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How to Apply

Procedure and Dates, Interview Travel, Information for International Applicants, and Licensure

General Information

The Stanford Adult Psychiatry Residency Program only participates in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Within the NRMP and ERAS we offer two tracks:

  • Categorical  [NRMP Program Code: 1820400C0]:
    Main residency match for all PGY-1 applicants.

  • Research C  [NRMP Program Code: 1820400C1]:
    Our research track is for residents interested in pursuing an academic research career that culminates in a NIH T-32 research-training grant.  For more information on the research track, please visit our learning page. Categorical residents interested in pursuing research during residency, may do so by through our scholarly concentration.

When do I apply?

All complete applications must be in ERAS by: September 16

With the exception of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) due on October 1, we strongly encourage you to submit your completed applications by this date, as our interview schedule fills quickly.

Applications received in ERAS after October 31 will not be screened or reviewed.

How do I apply for a PGY-1 position?

Please use myERAS to track the status of your documents.  Due to the large volume of applications, we will not be able to let you know which documents we received.

A complete application includes the following documents in ERAS:

  1. ERAS application.
  2. Personal statement.
  3. Four (4) letters of recommendation.
    From faculty members who have worked with you in clinical settings and know you well. At least one (1) letter of rec from a psychiatry clinical setting and one (1) letter of rec from a primary care clinical setting (internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, or ob-gyn).
  4. Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE).
  5. Official medical school transcripts.
  6. Curriculum vitae.
  7. Official copy of your United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores.*
    Candidates must pass Step 1 and Step 2 CK/CS to be considered for NRMP ranking. It is highly desirable to have Step 2 scores available as early as possible in the selection process.
    *Osteopathic (DO) Medical Graduates
    COMLEX scores are accepted in lieu of USMLE. However, USMLE scores are preferred and recommended.
  8. Photo.
    Preferably, a professional high-resolution headshot.

International Medical Graduates must also submit the following ECFMG Supporting Documents in ERAS:

  • ECFMG Certificate and Status Report
  • Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) or “California Letter”
  • Effective January 1, 2020, the Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) will no longer be a requirement for international medical graduates entering training in California programs.
  • Instead, all incoming trainees will apply for a Postgraduate Training License once they have secured a position in a program.
  • If you have not submitted an application for the PTAL, you do not need to do so.
  • If you have already secured a PTAL from the Medical Board of California, you can upload the document through your OASIS account or the MyECFMG mobile app.
  • To read more about the changes, please visit: http://www.mbc.ca.gov/Licensees/SB798PD_FactSheet.pdf.
  • If you have any questions about the new licensing requirements, please contact the Medical Board of California directly.

How do I apply for a PGY-2 position?

Currently, our program is full and we do not anticipate any PGY-2 openings.  If our program status has changed, contact the residency training office (psychresidency@lists.stanford.edu) in late December or early June for an available PGY-2 position in the upcoming academic year.  Please include your curriculum vitae (CV) and psychiatry personal statement.

Interview and Travel Details

When are interviews held?

Our interview season begins in mid-October and goes through the end of January.

We conduct Categorical interviews only on Thursdays. Typically, we start at 7:45am and end at 5:15pm.  After the interview day, our residents host a dinner/happy hour in downtown Palo Alto.  This is our only Thursday evening event.

We conduct Research track interviews only on the following Friday. Typically, we start at 8:00am and end around 4:00pm.

We review complete applications in September before the MSPE are released by medical schools (October 1). Should you receive an invitation to interview from us, please reply with two days to confirm your interview date.

Where can I stay when I come to interview?

Stanford’s location adjacent Palo Alto and Menlo Park offers an abundance of lodging choices, ranging from B&Bs and motels to luxury hotels.

The Stanford lodging guide is based on proximity to the main campus and includes website links, rates, and contact information.

Other helpful lodging information is available at Destination Palo Alto.

While our program does not endorse Airbnb, some visitors have had relative success using the lodging application.

Area maps


Stanford is roughly equidistant from the San Francisco and San Jose airports.  Three major airports serve the San Francisco Bay Area:

We suggest comparing fares to all three airports, as there can be significant differences, even for the same airline.

Choosing airports

Although San Francisco is the largest of the three area airports and offers the most airlines and flights, some visitors find that San Jose’s smaller size makes it a somewhat more convenient alternative, especially for domestic flights.

Information for International Applicants

Important information for International Medical Graduates (IMG)

All applicants to the Stanford Adult Psychiatry Residency Program must be eligible for medical licensure in the State of California.  Graduates of international medical schools should first contact the Medical Board of California to ensure the requirements to obtain a medical license and practice medicine in California have been met.

International Medical Graduates must obtain the ECFMG Certificate and Status Report. it is required to be submitted with the ERAS application to the Stanford Adult Psychiatry Residency Program.

Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) resources:

Medical Board of California Physicians and Surgeons FAQs

International Medical Graduates with Previous U.S. Residency Training

The Medical Board of California does not allow a year of grace for graduates of international medical schools who have completed previous residency training in the United States.
For example, a geriatric psychiatry fellow who has successfully finished four years of a general psychiatry residency in Massachusetts must be licensed prior to commencing clinical training at Stanford.

IMGs must also possess:

  • J-1 Visa through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).  
  • Letter from home government or country of present residency, stating there is a need in that country for the skills to be acquired in the United States.

International Medical Graduates Visa Requirement

All trainees in residency and clinical fellowship programs are placed on ECFMG-sponsored J-1 visas. Stanford Hospital and Clinics does not sponsor the H-1B visa.

Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685
Telephone (215) 386-5900

Canadian Visa Requirements

Graduates of Canadian medical schools are placed on ECFMG-sponsored J-1 visas.

Canadian medical graduates are not required to take the qualifying examinations such as FMGEMS, NBME, and USMLE in order to obtain visas.

At this time, the government of Canada is restricting approval of physicians wishing to obtain clinical training outside Canada. Stanford Hospital and Clinics is unable to obtain a J-1 visa without the consent of the Canadian government.


California Licensure

These licensure requirements are for California only. If you intend to train or practice in another state please contact their respective Medical Board.

In addition to the examinations listed above, one year of ACGME-approved residency training in the United States or Canada must be completed. This year must include four months of medicine, or surgery, or obstetrics and gynecology, or pediatrics.

Exemption from Licensure:

Stanford Hospital and Clinics is unable to use Section 2111 and Section 2113 of the Business and Professions Code for the purpose of residency and clinical fellowship training.

Pathway for a California Physician's License

  1. ECFMG certification (based on successful completion of USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK/CS).
  2. File a licensing application with the Medical Board of California.
    The Medical Board will review your application and determine if you meet the requirements to begin a residency in California.
  3. Complete three (3) years of ACGME-approved residency training.
    During this time, four months of medicine, or surgery, or obstetrics and gynecology, or pediatrics are required.
  4. Complete USMLE Step 3.

FAQ for Physician Applicants to Medical Board of California

Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815
Telephone (916) 263-2382 or (800) 633-3233