On April 27th, 2023, the AAMC and Thalamus announced a new collaboration to improve the transition to residency with a specific focus on innovation. At the cornerstone of the collaboration, is a complimentary offering of Thalamus Core, Itinerary Wizard and Cerebellum to all ERAS residency and fellowship programs.
Since going live on June 21st, 2023, (and as of 9/27/2023), 6000+ GME programs at 650+ institutions have opted-in to use Thalamus for this upcoming season through ERAS Account Maintenance (EAM). It is an honor and privilege for Thalamus to partner with the GME community at this scale. And as we continue to grow, we continue to field questions as to how we are going to continue executing with our market-leading customer support. Now that the residency recruitment season is in full swing, we wanted to share this blog post, which includes several key steps we have taken to scale up our support to meet the increasing demand for the Thalamus platform.
- Learning from the past: Thalamus experienced rapid growth from 500+ programs à 2000+ programs over the summer of 2020. During that time, our team was supporting a community that was transitioning to a fully virtual world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The aggregate effects of this novel virtual recruitment season resulted in an erratic start, which was due to a number of factors, including launching version 1s of Cortex, Thalamus Video, and Itinerary Wizard, all alongside an aggressive timeline to meet the evolving needs of the GME community. However, our team persevered, building out key processes that have served as the foundation for Thalamus’s support philosophy and practices to this day. We’re proud of the progress we made over that season (and since), marked by a near-perfect renewal rate the following season, including through our pilot supporting OB-GYN as a specialty nationally.
What’s new for 2023-2024:
- We grew our team: Since the announcement of our collaboration with the AAMC, Team Thalamus has doubled in size. In particular, our customer experience (support) team tripled in size – 90% of this team are former GME program coordinators and administrators from specialties including pediatrics, family medicine, anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedic surgery, child neurology and more!
- We enhanced our customer support processes: Brand new for this season we launching enhanced webforms created to streamline applicant and program support. Now when users click on the “Help” button to file a support ticket at Thalamus, they will be prompted to provide additional details regarding their support request. These webforms were created through analysis of all Thalamus support tickets over the last 3 years, and are designed around frequent themes and topics requiring support, while allowing users to proactively provide key information necessary to promptly resolve support requests, all while minimizing back and forth communications. Note: Users can still email us directly at email@example.com, though we highly recommend using the webforms to assist us to expedite your request.
- We launched new resources: Thalamus celebrates (both historically and currently) the largest selection of complimentary and paid training offerings of any technology company serving the GME community. And we’ve gone even further this season to include:
- Expansion of training offerings including:
- Getting Started with Thalamus: A new training course inspired by the AAMC collaboration, to prepare and guide new users on their transition to Thalamus.
- More frequent free training sessions during recruitment season: Want to learn from the experts? We have increased the number of complimentary training sessions throughout the start of the residency recruitment season through Zoom. They cover the entirety of Thalamus products and are also supplemented by asynchronous recordings to support all learning styles.
- More frequent Advanced Certification Seminars (ACS): We have more than doubled this offering of superuser trainings throughout the summer, with multiple sessions in September leading up to residency recruitment. Our next ACS is on November 7th/8th,2023.
- Expanded, customizable institutional training offerings: This has been a big hit with institutions, as we now offer customizable trainings ranging from an hour to multiple days. It also been exciting to hit the road and lead several enterprise-wide trainings, in-person, with some of our largest institutional customers.
- New episode web-series, “Ready, Set, Recruit!”: hosted by Thalamus’s GME experts about key topics in GME recruitment. You can view Episode One here, with more episodes being added throughout the recruitment season.
- Expansion of training offerings including:
- We’ve scaled up our systems and teams: Given much of our team has come from the GME community, we are keenly aware of the importance the application, interview and match process. As such, we’ve scaled our systems and monitoring through enhanced testing and infrastructure, including our API integrations and additional support services. We’ve further scaled our engineering teams to support the enhanced usage growth in parallel to the expansion of our support teams.
- We’re working closely with the AAMC as we transition to a fully evolved process: This recruitment season (ERAS 2024) represents a major transition year in our strategic collaboration with AAMC. Beginning in the 2025 ERAS season (July 2024), ERAS Interview Scheduler within the PDWS will be replaced by Thalamus Core, and ERAS Analytics for Institutions will be replaced with Cerebellum. Program users will continue to have the ability to use the PDWS for pre- and post-interview activities in addition to selecting which applicants to move to Thalamus Core and/or Cortex. Further, collaborative engineering efforts are underway to provide streamlined data transfer between ERAS PDWS and Thalamus, Cortex and Cerebellum (and vice versa), including an optimized Single Sign On (SSO) solution. More information regarding these efforts will be announced to the community throughout the coming months.
This is in addition to our usual product enhancements and feature updates 😊
In summary, we’re thrilled to collaborate with the AAMC and the entirety of the GME community for the upcoming residency recruitment season (and have really enjoyed working with the July Cycle fellowships this year to date)! Team Thalamus is working to scale to the call, incorporating past lessons to innovate and expand our market-leading support services. This includes incorporating past learnings, launching new resources, enhancing support processes, scaling up our systems and building enhanced offerings internally and as part our collaboration with the AAMC. We remain committed to offering the most innovative and comprehensive GME interview management solution. We’ll be here to provide support along the way and wish our applicants and programs a wonderful recruitment season!