide the Office of Student Affairs with a residency photo to scan into the system.


Each student will identify those individuals writing letters of recommendation. Once you have selected these individuals print out the standard memo generated by the system explaining the procedure.  Letters must be sent directly from the letter writer to Joanne in the Office of Student Affairs.  No letters will be accepted from students under any circumstances. 

It is the responsibility of the student to track their letters of recommendation. You are encouraged access the Applicant Document Tracking System (ADTS) through ERAS to check on the status of your application.

Any supplemental information required by individual programs (i.e. CV's undergraduate transcripts, MCAT scores, etc) are the responsibility of the student. There is no way to include this information into the system. These materials must be mailed by the student to those programs requesting such information.

PAYMENTS are forwarded directly to the AAMC, either by credit card or sending payment to the address at the bottom of the invoice which is printed from the system.  You must pay for your programs before ERAS grants access to your information, so that the Student Affairs Office can scan your Letters of Recommendation.


The NBME will process an electronic request for USMLE score transcripts 

The transcripts will include ALL score information available at the time of processing. You may request automatic updating of your scores when completing your CAF. The automatic update is binding and irrevocable once your information has been sent by the Dean's Workstation. This selection cannot be reversed.

Therefore, if you do not have your Step 2 scores back by the time you submit your CAF you must decide whether to have those expected scores transmitted automatically.

If you click "YES", your additional scores will be sent automatically. Click "NO" and you will have to re-send your transcript when your Step II scores are available.  You are able to do this yourself using MyERAS .


For those students applying to Specialties and/or Programs that are not participating in ERAS, the student will need to apply using the specific application supplied by the program(s).  Complete the application and mail it directly to the program along with any other required supplemental information.  Have your Letter of Recommendation writers mail their letters directly to your programs.  

Official transcripts must be ordered directly from the Office of the Registrar, G-3 Thackeray Hall at a cost of $3.00 per transcript.  You will need to provide this office with a complete list of programs, including addresses along with your payment.  


For those students who will be applying to specialties that use the San Francisco Match.  You may access this information directly from their website .  Specialties participating in this Match are Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology and Plastic Surgery.  All specialties begin accepting requests for registration in May. 


For those student who will be applying for Urology residency positions.  You may access the American Urological Association's website to access all the information regarding timelines, application and the match.


You must present Joanne with pre-addressed mailing labels and a photocopy of those labels in order to have your Dean's Letter processed. It is the responsibility of the student as to the accuracy of the addresses.

Review each application you receive to find out if the program requires a copy of the application or a copy of your board scores to accompany the Dean's Letter.
If the application does not state that a copy of the application and/or board scores must accompany the Dean's Letter it is to your advantage to mail them yourself. If the application states that they required a copy of the application and/or board scores, it is the responsibility of the student to supply enough copies for those programs.

On the photocopy of your labels you should make the following codes for supplemental materials:
A         Copy of application
BS       Copy of Board Scores
(Remember supply enough copies for each program)

In order to keep within the November 1st mailing deadline, labels and supplemental documents must be submitted to the Office of  Student Affairs no later than three (3) weeks before the November 1st deadline.

  Warning About FREIDA

FREIDA (Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access system)

You are able to search through the list of 7,400 programs (as well as 200 combined specialty programs) using a variety of options to isolate the exact information needed.

For AMA student members FREIDA provides a limited mailing label service. After you have made you search selection and viewed the results, you may save the program listings and request mailing labels at no charge for up to 30 programs.

If you wish to join the AMA there is information in the FREIDA Website on how to become a student member or visit the AMA Membership website.

PLEASE NOTE: If you order more than 30 labels you will be charged $50.00. You can order up to 100 labels. This bill goes to you.

Mailing addresses are updated and the most current available. If e-mail addresses are given you are encouraged to use this format to request information membership website.

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