CAP FAQ for Programs (updated 11/13/2012)
What is the CAP?
The CAP (Common Application Program, or Common Application Process) is a program started by the Workgroup for Coordination of Medical Physics Residency Programs (WGCMPR) to do three things.
- Make it easier for applicants to apply for residency programs.
- Reduce administrative burden for residency programs that have to process these applications.
- Provide a mechanism that will allow programs to work towards a match system, putting applicants in their preferred programs, and getting preferred applicants into participating programs. The match system is currently used by medical residents, but is not currently in place for physics residents.
What are the browser requirements?
Recommended Browsers include:
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- Firefox 6 (or above, for Mac and Windows)
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- Opera 10 (or above, for Mac and Windows)
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Recommended minimum screen resolution: 1024 x 768
Other recommended settings:
- Allow Pop-up Windows from AAPM.ORG
- Browser plugin to display PDF
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I am an AAPM member. Can I just use my AAPM login information for the CAP?
The CAP institution and applicant databases are separate from the AAPM user database. If you are logged in to the AAPM site when you register, your AAPM credentials will copied to the CAP database. This is the recommended method, and you can see your AAPM login status in the black bar at the very top of any AAPM web page.
I am already registered in the CAP. Do I have to register again?
If you registered in the CAP, but are unable to access the Institution pages, you may have registered as an applicant instead of as a program. If so, you will need to go the Institution Login page to register your program. Your applicant ID will still be active in the applicant database, but that should not be a problem
I registered but did not receive my activation email. Can you help me?
The activation email can get lost for a variety of reasons. If you were already logged in as an AAPM member, then you won't get an activation email. Try logging in to the CAP using your AAPM credentials, or make sure you are logged at the AAPM home page before coming to the CAP. If you were not logged in as an AAPM member when you registered, check your spam folder. If you need to resend the activation email, go to the Login page. You will find an entry blank for your CAP user ID, and button to resend the email.
How do I get my program listed in the CAP?
You must register and pay the fee for your program to be listed in the CAP.
I placed my ad on the AAPM careers site. Why is my program not listed in the CAP?
The CAP and the careers site are separate. Even if you indicate in the ad that you are using the CAP, you must register as an institution in the CAP (paying the fee), and then list your opening. It will then be available for applicants.
I have registered as an institution and paid the fee. Is there anything else I need to do?
On the Institution Info page, you should enter basic information about your institution or program. This is the information that applicants will see about your program, and applicants can bookmark your program (even if you donít have an opening). The Institution Users page can be used to add other users (e.g., administrative assistant) that can access your institutional pages. They do not have to register for the CAP or activate their accounts. Only one person per institution should register. Finally, visit the Openings page to enter your opening. Doing that will make it available for applicants.
Can I have multiple openings listed under one program or institution?
Yes. Although we expect that most institutions will have only one program, we do allow for more than one opening to be listed. For example, if you have a 2-year clinical training program and a 3-year clinical training program with a research component, you may want to list them separately.
I would like my administrative assistant or associate program director to help with entering information and gathering the applications. Do they have to register for CAP?
No. If you are already registered for the CAP as an institution, you simply need to go to the Institution Users page and add them as a user. Only one person at each institution should register the institution, and that person should add other users. The other users can also add users if they wish.
How can I see how many applicants have applied for my program?
The People Interested in Programs page show how many applicants have bookmarked your program, and how many have submitted applications. Submitting an application does not remove a bookmark, so there are going to be many applicants that are listed under both columns.
How do I retrieve my applications?
The "List of Applications" page will show you a list of individual applicants. Clicking on the name of the applicant will let the system know that you would like to retrieve the application. All of the files belonging to the application will be concatenated into a single pdf that can be downloaded. Prior to the deadline, you will be able to see the applicant names, and you can even download the pdf. However, if there are any references that have not been received yet, the application materials will not be complete. If you choose to download applications as they are received, you may need to download again after the deadline has passed to see all of the submitted reference letters.
Why do I have to pay to use the CAP?
Both programs and applicants pay fees to use the CAP. The fees that are collected cover the cost of creating and maintaining the system. Programs should find that the time saved by not having to manually match pieces of applications (e.g., transcripts, reference letters) should easily make the fee justifiable.
I have a valid credit card. Why was my payment rejected?
The payment is taken care of by the bank, not AAPM. For security reasons, the bank will check the entered billing address to verify that it matches your credit card information. The vast majority of payment issues are a result of a mismatch between the billing address and the address entered on the payment form. For example, if you enter your name in the address field, it will be rejected. If you are using a company credit card, the billing address is very often your home address. Before contacting us for help, you should make sure that all of the billing information is correct.
