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Residency Match Process

Meet with Education Directors
Meeting with directors (Dr. Lager/Dr. Stotland) prior to Chair meeting:     ERAS application review meeting     Rank list review meeting  
Other meetings
Match Workgroup Meeting, pre-advising
Chair’s Letter of Rec meeting
Chair’s Letter of Rec meeting
Meet career advisor, VESP
Start career file/personal statement
ERAS opens
Prep residency application
1.Finish residency application.
2. F/U with LOR writers
Application deadline: 9/22
Submit rank list
Sub-Is, OBGYN electives, research
Sub-Is, OBGYN electives, research
Sub-Is, OBGYN electives, research
Sub-Is, OBGYN electives, research
Research, electives
Research, electives
Finalize 4th year schedule
Take Step 2,
Teaching opps (clerkship)
Take Step 2,
Teaching opps (clerkship)
Take Step 2,
Teaching opps (clerkship)
Teaching opps (clerkship/Life Stages)
Teaching opps (clerkship/Life Stages)
Teaching opps (clerkship)
Teaching opps (clerkship)
Teaching opps (clerkship)
APGO Annual Meeting
ACOG Annual Meeting, CODA
Match Celebration Dinner and Panel
Fourth year planning meeting (hosted by SOM)
Career event for MS1-MS4




Dr. Jeannette Lager, Director Medical Student Education

Dr. Naomi Stotland, Associate Director Medical Student Education

PDF iconFourth Year Planning Meeting Materials, held Oct. 2021

PDF iconPath to Match Materials, held May 2022

Email Kristin Olson to be included in emails regarding upcoming OBGYN Career Advising Events

Updated 2022

OBGYN Fourth-Year and Residency Application Guide

We welcome your interest in obstetrics and gynecology and want to support you as you pursue your residency match. It is important for you to take the time to design your personal strategy before starting fourth year.
  1. The first step, plan your fourth-year schedule

  • BEFORE submitting your fourth-year schedule requests, attend the fourth-year planning / career counseling event held October (in tandem with the School) clerkship year. We recommend that you attend even if you are uncertain about matching into OBGYN because we can help you design a schedule that will ensure you are prepared for all possibilities.

  • APRIL-MAY of fourth year: If you need more help strategizing, meet with Dr. Lager or Stotland AND with one or more career advisors in our department.

  • BEFORE MID-AUGUST: Complete ALL courses that you would like on your residency application transcript.
  • Sub-internship: You will need a sub-internship (4 weeks) in obstetrics and gynecology: ZSFG (Advanced Gynecology or High Risk OB), Mission Bay/Mount Zion (High Risk OB, Advanced Gynecology, or Gynecologic Oncology).
  • Second sub-internship: Sometimes a second sub-internship or elective in OBGYN is done away at a potential residency site following your sub-internship at UCSF, especially if you are geographically limited in where you want to be for residency. Talk with your OBGYN career advisor/s about this option, i.e. if it would be advantageous or detrimental to your application.
  • Ob-Gyn Electives: We strongly encourage you to do a two-week OBGYN elective at UCSF during your third year or the spring/summer of your fourth year. Talk with Kristin Olson directly about scheduling one of these two-week electives: Intro to maternal fetal medicine, gyn oncology, or reproductive endocrinology. Molly Kirsch can help with the family planning elective,
  • Non-OBGYN Electives: Enroll in electives that will enhance your residency experience and not duplicate it. Electives such as ICU (medical or surgical), Palliative Care, Infectious Disease, OB Anesthesia, international women’s health in another country, City Clinic (STIs).
  • Medicine Sub-I: If possible, you may want to do your medicine sub-internship in the winter or the spring to have a strong clinical refresher before your residency starts.
  • CODA: In the CODA curriculum, which happens three weeks before you graduate, there is an OBGYN track to help you prepare for residency, e.g. a clinical skills sessions, etc.
  • ACOG Boot camp: There is also a boot camp for you at the national ACOG meeting, each spring, so you might want to consider that for your calendar.
  • October-January: You will typically have a few interviews in October and in January, so do not schedule a medicine sub- internship then. Consider lighter electives for Oct and Jan that will allow more time off than the one day per month usually allowed for interviews, or an elective that will allow you to make up missed time on weekends.
2. Research
  • Most students interested in OBGYN plan time to either do their own research project in women’s health, or participate in a faculty research project that is on-going. Some students do research the year after third year, but it is not necessary in OBGYN to do a year of research to have a competitive match. However, if you are considering a career in academics or a match at a university residency program, some research experience or educational project may be important to distinguish you from your peers across the country.
  • Research opportunities in our department, look at UCSF’s new LabSpot online database to find research projects in OBGYN & RS, or our own student research database.
  • November and December: It is difficult to do research these months due to residency interviews
  • If you decide to take a year to do research, or a year off, please write Kristin Olson directly so that they can keep you on the invite list during that year.


