ERAS Experience Descriptions
Just as there is no “right” way to compose your residency personal statement there is also no one way to approach the ERAS application entry descriptions. Most applicants follow three primary styles:
The full description with insights approach
This approach #1 allows the applicant to write not only about his roles and responsibilities but also about what he might have learned or what insights he gained through a particular experience. Some people might advise you that this approach results in descriptions that are too lengthy, but with only 1020 characters allowed per description, you really can’t become too verbose.
I advise using this approach since it offers the greatest opportunity to showcase your accomplishments and insights. If the person reading your application would prefer to read less, she can always skim your entries,. It is best to use the space allowed to highlight your experiences, which will hopefully motivate the reader to meet you and click the interview box.”
The shorter description approach
Using this approach, the applicant writes in full sentences about each description in a concrete fashion. She writes about what she did and her roles and responsibilities but does not include any additional insight or about “lessons learned.” This allows the descriptions to be complete but shorter than if the applicant took approach #1.
The bulleted approach
In this approach #3, the bulleted approach, the applicant does not write in full sentences but instead writes in a bulleted format about what only he did. Some people advocate this approach while others say it makes for entries that are abrupt and difficult to read.
Sample ERAS Work Experience.
Example of Approach #1:
As research assistant at Major Medical Center, I was responsible for all aspects of the project. I hypothesized that rats who consumed a diet without red meat would have less cardiovascular disease than those who did. Over the course of two years, I followed the rats, sacrificed them, did the surgery to evaluate their cardiac vessels and recorded my data. I also did extensive literature reviews and analyzed my data. I found that rats who did not consume red meat were 75% less likely to develop cardiac disease. From this work, I learned the importance of remaining objective and open minded. Also crucial was learning from my mistakes and setbacks so as to design better experiments. I also realized the importance of patience when doing research. This experience motivates me to become an academic physician so I can do translational research while still caring for patients. I have recently summarized my findings in a manuscript and submitted it for publication.
Example of Approach #2:
As research assistant at Major Medical Center, I was responsible for all aspects of my project examining the influence of eating red meat on cardiovascular disease in rats. I hypothesized that rats who consumed a diet without red meat would have less cardiovascular disease than 117 Chapter 17: Guidelines for Application Entries those who did eat red meat. Over the course of two years, I followed the rats, sacrificed them, did the surgery to evaluate their cardiac vessels and recorded my data. I also did extensive literature reviews and analyzed my data. I have recently summarized my findings and submitted the manuscript for publication.
Example of Approach #3:
• Designed my own research project
• Studied the influence of eating red meat on cardiovascular disease in rats
• Completed all components of the study, including caring for the rats, sacrificing them and evaluating cardiac vessels.
• Compiled data
• Critically evaluated data
• Summarized results and submitted manuscript for publication