Post-Match Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®) preparation starts with residency candidates asking themselves a few simple questions.

Post-Match SOAP 2017 Results per Medical Specialty

Post-Match Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®) preparation starts with residency candidates asking themselves a few simple questions. One of the most important questions is: Are you prepared to apply to additional specialties beyond what you applied to in the regular residency application season?

To prepare for the Main Residency Match® season, most residency candidates know they need to gather specialty specific documents such as Letters of Recommendation or Personal Statements while applying to programs. However, this simple principle tends to get forgotten in the mad rush of applications at the start of the Post-Match as residency candidates end up applying to any available programs in any medical specialty using their supporting documents meant for a different specialty.

For example, a residency candidate prepared for and applied to Family Medicine and Psychiatry residency programs during the regular residency application season. Then, during the Post-Match SOAP, after they used as many of their 45 SOAP applications as they could in those two specialties, they still had a number of applications left. In their hurry to apply to more programs, they ended up having to use their Family Medicine and Psychiatry documents to apply to specialties like preliminary General Surgery or Internal Medicine programs which did not make the best impression on those programs.

By reviewing the data from NRMP’s® Results and Data 2017 Main Residency Match®, those looking to participate in the Post-Match can see which specialties generally have more positions available and which do not, allowing them to better prepare for the Post-Match with more supporting documents in a variety of specialties.

Results of the 2017 Post-Match SOAP per Specialty

Anesthesiology

(PGY-1) Participating Programs – 16

Filled Programs – 15

Positions Available – 53

Positions Filled – 52

 

(PGY-2) Participating Programs – 8

Filled Programs – 7

Positions Available – 18

Positions Filled – 17

 

Child Neurology

(PGY-1) Participating Programs – 6

Filled Programs – 6

Positions Available – 6

Positions Filled – 6

 

(PGY-2) Participating Programs – 2

Filled Programs – 1

Positions Available – 2

Positions Filled – 1

 

Combined Medpeds

Participating Programs – 13

Filled Programs – 10

Positions Available – 25

Positions Filled – 22

 

Emergency Medicine

Participating Programs – 0

Filled Programs – 0

Positions Available – 0

Positions Filled – 0

 

Family Medicine

Participating Programs – 67

Filled Programs – 64

Positions Available – 141

Positions Filled – 138

 

Internal Medicine

(Categorical) Participating Programs – 35

Filled Programs – 30

Positions Available – 128

Positions Filled – 122

 

Medicine-Prelim

Participating Programs – 28

Filled Programs – 23

Positions Available – 35

Positions Filled – 30

 

Neurological Surgery

Participating Programs – 0

Filled Programs – 0

Positions Available – 0

Positions Filled – 0

 

Neurology

Participating Programs – 7

Filled Programs – 7

Positions Available – 12

Positions Filled – 12

 

(PGY-2) Participating Programs – 6

Filled Programs – 6

Positions Available – 9

Positions Filled – 9

 

Obstetrics-Gynecology

(PGY-1) Participating Programs – 8

Filled Programs – 7

Positions Available – 9

Positions Filled – 8

 

(Categorical) Participating Programs – 0

Filled Programs – 0

Positions Available – 0

Positions Filled – 0

 

Orthopedic Surgery

Participating Programs – 1

Filled Programs – 1

Positions Available – 1

Positions Filled – 1

 

Pathology

Participating Programs – 31

Filled Programs – 22

Positions Available – 54

Positions Filled – 45

 

Pediatrics

Participating Programs – 12

Filled Programs – 12

Positions Available – 24

Positions Filled – 24

 

Physical Medicine & Rehab

(Categorical) Participating Programs – 1

Filled Programs – 1

Positions Available – 1

Positions Filled – 1

 

(PGY-2) Participating Programs – 0

Filled Programs – 0

Positions Available – 0

Positions Filled – 0

 

Psychiatry

Participating Programs – 2

Filled Programs – 2

Positions Available – 3

Positions Filled – 3

 

Radiology-Diagnostic

Participating Programs – 1

Filled Programs – 1

Positions Available – 1

Positions Filled – 1

 

(PGY-2) Participating Programs – 5

Filled Programs – 5

Positions Available – 12

Positions Filled – 12

 

Radiation Oncology

(PGY-2) Participating Programs – 4

Filled Programs – 4

Positions Available – 4

Positions Filled – 4

 

Surgery

(Categorical) Participating Programs – 3

Filled Programs – 3

Positions Available – 5

Positions Filled – 5

 