3. Leadership
  • Demonstration of leadership in women’s health is valued by OBGYN residencies; this can include educational research, such as OGIG or OBGYN elective coordinator roles; academic leadership by co-leading a conference related to women’s health such as the annual domestic violence conference at UCSF; and community and peer leadership roles.
  • It is also important that you demonstrate your commitment to women’s health through your outside activities, whether this means working at the Women’s Clinic at the UCSF Homeless Clinic (a good way to meet some of our ob-gyn faculty and residents), a health fair which includes women health, etc.
  • Also, becoming a Life Stages intern August-September, or assisting with small groups, or MS3 clinical skills sessions on the first day of orientation are not only ways to work on your teaching skills, but also increase your contact with department faculty as well as your peers at UCSF who are also matching in your group.
4. Step 1 and Step 2 Exams
  • Your Step 1 and Step 2 scores are very important to your application.
  • AUGUST 1: be sure to have taken Step 2 CK by Aug 1 so we have your scores back in time for your application to be filed by September 22.
  • It is also very important to pass the clinical skills portion of the USMLE (schedule CS early so you are at the site of your choice).
  • Most of our UCSF students take 3 – 4 weeks to study for Step 2. Please check with the school for recommended study guides.
  • Most of our OBGYN matching students take Step 2 right after their clerkships end (especially PISCES and KLIC students) or just after their first month of a sub-internship.
5. Join OBGYN Associations
  • ACOG, American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists as well as APGO, the Association for Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics will give you additional information about the specialty and the residency match, and they are free to medical students.
  • ACOG Annual Meeting, usually in May: there is a special workshop on matching in an ob-gyn residency at the annual meeting. Many residency program directors from across the United States attend to meet you.
  • APGO Annual Meeting, usually first week of March: medical students sometimes attend to present research in ob-gyn education
  • ACOG Boot Camp: a fun and very effective way to further your clinical skills.
  • ACOG essay contests: a great way to get the ACOG Annual Meeting free of charge if you win
6. Write your personal statement
  • MAY: Start your statement at the beginning of May. See Microsoft Office document icontips sheet.
  • This should not be a repeat of your medical school application essay i.e. why you chose medicine for your career. Rather, this personal statement should reflect your interest specifically in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as your ideas about your future plans in the specialty.
  • We encourage you to have two faculty members, preferably, career advisors in our department, read your personal statement and give you feedback for the next draft. All of our career advisors have had experience in screening residency applications, including the personal statement, and their feedback is very helpful.
  • Thus, your personal statement should go through multiple revisions, so please allow plenty of time for those revisions.
7. Meet with interim department chair, Dr. Rebecca Jackson
  • In March-April, we will send out a SURVEY to collect data digitally (step scores, grades, etc.) so that we can start your career file.
    • Before your appointment with Dr. Jackson: Be sure you have attended the scheduled March 2023 workgroup session, and if needed met with either Dr. Stotland or Dr. Lager to review your strategy for getting interviews where you may want to match, and to be realistic about where you might match.
    • By June: Appointment scheduled with Dr. Jackson for June or July.  The Med Ed Team Manager will schedule this meeting for you.
    • Please dress professionally for this interview (even if it is over zoom - though scrubs are fine if you are meeting while on service!).
You will need the following items for your career file:
  1. Your career file checklist (will be sent via email), filled out completely, including 5 adjectives that describe yourself, and your Step 1 and 2 scores if you have them
  2. Your personal statement (rough draft is OK)
  3. Your resume
  4. MedHub summary evaluation with grades for all courses for the third and fourth years (see instructions on checklist)
  5. Evaluations from electives taken outside of UCSF
  6. Evaluations for any research, lab, or special projects and a summary of each project
  7. Your ERAS letter of recommendation cover sheet with your 8-digit ID number on it

8. Meet with UCSF Virtual Experience Student Pod (VESP)
  • July-August: All UCSF students applying in OBGYN will be contacted by the residency program for mentoring or meeting sessions.  Dr. Sara Whetstone and Kristin make these arrangements.

