SLOE for Non-residency-based EM Physicians

Instructions for Authors: This form is for Authors who are practicing emergency physicians without an established emergency medicine program at their institution. (Updated for the 2021-2022 academic year)

For authors who are new to the process, we encourage you to seek mentorship from CORD before completing the SLOE.

Before you write a SLOE, you will need to: (if applicable)

  • Review the annual instructions, as they may change
  • Obtain last year’s clerkship grades for question A5.
  • Review the SLORs you authored last year to report both the total # authored and the # recommended in each of the global assessment rankings.  Remember that Question C1 requests the entire profile of global assessment rankings from the previous year for each applicant’s SLOE.

This instrument was developed to provide a global perspective on an applicant’s candidacy for training by providing meaningful comparisons to peers applying for training in emergency medicine.  Please keep this in mind as you complete the SLOE. The link to the Form is available for download after instructions.

The SLOE was developed to be1

  • Standardized
  • Concise
  • Discerning/Discriminating

Please refrain from changing the template, keep comments succinct and relevant, and make every effort to avoid grade inflation in your comparisons so as not to detract from the effectiveness of your SLOE.

A well-written SLOE provides an overall perspective on what an individual candidate offers to a training program.  It is unique in its ability to provide comparative data to peers in addition to important information regarding the distinguishing non-cognitive characteristics (e.g. Maturity, professionalism, leadership, compassion, initiative, enthusiasm) that an applicant possesses.

Each year the pool of candidates applying to emergency medicine is very competitive. As such, applicants “at the level of peers (middle 1/3)” should be viewed as a positive evaluation and “below the level of peers (lower 1/3)” also describes a candidate who will likely match. 

In addition to the applicant’s non-cognitive qualities, the written comments should include an explanation of areas that need attention or any low scores you provide.  Keep in mind that training programs vary in the attributes they value in a successful candidate.


  1. Please do answer every question
  2. The “Written comments” section should be about the individual applicant only.
  3. Do avoid reiterating information that can be found elsewhere in the ERAS application


  1. Don’t list random faculty comments from the rotation without context
  2. Don’t write lengthy dissertations. The comments should be concise and limited to 250 words.
  3. Don’t use the comments section to describe your grading system or institution. This should be included in the summary after the written comments.


Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions

Medical Students Frequently Asked Questions

Click the link below to download 

SLOE Form Template

Also available is the document Bibliographic Citation Guidelines for EM Residency Applicants. Please copy and share these guidelines with anyone interested in applying to emergency medicine residencies. Applicants are requested to provide a signed copy of this form with their completed application.

As envisioned by the original SLOR Task Force, this instrument “remains flexible and reflective of membership opinion”.  Please contact the CORD office ( or any task force member with any suggestions you may have.  Additional resources can be found at the ERAS/AAMC web site.

If you experience problems when downloading contact the CORD office by phone at 888-444-2090 or email at

For more information regarding the standardized letters:

  • Keim SM, Rein JA, Chisholm C, Dyne PL, Hendey GW, Jouriles NJ et al.  A Standardized Letter of Recommendation for Residency Application.  Acad Emerg Med.  1999;6:1141-1146.
  • Garmel GM.  Letters of Recommendation:  What Does Good Really Mean?  Acad Emerg Med.  1997:4:833-834.
  • Harwood RC, Girzadas DV, Carlson A, Delis S, Stevison K, Tsonis G et a.  Characteristics of the Emergency Medicine Standardized Letter of Recommendation.  Acad Emerg Med.  2000;7:409-410.
  • Girzadas DV, Harwood RC, Dearie J, Garrett S.  A Comparison of Standardized and Narrative Letters of Recommendation.  Acad Emerg Med.  1998;5:1101-1104.
  • Girzadas DV, Harwood RC, Delis SN, Stevison K, Keng G, Cipparrone N et al.  Emergency Medicine Standardized Letter of Recommendation:  Predictors of Guaranteed Match.  Acad Emerg Med.  2001;8:648-653.
  • Love JN, Deiorio NM, Ronan-Bentle S, Howell, JM, Doty C, Lane DR, Hegarty C.  Characterization of the CORD Standardized Letter of Recommendation in 2011-2012. Academic Emergency Medicine.  2013;20:926-932.
  • Hegarty CB, Lane DR, Love JN, Doty C, Deiorio NM, Ronan-Bentle S, Howell JM.  Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Director’s Standardized Letter of Recommendation Writers’ Questionnaire.  Journal of Graduate Medical Education.  2014;6:301-306.  (PMID:  24949136)
  • Love JN, Smith J, Weizberg M,  Doty C, Garra G, Avegno J, Howell JM.  The Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors Standardized Letter of Recommendation:  Program Directors Perspective.  Academic Emergency Medicine.  2014;21(6):680-687.  (PMID:  25039553)