Details of New Ob/Gyn Residency Application System Revealed

Derick Alison
Derick Alison
6 Min Read

Last summer, ob/gyn residency programs announced they were switching to an independent system for the 2024/2025 application season. Today, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) revealed details about the new system — called ResidencyCAS — as well as similarities to the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) used in most other specialties.

Major changes include a cheaper pricing structure and an emphasis on reviewing applicants holistically. AnnaMarie Connolly, MD, chief of education and academic affairs at ACOG and a former ob/gyn residency director herself, sat down with MedPage Today in an exclusive interview to explain the new platform. An ACOG communications staffer was also present during the interview.

Connolly described ResidencyCAS as a single digital platform for applications, interviews, and reviewing application and interview status. The new application “allows for a really rich, deep description of who [applicants] are and what they will bring to these residency programs that they’re applying to,” said Connolly. ACOG refers to this as “holistic review” and hopes it will help both applicants and programs alike to differentiate what makes each of them unique.

“We want residents to find the programs that will help them to train to be their very best. And we want programs to be able to find applicants who they’ll be able to serve at their very best. So, it really kind of goes both ways,” she said. Ob/gyn will still be part of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Match.

Other driving forces behind the change were reducing the number of applications that program directors need to go through, lowering costs for applicants, and increasing access to data analytics.

According to Connolly, applicants have cast wider and wider nets, with the average number of applications surging from 36 to more than 70 over the past 10 years. This has resulted in ob/gyn programs needing to sort through hundreds of applicants for a handful of slots.

“It was very clear just over the last 10 years, as the number of applications and applicants was skyrocketing, we needed to do something different,” Connolly said.

The recent addition of program-signaling tokens — which allows applicants to indicate increased interest in up to 18 programs using three gold and 15 silver tokens — has been used with great success in ob/gyn, as it has in other specialties, Connolly said. ResidencyCAS will keep the same token structure. It will cost $99 to apply for up to 18 programs, which aligns with the maximum number of tokens. In ERAS, $99 only pays for 10 programs.

“Our pricing structure is linked to signaling because we’ve seen signaling be effective,” Connolly explained.

Additional applications through 30 will cost an extra $18 each, and from 31 onwards $23 each. ERAS charges $19 per additional application through 20, $23 each for 21 through 30 applications, and $27 for each application after that.

ResidencyCAS doesn’t cost programs anything, and if a program decided not to use the system, it could continue to use ERAS like before.

Connolly emphasized that ResidencyCAS is not static. While the system will launch this year, it’s still being updated based on feedback from focus groups.

At the upcoming Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) conference in February, attendees will have an opportunity for one-on-one support from Liaison International, the platform’s hosting partner. Program directors will have access around the same time, with training seminars being offered two to four times a month. That should give everyone 6 months before application season to work out glitches and adjust to the changes.

One downside is that those who want to apply to ob/gyn as well as another specialty will have to apply through both ResidencyCAS and ERAS or another program, and pay the application fees for both. Connolly said ACOG is looking into developing a way for applicants to download their ResidencyCAS application to reuse in other applications.

When ACOG first announced the shift away from ERAS, the Association of American Medical Colleges, which runs ERAS, voiced concern about losing ob/gyn program data. Connolly said that “ACOG is 100% in support of secure data sharing.”

Additional details are now available on ACOG’s website.

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    Rachael Robertson is a writer on the MedPage Today enterprise and investigative team, also covering OB/GYN news. Her print, data, and audio stories have appeared in Everyday Health, Gizmodo, the Bronx Times, and multiple podcasts. Follow

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