(PGY-1) Participating Programs – 138

Filled Programs – 105

Positions Available – 486

Positions Filled – 402

 

Transitional Year

Participating Programs – 11

Filled Programs – 10

Positions Available – 31

Positions Filled – 30

The Questions about the Post-Match SOAP you were Afraid to Ask

The Questions about the Post-Match SOAP you were Afraid to Ask

While the Post-Match SOAP may be an only last few whirlwind days, to learn enough to understand the SOAP process and prepare to potentially participate can take a lot longer. Residency candidates have a lot of questions about the Post-Match SOAP. Below are answers to some of the biggest Post-Match questions.

When should I start thinking about the Post-Match?

Although the Post-Match SOAP does not occur until Match Week in the second week of March, if you think the Post-Match might be in your future, it’s wise to start at least thinking about the Post-Match when Rank Order List creation begins in mid-January. This will give you plenty of time to learn and prepare.

I did not get any interviews during the Main Residency Match Season, can I participate in the Post-Match?

Yes. The good news for residency candidates without interviews is that you can be eligible for the Post-Match without having had any interviews or entering a Rank Order List.

But, I did not apply to any residency programs? Can I still participate in the Post-Match SOAP?

Yes. However, since you did not pay the $99 fee for the first 10 programs during the main residency match season, you will need to pay that for SOAP.

Do I need to be ECFMG Certified in order to be eligible for the Post-Match SOAP?

Technically, no. While you do not have to be fully ECFMG certified (for example, if you are waiting to graduate from your medical school the following June), you DO have to have your USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, and USMLE Step 2 CS verified by ECFMG by the week before The Match.

What DO I need to be eligible for the Post-Match?

Here is a short checklist for everything you will need to have in place in order to participate in the Post-Match SOAP. (NOTE: This is a checklist for International Medical Graduates, US medical graduates will want to check with their medical schools for their SOAP eligibility).

  • USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, and USMLE Step 2 CS completed and verified by the week before The Match.
  • Registration with NRMP by the Rank Order List Deadline.
    • This is mandatory. If you do not register by NRMP before the ROL Deadline, you will not be eligible for the Post-Match SOAP (or the Main Residency Match).
  • An account with ERAS. You are only allowed to apply to SOAP participating programs through ERAS and will need to have an ERAS account established.
  • A complete ERAS Application.

Does the Post-Match cost anything to apply?

No, as long as you applied to at least one programs during the Main Residency Match season, there are no additional ERAS application fees to apply to programs during the Post-Match.

If I Match into an advanced (PGY-2) position, can I SOAP into a preliminary position?

Yes. If you Match into an advanced position, you can absolutely use SOAP to try and secure a preliminary position to complete before you would enter your advanced program. Fortunately, the specialties with the most unfilled positions are often General Surgery (preliminary) and Internal Medicine (preliminary).

What specialties should I prepare for?

The popular theory is that you should throw applications at General Surgery because it is generally the specialty with the most amount of unfilled positions. However, you should also focus your applications on specialties you have experience in and/or supporting documents for such as specialty-specific Letters or Recommendation and Personal Statement. If all of your experience and documents are for Pediatrics and Family Medicine, General Surgery programs will not be very interested in your application.

How many applications am I allowed to send?

SOAP candidates are allowed to send a total of 45 applications. You may not apply to any more than 45 nor can you pay for any more applications. Since you only get 45, you should be prepared to research the programs on the List of Unfilled Programs quickly to make sure you are choosing programs you qualify for.

May contact programs to let them know I applied?

No. During the Post-Match SOAP, it is against NRMP policy to initiate contact with residency programs. This also applies to anyone acting on your behalf. Residency programs must be the one to open a conversation.

Are interviews held during the Post-Match?

Most programs will hold either a brief phone interview or a video interview with the applicants they are interested in.

Honestly, what are my chances? Do residency applicants actually get positions in SOAP?

Just remember, the Post-Match SOAP would not exist if no one was obtaining positions from the SOAP process. However, realistically, due to the number of applicants and the number of positions, it can be difficult to get a SOAP position. Candidates can increase their chances by being properly prepared and absolutely ready to participate with confidence.

This article only covers some of the most popular SOAP questions, if you have any further questions, you are welcome to reach out to Electronic Residency by sending an email to support@electronicresidency.com or calling (858) 299-2003 ext. 1.