9. Request LORS, letters of recommendation
  • May-July: Request 2-3 letters (in addition to your department letter) for your residency application: one from an attending with whom you did a sub-internship, and one “outside letter” from a faculty member on a clinical rotation such as medicine or surgery.  Please confer with APGO directly for indications and information regarding the Standard Letter of Evaluation (SLOE), new as of 2021.
  • If you know two outside attendings equally, pick the one with the higher academic rank, as they will have seen more students to compare you against.
    • Asking the question, “Would you be able to write a strong letter of recommendation for me?” will give them an option; if they don’t feel they can, you need to know that and look elsewhere. If they agree, try to meet with them for 15 minutes to remind them who you are, with their EVAL of you to help them remember, as well as a copy of your CV, your personal statement, and an ERAS cover sheet.
  • The dean’s letters are due October 1 so usually only summary evaluation comments from courses completed by August 20-30 (it changes each year) will be included in your dean’s letter.
  • If you have dedicated an extra year to research after your third or fourth year of medical school, you should also have a letter from your research advisor for your application package as a fourth letter.
  • BY August 1: Confirm/remind your letter writers. Often it takes an attending 2 – 4 weeks to get a letter done; sometimes they may be writing more than one letter, and have vacation or a conference scheduled. So give letter writers plenty of time before the Sept ERAS deadline.
    • If asking for a letter or SLOE from Drs. Lager or Stotland please send a calendar invite with your ERAS cover sheet attached for Aug. 1.  CC Kristin.
  • AUG 30: Please inform your letter writers that you need your letters filed by SEPT 15.

10. Prepare and Submit your ERAS APPLICATION

  • Early June: ERAS opens; start working on application
  • SEPT 1, usually: early application period begins; you can start to submit your application on this date, and it will still be timestamped September 19 (true ERAS deadline). Be sure to sign up for your ERAS application review meeting with Dr. Lager or Stotland before AUG 15. 
  • Also, on SEPT 19: Be sure to register with the NRMP.
  • Our medical students typically apply to 40-60 programs. Please confer with Drs. Lager or Stotland if you are double applying (OBGYN and another field) or couples matching for the best advice regarding number of applications.

11. Schedule Interviews
  • Each program is looking for different qualities in their applicants.

  • These interviews are usually in November and December with a few October or January.
  • Check your email several times a day for interview appointments once you have filed your ERAS application.
  • Be mindful of timezones :)
  • If you have a first choice, do not schedule that program as your first interview, so you can “practice” in a lower choice setting first.
  • Also, do not cluster too many interviews close together as you will become fatigued.
  • If you are considering cancelling any interviews, please do NOT do so without consulting with Drs. Lager or Stotland: your decision to cancel may hurt the reputation of UCSF and other students chances, and you need to be secure that you will match with only the interviews you have already done or will do. If you decide to cancel, be sure to give the program at least 2 WEEKS notice.

12. Interview Process
  • Once you go on the interview circuit, keep a journal of which issues are important to you at the different programs. When the time arrives to rank the different programs, you will find that journal very handy to help you remember the characteristics of the different programs.
  • Create a Google/online calendar of places where and when each of you are interviewing to share travel arrangements, etc.
  • Travel programs such as TRIP IT or Expedia are helpful to keep all your travel info in one place and organized.
  • Be sure to check the list of recent graduates from UCSF who went into different OBGYN residencies the past four years. UCSF alums may offer you free housing for the interview.
  • Some programs tell you not to write thank you notes, but many programs take your thank you notes as a serious indication of your interest in the program and put them in your file.
  • Some programs may call you to try to recruit you, or try to figure out if they are in your top choice. However, the rules of the match are such that it is NOT okay for a program to ask you how you are planning to rank that program.
  • Remember to be enthusiastic about all programs.
  • If you do clearly have a top choice at the end of interview season, it may be to your advantage to let that program know that they are your first choice.
  • Please do not tell more than one program that the program is your first choice.

13. Throughout fourth-year, career support and events
  • Your meeting in August to review your ERAS application with Dr. Jeannette Lager or Dr. Naomi Stotland is important so they can assist Dr. Jackson in writing the match letter from our department, which has an overview of your activities and accomplishments in women’s health from past years.
  • Also, we encourage you to check in with your career advisors, by email, phone, or in person during each step of the process.
  • There are several career forums in OBGYN during the academic year. The three most important are in May, October and November.
  • The first event is the Fall Fourth Year Planning Meeting (hosted by SOM) in October.
  • The second is the May Match Celebration and Panel scheduled during CODA usually at the beginning of May. During the panel, currently matched fourth-year students will talk about their experiences on the interview circuits: this is a great place to get updated information about the different programs and network with the fourth-year students who are about to graduate and start their residencies in OBGYN.
  • The third event is the Fall Career Event for MS1s-MS4's held in November.  This is a roundtable discussion (either over Zoom or in person) with faculty and residents speaking to individual experiences and how to achieve a career in OBGYN every step of the way.

14. Ranking programs
  • The last step is ranking the programs. Make an appointment with Dr. Lager or Dr. Stotland after you have finished your interviews and bring your preliminary rank list with you.
  • Occasionally a second-look at a program is warranted if you are stuck on the order of your programs.
  • All students are encouraged to rank all of the programs at which they have interviewed, and not leave any off their list.
  • For those medical students who are couples matching, a visit with Dr. Lee Jones is often helpful.


Helpful Websites: