So ERAS opened, you submitted your application, and a few interviews started to trickle in. But you still were hoping to get more. Attached is a template I created and sent to three reach programs, two of which responded within one week. Not a magic formula by any means, but just what worked for me as a Midwest regional internal medicine applicant.
In the first paragraph I introduce myself. In the second, I start by stating my intention to remain in the geographic region. Then I mention one or two aspects about the curriculum that I like. This is followed by my future goals, such as medical education, research, or specific clinical skills that I plan to incorporate and how the program will help me achieve those goals through their offered curriclumus. Lastly, I used the final paragraph to address specific aspects of my application that may have seemed off to the program. For me, I initially was interested in ophthalmology and my research and experiences aligned with that field. I changed my course during my third year, and never dual applied. I wanted to convey that during the last paragraph. Oh and all of this is sprinkled with generic intermittent praise about how the program creates stand out clinicians in the specialty.
Below is the template version of what I discussed. I kept mine around 200-300 words max. Please take it, share, and use as needed!
Dear [program director or coordinator's name],
My name is [name] and I am a fourth year medical student at [medical school]. I am applying for a position at [residency program]. I am contacting you to express my sincere interest in your program.
I was born and raised in [state], and I have a deep-rooted preference for completing my residency in the [region]. The reason I have a specific interest in [residency program] is the curriculum and how it [discuss specifics about curriculum]. I would be excited to go to a program that is dynamically adapting to the changing landscape of medical education and equips its trainees to be leaders in the field of medicine. I plan to be an internist with the skills to innovate and pilot new ideas rooted in evidence-based practice to serve the complex needs of a diverse and evolving patient population. In addition to this, I plan to incorporate [teaching, research, medical education, a specific clinical skill, i.e. ultrasound] in my career, and I genuinely believe that this program would help fulfill my goals. [Residency program's] curriculum is at the forefront of [teaching, research, medical education, a specific clinical skill] and I wholeheartedly would like to be a part of it.
Something I wanted to make clear is my dedication to internal medicine (IM). I made the decision to pursue IM in my third year following my clerkship. This may explain how my prior research may not align with IM. I am conscientious, dedicated, and passionate about internal medicine and this is illustrated by my letter writers all the way to my experiences. I take pride in my work ethic and hope to bring my diverse experiences and ideas to [residency program].
[Signature that includes name, AAMC ID, and ERAS photo]