What information does the CAP include?
The application will ask for the following information.
- personal information (name, address, contact information)
- ABR certification status
- disclosure of criminal behavior, academic violations, and/or licensure actions
- employment history
- military service history (if applicable)
- education (undergraduate and graduate)
- names of 3 references (including one from current advisor or department head)
- personal statement (max 3000 characters) indicating why you want to go into medical physics, and anything else you want to communicate to the applications reviewers (this is instead of a cover letter).
- uploaded CV (should include awards, publications and presentations)
- Transcripts and a copy of TOEFL results (if applicable) should be mailed to Clinical Medical Physics Residency Application, One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740
- These can be uploaded or mailed to AAPM HQ.
- Applicants are instructed to not submit applications before transcripts are available (if they choose to mail them).
Our program requires that official transcripts be mailed directly, and a copy of the transcript is not sufficient. Can we require that applicants send us official transcripts?
You can require anything you like. The current recommendation is to verify official transcripts for those applicants that you choose to invite for interviews, or offer positions to.
I have a diagnostic physics residency program, and I don’t want to see all of the therapy applications. Why isn’t the applicant asked to indicate a preference for diagnostic or therapy to that I can more easily discard those that are not interested in my program?
Each program will only see applications from applicants that explicitly select that program from the list. Applicants are charged a fee that depends on the number of applications submitted, so they should only be submitting applications to programs that they are interested in.
My program requires applicants to meet special requirements. How can I make sure that I don’t get a bunch of applications from individuals that are not qualified?
Making the qualifications clear in any advertisements will help a lot. You can also included information in the description for the opening that lists any special requirements. However, there is no way to guarantee that non-qualified applicants do not submit applications. It is best to make sure that the qualifications are clear in the posted ad, and on any program website that you might have.
Is it possible for me to see all of the applications instead of just those that select my program from the list?
No, it is not possible, and this is by design. If an applicant does not select your program from the list, you probably shouldn’t be taking the time to look at their application since they will probably not consider an offer from you.
I thought that one of the benefits of a common application process (CAP) would be that programs would see more good applications. Are you saying that will not be the case?
The CAP will make it easier for applicants to apply for multiple programs. We anticipate that (on average) applicants will apply to more programs.
We really need a match. Why can’t the CAP include a match?
Medical residency programs use a match program to match applicants to programs based on applicant and program preferences. In order for such a system to work effectively, the vast majority of programs and applicants must use the system. At this time, when we are just starting to have a common application, we can’t expect those conditions to be true. However, it is something that we are working towards, and if most programs take advantage of the CAP, a match program will be a distinct possibility.
Our application requires information not included in the current application. Can we get the application changed to conform to our requirements?
Changes to content are not possible at this time. The current application was created using information submitted by multiple programs. All programs were asked to contribute, so if the form does not include your information, your program probably did not respond to the initial request for application information. Please bring your requirements to the attention of the WGCMPR chair, and it will be considered for the next iteration of the CAP.
What is the relationship between the AAPM careers site and the CAP?
The AAPM careers site is primarily an career advertising and search site. They do allow job seekers to store files (e.g., CV) to send to employers via email. They also allow employers to specify whether applications can be sent via email or via a website. Sending residency applications via email does not meet residency program needs, so the CAP was created to meet the needs of programs that did not already have an online application system.
The advertisement has a button to "Apply For This Job". How do I make that go to the CAP?
When you are creating the ad, you can specify whether applications should be sent via email, or via an online form. If you specify the latter, you can enter any website address you like. You can enter the primary CAP address (http://www.aapm.org/CAP/) so that job seekers are directed to the CAP home page. In the future, you will be able to direct them to your specific program page within the CAP that will have basic information about your program.
If I register for the CAP, do I still need to place an ad on the AAPM careers site (or other place)?
No, but the CAP is not intended for advertising positions. If you choose not to advertise (other than an open position in the CAP), you will only reach those potential applicants that are already aware of the CAP. Therefore, you may be restricting the pool of available applicants.
What does "incomplete data" mean?
Incomplete data has not been very well defined yet. The CAP does basic checking of applications to see that major data elements have been filled in, but we are unable to check things like whether all transcripts have been uploaded. The original intention was to let applicants know whether applications would be considered if a reference was missing (for example). Some programs are going to be very strict on this aspect, and some will let it slide. Applicants should not really pay too much attention to how this is set (at this time) and should strive to make the application as complete as possible.
I have a question that is not answered here. Who do I contact to find an answer?
You can contact John Antolak, the head of the Workgroup on Coordination of Medical Physics Residency Programs (WGCMPR) for more information. If appropriate, questions and answers will be added to this page.