2017-18 Post-Match SOAP Season

Welcome to the 2017-18 Post-Match SOAP Season

With Rank Order Lists looming and Match Week a few short months away, it may be time for some residency candidates to begin thinking about the next step in the residency application process: Match Week and the Post-Match SOAP. While even considering the possibility of not matching into a residency program might seem painful, and maybe even a little scary, the most prepared residency candidates know that they should be ready to face whatever may happen on the Monday morning of Match Week. And, part of being the most prepared is to learn about the Post-Match SOAP.

The Post-Match Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) hosted by NRMP® gives residency candidates who are either:

  1. Unmatched – Did not receive any residency program positions.
  2. Partially Matched – Matched into a preliminary (one year) program or an advanced program (starting at the PGY-2).

The chance to compete for the residency positions that went unfilled during the Main Residency Match®. Typically, +13,000 residency candidates apply for +1,000 positions across a variety of medical specialties. It is one of the final steps in the residency application cycle and can be overwhelming to face alone, especially if you are already in shock after learning your match results.  

It is important to understand that the Post-Match SOAP moves at lightning speed and condenses an entire application season into only a few short days. In fact, most of the action happens on the Monday of Match Week. The Post-Match SOAP takes place throughout Match Week and generally follows this timeline:

  • Monday: Learn Match status, (if SOAP eligible) receive List of Unfilled Programs from NRMP, research and choose 45 residency programs to apply to, log in to your ERAS account, and between 12 and 3 pm (EST) apply to the programs you have chosen.
  • Tuesday: Wait to hear from residency programs. Programs you applied to may contact you to hold short phone or Skype interviews to get to know you.
  • Wednesday: Offer Rounds 1 and 2 are held. The Offer Rounds are 2-hour windows where programs may submit residency position offers through NRMP. Once an offer round has concluded, any existing offers will expire.
  • Thursday: Offer Round 3 and SOAP concludes. After the final Offer Round ends, NRMP will release an updated List of Unfilled Programs that will also include unfilled residency programs that did not participate in SOAP. At that time, any residency candidate is allowed to contact the leftover programs to ask if they are still accepting applications.

As you can see, the Post-Match moves quickly, so understanding the process and preparing in advance can be crucial to successful participation.

As the Post-Match SOAP approaches, Electronic Residency will be updating existing articles or posting more informational articles to help residency candidates learn what they need to know about the Post-Match. There are additional Resources pages for more tips on how to prepare, more details about the SOAP process, and SOAP statistics available on the Electronic Residency website.

You are also welcome to reach out by sending an email to support@electronicresidency.com or calling (858) 299-2003 ext. 1.

Post-Match SOAP 2017

What You Should Know Before the Post-Match SOAP

The Post-Match SOAP begins with a whirlwind of activity followed by long periods of waiting. It can be a very confusing and overwhelming time for residency candidates, especially if they were not anticipating being a part of the SOAP to begin with. There are small things residency candidate can take care of and keep in mind to make the SOAP process go more smoothly. Below are some final suggestions candidates can do in the days before the Post-Match to improve the process.

Last Minute Post-Match Tips

  • You might need to be prepared to apply to more than one specialty as the number of unfilled positions per medical specialty varies every year. For example, you may be prepared to apply to Pediatrics, but there were only 12 unfilled programs in Pediatrics last year which would leave you with 33 out of your 45 SOAP applications left to apply to. So, what do you do?
    • Make sure you have dedicated Personal Statements for at least two, if not three or more, specialties to ensure you can properly utilize all of your SOAP applications. You REALLY do not want to end up in a position of applying to General Surgery with a Family Medicine Personal Statement or vice versa. See an analysis of the unfilled positions per specialty at: http://blog.electronicresidency.com/…cal-specialty/
    • Additional, specialty-specific Letters of Recommendation are ideal, but difficult to get on short notice. If you cannot get a hold of more LoRs, at least try to use LoRs that are similar to the specialty. For example, using Internal Medicine letters for Pediatrics since they are both primary care specialties

 

  • Be sure to set aside time for the Post-Match SOAP
    • Ask for time off work well in advance
    • Take care of anything that might get in the way such as laundry, work, or grocery shopping
    • At an absolute minimum, you will want to be available Monday, but ideally, it is best to be free through the Thursday of Match Week

 

  • Make sure your contact information is correct
    • Your voicemail should be professionally appropriate and set up. Without a voicemail, programs that try to call you may immediately move on
    • Use a professional email address

 

  • Be prepared for a phone or Skype interview
    • Have Skype downloaded
    • Have a clear, clean, and quiet area set aside
    • Have an interview outfit picked out
    • Read more about SOAP interviews at: http://blog.electronicresidency.com/post-match-soap-interviews/

 

  • Choose the programs you apply to very carefully. Programs still have minimum requirements during SOAP, so you will need to review the requirements for each program to make the right choices.
    • For example, if you are an International Medical Graduate (IMG), you do not want to waste any of the 45 maximum SOAP applications on a program that does not accept IMGs. Or, if you need a visa, you will not want to apply to a program that does not accept J-1 or sponsor H1-B visas.

