Community Site FAQ



Contacts / Connections

Communities / Discussions

Library / Resources

General | Top

Q: How do I login to the ERAS PDWS Community Site?

A: Your login credentials are the same email and password that you use to access the PDWS. If you have forgotten your login credentials, please click here and select 'forgot password'.

Please note that the ERAS PDWS Community site  uses Single Sign On (SSO), meaning that it does pull in your account information used for other AAMC products (, ERAS, PDWS, etc.).

If you need assistance with your login information, please contact the ERAS Client Technical Support team.

Q: How do I update my contact information?

A: On your profile page, please select the pencil icon next to "Contact Details" in the left column.

Q: How do I control what information is visible in My Profile?

A: Please navigate to your profile page, then select the "My Account" tab and choose "Privacy Settings" from the drop-down menu. This will let you control what information is visible to whom.  After you’ve made changes, click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page.

Q: What is the "My Networks" tab shown from my profile page?

A: Networks link people to each other based on matching criteria in your profile.  We automatically form networks on data such as an address, job history, and education history.   

A network is meant to be a quick way to find people that you may want to connect with.  It lets you know how many other people share something in common with you and lets you find these people.

Q: What happens if I leave my current position and am no longer a constituent of the AAMC?

A: Because access to the Program Director's Work Station determines access to the ERAS PDWS Community site, if your status no longer lists you as an active PDWS user, your community account will automatically be removed.

Depending on your new role (job function or institution), you may retain or regain access to the ERAS PDWS Community site.

Contacts / Connections | Top

Q: How do I find other members?

A: Click the Directory link found in the main navigation bar. The Directory lets you search for other users based on:
  • First and/or last name
  • Company/Institution name
  • Email address
  • City or State
  • Country

Switch to the “Advanced Search” drop down to refine your search results by:

  • Community Type
  • Community Name

Q: How do I add contacts to my contact list?

A: There are several ways to add contacts. When you perform a search in the Directory, you will see an “Add as contact” button to the right of each person in your search results. Just click this button to send a contact request. If you click through and view an individual’s profile, you can click the contact request link to the right of his or her profile picture.

Q: Why should I add contacts to my contact list?

A: Creating this virtual address book makes it easy to send your contacts messages through the community site to stay in touch, ask questions, or even build a referral network. Additionally, when you view another member’s profile, you’ll be able to see any contacts you have in common. You can also choose to let your contacts view certain demographics in your profile that others can't.

Communities / Discussions | Top

Q: How can I control the frequency and format of emails I receive?

A: Navigate to your profile and click on the "My Account" tab. Choose "Community Notifications" from the drop-down menu.  On that page, there are subscription options: Real-Time, Daily Digest, No Email.  

For each discussion, you have the following delivery options:
  • Real-time sends an email every time a new message is posted.
  • Daily digest sends one email to you each day, consolidating all of the posts from the previous day.
  • No Email allows you to be part of the group without having emails sent to you. You can still post and read others’ messages by logging into the community site.

Q: How do I respond to others’ posts?

A: To respond to a discussion post, please navigate to the discussion post and click “Reply” to send your message to the entire community.  To send a message to the only author of the post, please select “Reply Privately” (located in the "Reply" drop-down). 

We recommend replying privately to the sender for simple comments like “me, too” that add little value to the overall discussion; and replying to the entire community when you are sharing knowledge, experience, or resources that others could benefit from.

Q: How do I start a new discussion thread?

A: Go to either the ERAS PDWS Community Site home page. Within the "Share Knowledge" widget, you'll see the option to “Post a New Message.”

From an email (HTML version) for a particular discussion forum, you can use the “Post Message” link located at the top of the discussion email.

Q: I’m having trouble viewing the HTML email messages. How do I fix this?

A: If images are not appearing, it is likely that your email client is set to suppress images. This should be something you can change in your security or viewing options. If you would rather receive text-based email, go to your profile page and click on the "My Account" tab. Choose "Community Notifications" from the drop-down menu. Select the “Plain Text” format option for each of the discussions you are subscribed to.

Q: Can I search for posts across all the communities?

