Residency application season brings with it a bewildering array of new terms and acronyms. Here's my guide to some of the most commonly encountered:

  • LOR = Letter of Recommendation
  • ROL = Rank Order List (triply redundant term for organizing your program selections)
  • LOL = Laugh Out Loud (at the prospect of being an intern in 8 months)

  • AOA = Alpha Omega Alpha, the prestigious medical honor society
  • AOK = Your prospects to match well, if you're in AOA

  • ACLS = Advanced Cardiac Life Support (must be certified before graduation)
  • ALCS = American League Championship Series (if the Red Sox blow it again, I'll need ACLS)

  • EROAD = The "lifestyle" specialties (Emergency, Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anesthesiology, Dermatology)
  • TLAWROAD = The Long And Winding Road you must take to match in said specialties

  • USMLE = United States Medical Licensing Exam (pronounced 'you-smile' as in, "When we charge you a thousand dollars and force you to fly around the country to do physicals on fake patients, you just sit there and you smile.")

  • ERAS = Electronic Residency Application Service
  • RASH = Stressing about residency applications gives me hives

  • NRMP = National Residency Matching Program
  • NRBP = No Real Backup Plan