Letters of Recommendation

In addition to the application and MSPE, residency programs require letters of recommendation in support of the application. Generally, an average of three faculty letters are required, at least two from faculty in the department of the student’s specialty choice.

Sometimes an additional letter is needed if the student is applying to a preliminary (PGY-1) program as well as their career specialty (example: PGY-1 Medicine, PGY-2 Ophthalmology). In ERAS, letter authors are given the option of using the LoR Portal or the Student Affairs Office to upload their letters.

Either way, they need the cover sheet from ERAS that provides the appropriate instructions and a letter ID that ties the information with the uploaded letter throughout the ERAS system. In addition, for applicants who ask letter authors to write multiple letters based on specialty, it's best to provide the authors with the relevant information all at once, so they'll have what they need to ensure the letters being written accurately reflect the information required. ERAS letter of recommendation cover sheets will need to be printed from within the MyERAS application letter of recommendation assignment section. If letter writers prefer, letters can be forwarded to the Student Affairs Office for uploading. The maximum number of letters that may be sent to one residency program on ERAS is four. When requesting letters from faculty, please keep the following procedures in mind:

  1. Make certain that you have taken the time to discuss your residency plans with the person who will be writing the letter of evaluation or recommendation. It is helpful to bring a copy of your personal statement and C.V.
  2. Ask your letter writers early in order to allow sufficient time for letters to be drafted, edited and finalized prior to being mailed/transmitted to the appropriate training programs.
  3. Provide the letter writers with a copy of the ERAS Request for Letter of Recommendation Cover Sheet printed from MyERAS once you have assigned your letter writers. The cover sheet will be available in July from the letter of recommendation assignment section of MyERAS. This cover sheet includes a waiver for you to sign if you do not wish to have access to the letter. The letter writer will include a statement in your letter that you waived or did not waive access to the letter. Be sure to include the address of the Student Affairs Dean’s Office (Syracuse or Binghamton) on the bottom of the form.
  4. While all letters may not be required by specialty programs prior to your visit/interview, completing all of your application requirements prior to a visit would be helpful to you and those responsible for house staff (residency) selection.
  5. You may obtain as many letters of recommendation as you wish. You can later decide which letters you would like to use. All letters can either be submitted to the Student Affairs Office and uploaded to ERAS or uploaded to the LoR Portal by the letter writer. However, you may assign only four letters to any one program. This allows you to assign different combinations of letters to different programs.
  6. Letters of recommendations can be submitted during the summer of your fourth year. Letters sent to the Student Affairs/Dean’s Office are scanned using the ERAS Dean’s Office Workstation and will be transmitted to ERAS when the ERAS post office opens in September. Letters are transmitted daily by the Dean’s Office until the end of the application process.