Eligibility and Selection Policy

The Eligibility and Selection Policy is designed to ensure fair and consistent consideration and decision-making for all applicants to PCOM GME residency and fellowship training programs. Recruitment and selection of program applicants are performed by the respective program director, responsible faculty, and department leadership under the oversight of the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) and Graduate Medical Education Office.


Each PCOM GME program must develop a program-specific eligibility and selection policy that complies with the requirements outlined in this policy and applicable specialty-specific eligibility requirements as specified by the relevant ACGME Review Committee (RC), ABMS/AOA specialty board, specialty society, or other accrediting bodies. The program policy must be made available to all interested applicants.

Programs must select residents/fellows among eligible applicants on the basis of training program-related criteria such as their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity, as well as professionalism. Applicants may not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, veteran, or any other applicable legally protected status.


Program directors must comply with the criteria for resident/fellow eligibility for appointment to AOA and ACGME-accredited programs, as defined in the AOA and ACGME program requirements.

Residency Programs

Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications to be eligible for appointment to an AOA or ACGME-accredited residency program:

  • graduation from a medical school in the United States or Canada, accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or graduation from a college of osteopathic medicine in the United States, accredited by the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOA-COCA); or,
  • graduation from a medical school outside of the United States or Canada, and meeting one of the following additional qualifications:
    • holding a currently valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) prior to appointment; or,
    • holding a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States licensing jurisdiction in which the ACGME-accredited program is locate

All prerequisite post-graduate clinical education required for initial entry or transfer into ACGME-accredited residency programs must be completed in ACGME-accredited residency programs, AOA-approved residency programs, or in Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) - accredited residency programs located in Canada, or in residency programs with ACGME International (ACGME-I) Advanced Specialty Accreditation.

Fellowship Programs

Each Review Committee will select one of the following options for program eligibility:

  • All required clinical education for entry into ACGME-accredited fellowship programs must be completed in an ACGME-accredited residency program, an AOA-approved residency program, a program with ACGME International (ACGME-I) Advanced Specialty Accreditation, or a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)- accredited or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)-accredited residency program located in Can (Core)
Eligibility Exceptions

A Review Committee may allow exceptions to the residency and fellowship eligibility requirements:

  • Eligibility decisions by Review Committee
  • Eligibility exception criteria for residency and fellowship programs
  • Exceptions for Exceptionally Qualified Applicants: Eligibility exceptions must be documented in each program’s eligibility and selection policy, and any requests for exception submitted by the program director in writing to the GMEC for review prior to offering a position to/ranking an applicant. The requests must address the criteria for exception and verify that the program’s Clinical Competency Committee will complete an evaluation of applicant’s performance within 12 weeks of matriculation. 


All PCOM GME training programs are required to use the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®) or other centralized application service if available in their specialty to receive and accept applications to the program. Programs in disciplines that do not use a centralized service may have applicants apply directly to the program. The list of Participating Specialties and Programs is available on the ERAS website.


Applicants invited to interview for a resident/fellow position must be informed in writing or by electronic means, of the terms, conditions, and benefits of appointment to the AOA or ACGME-accredited program, either in effect at the time of the interview or that will be in effect at the time of his or her eventual appointment. This includes financial support; vacations; parental, sick, and other leaves of absence; and professional liability, hospitalization, health, disability and other insurance accessible to residents/fellows and their eligible dependents. The program’s aims must also be made available.

Board Eligibility

Programs are further required to provide applicants who are offered an interview with information related to their eligibility for the relevant specialty board examinations.


The program must obtain verification of previous educational experiences and a summative competency-based performance evaluation prior to acceptance of a transferring resident, and Milestones evaluations upon matriculation.


All PCOM GME training programs are required to participate in the National Matching Services (NMS), National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) Match, San Francisco Match (SF Match), or other organized matching program were available in their specialty.

NRMP Match

Program directors and administrators are required to review the terms and conditions of the Match Participation Agreement each year and comply with applicable Match policies, including the policies for the Main Residency Match and applicable Fellowship Matches, and the Waiver and Violations policies. This information must also be shared with program faculty participating in the interview process.

Match Participation Waiver

In the event that a program participating in the NRMP Specialties Matching Service, SF Match, or other organized matching program wishes to accept a candidate outside of the Match, the program must request a waiver from full participation in the Match to the GMEC. Waiver requests must include: 

  • the number of positions to be included in the Match;
  • the number of positions to be offered outside the Match;
  • a detailed description of the program’s application and selection process for applicants accepted outside of the Match; and
  • confirmation that candidates being considered for positions outside the Match will not be interviewed as part of the official NRMP, SF Match or other matching processes, and are not currently registered for the Matc 

Waivers are time-limited and will not be granted for more than 25 percent of available positions (or one position for programs with less than four first-year positions) in the program.