A residency letter of intent is a document that expresses a postgraduate’s intent to commit to a residency program if accepted. The one-page letter communicates that the individual has them first on their rank order list and explains both why they have chosen the program and what makes them a good fit. The letter will go on to communicate their qualifications, experiences, achievements, and career goals.
A residency letter of intent is part of the application process for individuals ready to pursue a medical residency. These letters, sometimes referred to as “residency love letters,” are drafted in hopes that the writer will improve their ranking and increase their chances of being accepted for their preferred residency.
Before drafting the letter, the candidate must first apply for residency. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) created The Match to help facilitate matching residency applicants with residency programs. The candidate must register for The Match and then send their residency application through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Once this is complete, the residency programs interview their top choices.
After the candidate has had their residency interviews, they should draft their letter of intent and make sure they send it before the ranking deadline and Match Day.
Applicants must create their NRMP Rank Order List (ROL) after their interviews have taken place. Once the candidate has submitted their ROL, they may send their letter of intent to their top choice residency program. If the residency program director reads a letter from an enthusiastic and qualified applicant, they may rank them higher and increase the likelihood of a match.
It should be noted that the NRMP does not allow applicants or residency programs to ask how the other party intends to rank them.
RESIDENCY LETTER OF INTENT
[SENDER STREET ADDRESS]
[SENDER CITY, STATE, ZIP]
[RECIPIENT NAME], [RECIPIENT TITLE]
[INSTITUTION STREET ADDRESS]
[INSTITUTION CITY, STATE, ZIP]
Dear [RESIDENCY PROGRAM DIRECTOR NAME],
My name is [APPLICANT NAME], and I am writing to express my sincere enthusiasm for your residency program. It was a pleasure to learn more about [INSTITUTIONS]’s Residency Program in my interview with Dr. [INTERVIEWER NAME] on [DATE]. I was impressed and inspired by my visit and wish to state that you are my number one choice, and I will gladly accept if admitted.
I am eager to take the next step in my career, and I believe your program perfectly fits my goals. During the time I spent at [MEDICAL SCHOOL], I developed a strong passion for [SPECIALTY], and I have since actively sought out clinical and research opportunities in this area. [INSTITUTION NAME] is renowned for its reputation, particularly for [SPECIALTY], making it, without a doubt, my top residency choice. I am impressed by, and enthusiastic to learn from the faculty and residents at [INSTITUTION NAME], and it would be a great honor to join this outstanding program.
While I hold great admiration for the entirety of your program’s values, it was the emphasis on patient care and interdisciplinary collaboration I observed during my visit that truly resonated with me. These values align with my own and will help me continue my journey to be the best physician possible. I aim to be a compassionate, well-rounded physician who can learn from this residency, and help add to its well-deserved reputation.
I am confident that your institution’s [SPECIALTY] residency program will profoundly impact my future as a physician and help me achieve my aspirations. I assure you that I am hard-working, eager to learn, and excited to contribute to the program in every way possible. I appreciate your time and consideration,