Secondary Applications

Some specialties and individual residency programs ask applicants to provide further information by completing an additional application, called a supplemental or secondary application. These applications provide an opportunity for applicants to:

  • Communicate their unique background/experiences, career goals, and interests
  • Identify their interest in a particular program or geographic setting

Each year some specialties release national application requirements or recommendations that apply to all programs in that specialty.

Monitor announcements from the specialty’s national professional organizations to determine if additional recommendations or requirements are stated.

  • Check the ERAS Participating Specialties and Programs webpage for specialty guidance and interview release date information throughout the application season.
  • Ophthalmology has a required Secondary Application form that is part of the Central Application Service (CAS) in the SF Match System
    • Includes career objectives, specialty electives and related activities, public services, and activities
  • Many Plastic Surgery programs require or give applicants the choice to complete the Plastic Surgery Cental Application (PSCA); check the requirements for programs where you plan to apply

Individual residency programs may request all applicants complete a secondary application answering questions specific to the applicant’s fit with their residency’s goals, values, and areas of focus.

When researching residency programs, be sure to determine if a secondary application is requested/required. The structure of the secondary application and the timing of when it is requested are specific to each program.

  • Check each program’s website for details about secondary application requirements
  • Some programs may provide this information later in the application season so check back on the program’s website.
    • Do not assume because the information is not listed the first time you look that it will not be added later in the summer
  • Check email frequently, as programs may correspond with applicants during all stages of the process
    • Some programs request a secondary application once an applicant has been invited for an interview