 

  • Do not rush you initial SOAP applications. The NRMP Unfilled List of Programs will become available at 11 a.m. (EST) to start researching programs. Then, you will have from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST) to continue researching, selecting programs and applying. It makes no difference whether you apply at 12 p.m. or wait until 2:45 p.m. as ALL submitted SOAP applications will be released to programs at the same time (3 p.m.). So, take enough time to ensure you are applying to the right programs with the correct supporting documents.

 

  • If you get an offer, don’t let it go. The Post-Match SOAP is not a good time to be picky, and you might not get a second opportunity. Since an application is binding, do not apply to any programs you absolutely cannot see yourself being a part of.

 

  • Get a support system in place. This is a good time to call in any favors and get all hands on deck to help you this week.

 

  • (Optional) Leave one slot for potential opportunities.
    • If you know you have connections within a residency program (family, friend, or colleague), contact that person to keep an eye out for vacancies for you and hold an application for that program just in case

 

  • In this last few days, take care of yourself. Try to do stress-relieving activities such as reading, watching TV, or whatever you do to relax.

Of course, in the last days before the Post-Match SOAP, the absolute best thing you can do to prepare yourself is to gather as much knowledge about the SOAP as you can.

(Content updated March 7, 2018.)

 

Selecting Programs During the Post-Match SOAP

Selecting Programs During the Post-Match SOAP

At 11 a.m. (EST) on Monday, March 13th, residency candidates who participated in the Main Residency Match® through NRMP® will fall into one of three categories:

  1. Fully Matched – You have received a position that will give you full training for licensure (usually a Categorical position or Preliminary/Advanced combination)
  2. Partially Matched – You have received a position that will only partially complete your training for licensure (usually a Preliminary or Advanced position)
  3. Unmatched – You have not received any residency positions

If you are Fully Matched, congratulations! Your medical residency application season is over until 1 p.m. Friday, March 17th when you will learn where you have been placed. This is a good time to celebrate.

If you are Partially Matched or Unmatched and SOAP® eligible, you will be entering the Post-Match SOAP. Also at 11 a.m., those who are eligible will gain access to the List of Unfilled Programs from the NRMP® R3® system. Candidates will have 3 hours to pick and research programs– but selecting programs can prove to be very tricky. Not only do you want to ensure you qualify for the programs, but you will have to navigate through how to prioritize the 45 programs you are allowed.

To provide a little guidance, you can focus on programs in the order listed below:  

  1. Programs you have interviewed with in the past – It helps to have established prior history with a program, the better they know you, the better your chances of obtaining an offer during SOAP.
  2. Programs you have connections with – If you have any friends or family in a residency program, now is the time to politely ask if they might recommend you to the program if that program has a vacancy. Other types of programs you can consider are programs you have past history with such as programs you completed rotations or volunteer work in.   
  3. Fresh programs – These are programs you have not applied to this application season.
  4. Programs you have applied to in the past – These are programs you have applied to this season but did not receive any word from the program.

You should avoid:

  1. Programs you were rejected by during the Main Residency Match Season
  2. Programs you do not qualify for based on your professional background and the program’s requirements

It is incredibly important that you only apply to residency programs with requirements you fulfill. Some requirements to consider are USMLE exam scores, IMG vs US medical graduate, Visas, Time Since Graduation, etc.

You only get 45 maximum application opportunities to use during the Post-Match SOAP, and the most important part of the battle is selecting the most compatible programs. If you require any research assistance during the Post-Match, contact Electronic Residency by emailing support@electronicresidency.com or calling 858-299-2003 opt. 1.   

 

Post-Match SOAP Interviews

Post-Match SOAP Interviews

What You Need to Know about Interviews During the Post-Match SOAP

One of the most common questions many residency candidates may have about the Post-Match SOAP® is whether or not residency programs conduct interviews during Match Week for the Post-Match SOAP.   