A: Yes, please enter a keyword in the search bar located in the main navigation. To refine your search results, please select "Show Advanced Search".

Q: How do I add tags to my discussion post?

A: Tags (also known as #hashtags) are like behind-the-scenes organizers, helping to categorize content in the community network and make it easier to find. For example, if 15 users tag their content with #healthequity, all 15 pieces of content can be viewed simply by clicking the tag. 

How to apply a tag:
  1. In the discussion body of content, initiate the tagging process by typing "#" and then start typing the desired keyword(s). As you type, a list of existing, user-created tags will appear (if any exist).
  2. Select a suggested tag or continue typing to create your own (if allowed).
  1. After selecting or creating your own tag, it will become a hyperlink that users can click to view all content associated with it. As more content is tagged with the same tag(s), it will become easier to find, with more and more associated content.
Tags Notes:
  • Do NOT use spaces when typing, as this will prevent hashtag creation. You can either use "#healthequity or #health-equity in lieue of using spaces. If adding your own tag, press Enter after spelling it out to create it.
  • Tags must start with #, but this cannot be used after that first occurrence.
    Tags cannot contain: @, $, or &.
  • You can also include #hashtags in Discussion posts made via your email client. For example, if you include #CommunityManagement in your Outlook message, the system will convert it into a hyperlinked tag after it is sent.
Learn more about what tags are for and the different types.

Libraries | Top

Q: How do I find resources that may have been uploaded by other members?

A: Click through the ERAS PDWS Community landing page, then click on the “Get Answers” widget. If you do not know where the resource might be, enter search terms in the main search box the same way you might enter search terms into Google or another search engine.

Q: Can I search for specific file types?

A: Yes. Enter your desired keyword in the main search box. From the search results page, click "Show Advanced Search."  Then click on “Search for Specific File Types.” This gives you the option to specify file type: Document, Image, Spreadsheet, etc.

Q: How do the libraries get populated?

A: The libraries (folders where files and documents are saved) are populated in two ways:
1.  When you include an attachment in a discussion post, the system automatically places it in the affiliated library.
2.  You can also upload documents directly to a library by using the “Create a Library Entry” link found under “Recent Shared Files” on the main homepage or "Create New Library Entry" button on any community's library page. Library resources are not required to be associated with a discussion thread.

Q: How do I upload a file?

A: Select the “Create a Library Entry” link found under “Recent Shared Files” on the main homepage or "Create New Library Entry" on any community landing page. Please note that uploading a document is accomplished by completing a few steps, and each step must be completed before you can move on to the next:
  • Choose a title for your document, and include a description (optional). Select the library to which you’d like to upload it, and select a folder to which you’d like to upload it (optional).  Then, choose an Entry Type (most will be Standard Files, but be cognizant of any copyright licensed material). Once you have completed these steps, please click “Next.”
  • Upload your file.
  • Select “Next” if you want to further describe your files and/or add tags to your file.  Otherwise, please click “Finish” to post your library entry

Q: What kind of files can I upload?

A: The system supports dozens of file types including hyperlinks, standard files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), webinars, images, and YouTube videos.

Q: What are the “tags” for?

A: Tags (also known as #hashtags) are like a behind-the-scenes organizer that categorize content within our ERAS PDWS Community. Tags can be applied to discussion posts, library entries (files and resources), events, and glossary terms and once tagged, these pieces of content are easier to find. For example, if 15 users tag their content with #InterviewSchedulerTips, all 15 pieces of content can be viewed simply by clicking the tag.

There are 3 kinds of tags:
  1. User-created tags - All community users can define and tag their content (e.g., discussion posts, blog articles, etc.) with your own keyword(s).
  2. Formal tags - These are tags specifically defined by the AAMC ERAS PDWS Community Administrators.
  3. Topic tags - These tags are related to Topic Communities. Topic Communities are special communities where all content, upon creation, must be flagged with unique Topic Tags (created by Admins of the community site). This ensures all content belongs to organizational-approved categories, which, in turn, makes all Topic Community content easily searchable and consumable by users interested in specific topics.
See FAQ for how to add tags here