CORD Standardized Letter of Evaluation (SLOE)

Welcome the Official CORD SLOE site. Information for faculty for the 2024-25 application cycle

Note: If you are a medical student looking for SLOE guidance, please review Chapters 5-7 in the EMRA and CORD Student Advising Guide.   Additional residency application advice can be found on the CORD Advising Students Committee in EM webpage.

The Standardized Letter of Evaluation (SLOE) Instructions

  • There are a few different versions of the SLOE. Many of them contain overlapping content with one another but only the eSLOE, which is to be written by EM faculty at a site with an EM residency program, asks where a student will fall on the rank list. SLOE types: 
        • eSLOE: Written by faculty at an EM residency program, with knowledge of all students rotating through the program and the rank list. Usually written by a group including PD/APD/CD.
        • Non-residency based SLOE: For EM faculty without an EM residency training program
        • Sub-specialty SLOE: For rotations that teach EM sub-specialty content. Examples include but are not limited to ultrasound, pediatrics or toxicology. 
        • Off service (O)SLOE: For off-service faculty based on a rotation outside the ED including but not limited to internal medicine, anesthesia or surgery. 
  • It is important that you read these instructions in their entirety before you complete your first SLOE for the application season.

Instructions for all SLOE types: 

  • The SLOE was designed to be an evaluative tool that can provide residency programs with an accurate and global picture of the EM applicant. It has both:
        • Competency-based domains
        • Comparative domains between students
  • The SLOE has been designed to be:
        • Concise
        • Standardized 
        • Discerning
  • Please utilize the full grading scale. The letter is designed to highlight strengths and weaknesses for applicants.  Residency programs prefer an honest letter over an inflated one. 
  • Use the written comments section wisely. 
        • Provide pertinent information about the applicant that reflects their rotation performance within the appropriate word limit. 
        • Do highlight strengths and growth areas for students. Keep in mind that training programs vary in the attributes they value in a successful candidate.
        • Do explain extremes of scale use (1 or 5) from the Part B: Evaluation of Student section.
        • Review your comments for bias. Consider using a tool such as
        • Avoid listing random faculty comments without context
        • Do NOT reiterate information that can be found in other sections of the ERAS application
  • Your student experience/rotation should be described in the institutional characteristics section.

eSLOE Specific Instructions:

  • Group SLOEs authored by some combination of Clerkship Director/Program Director/Vice Chair of Education are standard and expected when writing an eSLOE
  • Before writing your first eSLOE you should gather the following information (note: if you wrote eSLOEs last year this information may be saved in your account, but it is best to double check for accuracy):
        • Student grades from the prior year
        • Your rank list distribution from the eSLOES that you wrote in the prior academic year
        • 2024-25 Application cycle: Information needed for the SLOE pre-survey about residents leaving your program prior to graduation, specifically:
              • The number of residents in your program over the last four years.
              • Details of any residents who exited the program before completion.
              • Information on reasons for attrition and any replacements or transfers.

How to access the eSLOE site and begin writing SLOEs: 

  1. To access the website to create eSLOEs, non-residency based SLOEs, subspecialty SLOEs or O-SLOEs, click here.
    • You do not need an eSLOE login to create non-residency based SLOEs, subspecialty SLOEs and O-SLOEs.  For instructions on how to create these SLOE types, click here.
    • You DO need an eSLOE login to create a residency-based eSLOE.  Logging in and requesting an account is covered here.  If you are unable to login, contact CORD staff at 
  2. After logging into the eSLOE website to create a residency-based eSLOE, you are then taken to your dashboard.  Navigating the dashboard as well as creating and editing SLOEs is covered in this video. 
    • Each season, you should begin with creating the template of information that you would like to be included on every SLOE.  To do so, go to “View/Update SLOE Template Values.”  For instructions on how to input this information, view this video.
    • To create a new SLOE, click on “+Add new Evaluation” on the left side of the dashboard.
    • To view or edit prior SLOEs, click on “Show your Evaluations” at the bottom or “Evaluations” on the left side of the dashboard.
    • Certain eSLOE users with higher level access (typically program directors) can manage the eSLOE users at their institution by clicking on the “Users” section on the left side of the dashboard.
  3. Once the letter is complete and the PDF is generated, the PDF can be uploaded to the Letter of Recommendation Portal on ERAS.

Contact information for CORD: 

If you experience problems using the eSLOE, please contact the CORD office by email at or by phone at 888-444-2090 ext 3229.

Access the SLOE Website


For more information regarding the SLOE:

  • 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)
  • Jackson JS, Bond  M, Love JN, Hegarty C.  Emergency Medicine Standardized Letter of Evaluation (SLOE):  Data from 2016-2017 e SLOE Electronic Website. Journal of Graduate Medical Education  2019;11:182-186.  (PMID:31024650) 
  • Al'ai Alvarez, Alexandra Mannix, Dayle Davenport, Katarzyna Gore, Sara M. Krzyzaniak, Melissa Parsons, Danielle T. Miller, Daniel Eraso, Sandra Monteiro, Teresa M. Chan, Michael Gottlieb; Ethnic and Racial Differences in Ratings in the Medical Student Standardized Letters of Evaluation (SLOE). J Grad Med Educ 1 October 2022; 14 (5): 549–553. doi: