Chiles: My program uses geography and board scores to help filter our pool of applicants down. While this approach means we could potentially miss out on some excellent applicants, we cannot spend hundreds of hours carefully reviewing all the applications that we receive. Second tier elements include looking at medical school transcripts, letters of recommendation and personal statements in more detail.
Erwin: I will first look at a personal statement, then letters of recommendation and finally USMLE Step scores. We get 400-600 applications for five spots. Realistically, programs need a strategy to get through so many applications and one of mine has been whether the first sentence of the personal statement hooks me into wanting to continue reading.
Russell: I review each and every application we receive at Brown University. I do not use filters because you can easily miss a great candidate and I firmly believe in matching and reviewing the whole applicant. I look at what schools and training programs they came from, research, life experiences and personal statements.
Virani: Applications are usually reviewed by the program director, associate program directors and a team of faculty members. Personally, I look at the curriculum vitae (CV) first with a particular emphasis on background, institutions attended for higher education and ability to take projects to completion. I then look at the letters of recommendation, particularly for assessment of an applicant’s work ethic.