Frequently Asked Questions about CAS
- How do I obtain my CAS Materials?
The CAS application form is available in your SF Match online profile. You should also download the CAS instruction manual (PDF) to find out additional information regarding submission of support documents.
- Do I need buy any computer software to use any of the CAS materials?
An internet browser is necessary to submit your CAS application form. The CAS Application form is supported on the current production version of Internet Explorer (IE9). It is strongly recommended that you use a supported browser to avoid encountering access and display issues. In order to preview the application prior to submission, you will need Adobe Reader software. Adobe Reader can be downloaded for free at www.adobe.com.
- Can I save the CAS application form and edit it later?
Yes, the each tab on the CAS application form has a save button and records all data entered. Please save frequently.
- How do I submit my distribution list choices?
While viewing the program directory, select the check box in the upper left hand corner of each program that is of interest. After choosing the program(s), click the “add to my programs” button, which will advance your browser to a page with the selected programs. From this list, choose programs you would like to apply to by selecting the check box in the “apply” column next to each program and click the “apply to programs” button.
- I previously added a program to “add to my programs” but decided not to apply to the program. I’m now searching the program directory and cannot find that program listed. Where do I find the program?
On the home page of your online profile, click on the live link of your specialty under the “Specialty” column. This will take you back to any programs you have previously selected as “add to my programs”.
- What if I only want to list 5 programs now and decide to list more programs at a later date? How can I avoid extra distribution costs?
After you send your initial distribution list you will have to pay $35 per any additional program regardless of how many programs were selected for your initial distribution. It is to your advantage to submit the list once rather than in stages.
- How long does it take to distribute my application to programs?
Once your complete application materials have been received by our office, it may take up to three (3) weeks to distribute your application to programs (including distribution list and payment).
- What is the best way to submit my supporting documents?
All required materials (without online submission) should be sent in one package. It’s best to send your packet with a mailing service that allows you to track its delivery.
- How do I request supplemental documents to be distributed after my initial distribution?
Check the CAS instruction manual for a list of acceptable supplemental documents. If the document can be distributed by CAS, mail it into our office. Supplemental documents may take up to three (3) weeks to process?
- I have more publications than space allows on the CAS application form. What should I do?
List the most important publications. Alert the fact that you have more publications than are listed in the allotted space and can provide additional information upon request.
- Is there a suggested format for my CV?
Please refer to the CAS instruction manual for details about CV formatting.
- I applied to 30 programs and only 15 have acknowledged receipt of my application. How do I know that the other 15 programs have received my application?
Programs operate differently. Some programs will send you a notice acknowledging receipt of your application. Other programs choose not to contact applicants acknowledging receipt. Any programs that have the “Status” as “Paid” on your distribution list will have access to your application (assuming all completed materials have been processed).
- What is a complete CAS application?
Your CAS application is considered complete when the CAS application form, required documents, distribution list and payment have been received.
- What is the deadline to send my complete CAS applications?
CAS does not have a deadline and will process applications and supplemental documents until the rank list deadline. Programs individually set their deadlines and are usually listed in the program directory.
- Can I expedite the processing of my application?
All applications are processed in the order they are received.
- Can I send my documents separately?
Send your CAS required documents in one package. Experience has shown that piece mail submission can cause delay in processing the application.
- How do I know you received my CAS application package?
Login to your SF Match profile to check the status of your required documents.
- How do I know that my application has been distributed?
You will receive a confirmation e-mail when your application has been made available to programs to view/download. Once the status of all required documents is “uploaded”, your application is accessible to programs on your distribution list.
- How are applications distributed to programs?
Complete CAS applications are distributed to programs online.
- How will programs contact me for interview?
Contact method varies amongst programs.
- I just noticed I made a mistake/typo on my application. Can I correct it?
Be sure to double check your information before submitting the CAS application form. Once we start processing your application, no changes can be made. You may choose to place your application on hold until the correction is made. Your application is made correct and ready for distribution. If the application has already been distributed to programs, you must contact programs directly to alert them of the mistake.
- How should my letter writers address their letters of reference?
There is no standard salutation. Most writers will address the letter to “Dear Program Director”, “Dear Colleague” or “Dear Program”.
- How should confidential letters be submitted?
Please ask the letter writer to give you the letter in a signed and sealed envelope. If your letter writer is mailing the letter to you, do not open the envelope. Simply include the letter(s) with the rest of your CAS materials.
- What if I have a document that I want to add to my CAS package after it has already been distributed?
You may request any documents that are acceptable by CAS to be distributed at no additional cost. After the initial distribution, new documents will be distributed as supplemental documents to programs. Mail your new document to CAS making sure you include your name and registration number.
- What if a program asks me to provide additional documentation?
Send it directly to the program.
- What if I cannot obtain one of the required documents?
You may ask us to distribute your file if you provide separate explanation letters for EACH missing document. Explanation letters must be addressed to programs. We strongly encourage applicants to give programs an estimated date of when the document will be made available. Please note that some programs may not review your file until all required documents are available. Incomplete CAS applications will be placed on hold and will be distributed within three (3) weeks from the day the application is complete.
- If I send original documents, can I get them back?
Yes, after the Match has concluded. Fill out the return of CAS documents form and mail or fax it to our office. There is a $20 fee for this service. Only non-confidential documents will be returned.
- What if I want to include additional support documents which are not requested by CAS?
Documents not distributed by CAS will be excluded from your application. We do not notify applicants of non-distributed documents. If the extra document is not distributed by CAS (see CAS instruction manual for a list of acceptable documents), then the document must be sent to the programs directly. We strongly advise applicants first contact programs to check if direct distribution of an extra document is acceptable. Due to the large volume of applications, programs may only review what is included in the CAS application, unless otherwise noted.
- Some programs have asked me for photo. Can I upload a photo?
Yes, you have the ability to upload a photo of yourself in our system. On your home page, click the “Upload a Photo” link. Click the “Choose File” button, select a digital photo file and click the “Upload” link. You also have the option to delete the photo and upload a new file.
- How do I pay my fees?
Fees may be paid by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or check (personal, cashier’s check or money order). Checks must be mailed separately accompanied by check coupon to:
c/o Wells Fargo Lockbox Services
SF Matching Program Dept #34059
3440 Walnut Ave., Bldg A, 2nd Floor
Fremont, CA 94538
Please make checks payable to: _[Insert name of Specialty]_ Match.
Please note: Credit card payments are applied immediately upon verification. Check payments take approximately five (5) business days to post to your account profile once received from our Wells Fargo lockbox.