The answer is yes.

After submitting your maximum 45 SOAP applications, programs have three main ways of interviewing potential candidates throughout SOAP:

  1. In person (only for those who are local to the program)
  2. Over the phone
  3. Skype/other types of video chat

Most of the time, programs will contact residency candidates they are interested in through email first, so it is very important that you check your email (including your Junk/Spam Folder) often during the early part of Match Week. However, programs can also contact you directly over the phone or through your ERAS account so be sure to keep an eye on not only your listed email but also your phone, ERAS account and NRMP account. 

** Remember: Residency candidates are prohibited from initiating first contact with programs. Programs must initiate first contact.

Post-Match Phone Interviews

Phone interviews are fairly straightforward and the most common form of SOAP interview. They are usually about 15 to 20 minutes with the same content and questions that are covered in regular residency interviews. The only real difference is you will not be able to read the interviewer’s body language and tone could be hard to interpret.

Tips for Phone Interviews:

  • Have your application materials printed out and on hand for quick reference. This includes your MyERAS Application, Personal Statement and any Letters or Recommendation you may have on hand that you did not waive the right to see. 
  • If you aren’t confident on the phone, practice with a friend to increase your comfort and skill
  • Make sure you have a quiet place to talk–  eliminate all distractions like the television, music or outside noise
  • Be sure to take time and listen to your interviewer before speaking, don’t cut them off until they are done asking the question
  • Dress for an interview to put yourself in the right mindset, even if they can’t see you
  • Keep pen and paper around to write notes and stay focused
  • Just before the interview, drink some tea with honey or water to clear your throat
  • Do not hang up without establishing your next step.

Post-Match Video Chat Interviews

Phone interviews can be a little intimidating, but easy enough to manage if you are prepared. On the other hand, Skype (or any other video chat) interviews are a fairly new way of conducting SOAP interviews and some can find it uncomfortable to sit in front of the computer, on camera, trying to talk to a future employer.

Tips for Video Interviews:

  • Practice, practice, practice to gain familiarity in front of the camera
  • Remember, look at the camera, not the screen
    • If it helps, tape googly eyes next to the camera to know where to look interviewers in the “eyes”
    • Move the view window that shows the interviewer nearer to the camera
  • Have your application materials printed out and nearby but don’t be too obvious about looking at them
  • Have Skype downloaded beforehand with a professional username and icon
  • Pick a clean, quiet and well-lit place to have the interview. Don’t forget what might be in the background! If there are going to be other people around, be honest and let them know you will be having an interview. 
  • Close all background programs on your computer
  • Right before the interview, take time to freshen up your hair and check your teeth
  • Dress for an interview, even if they can’t see your pants, it helps put you in the right mindset

If you have either type of interview, do not forget to email a Thank You message after the interview!

You might feel out of sorts because of the overwhelming nature of the SOAP, but it’s important to remember, SOAP interviews are similar to Main Match Season interviews in protocol. Prepare for the interview like you would any other interview, use your common sense, and you will be just fine.

(Content Updated: February 1, 2018)

Changes to the Post-Match SOAP

Changes to the Post-Match SOAP 2017

While the Post-Match SOAP® has been established since 2012, each year NRMP® and ERAS® make changes to the policies and procedures to ensure the SOAP continues running more smoothly with optimal results for residency candidates and residency programs.

This year was no exception.

The 2017 Post-Match SOAP will see a big change.

There will only be three Offer Rounds.

By far the biggest change residency applicants will encounter this year is the reduction from five total Offer Rounds to three.

Traditionally, NRMP has held six Offer Rounds. This number was reduced to five for the 2014 Post-Match SOAP. However, with a majority of positions being offered during the first two Offer Rounds, NRMP decided to eliminate the final two Offer Rounds.

How does this affect SOAP timing and residency candidates?

While the change is big, the impact is fairly minimal. The Post-Match SOAP will now conclude earlier at 11 a.m. (EST) Thursday, March 16, 2017. The final update for the List of Unfilled Programs will follow at 12 p.m. (EST).

In case any candidates are worried that less Offer Rounds means less offers, as long as there are positions to be filled, programs can easily adapt to less offer rounds. Therefore, there shouldn’t be any difference in the amount of offers.

 

10 Important Match Policies

10 Important Match Policies

The Post-Match SOAP® can be a difficult and frustrating few days for residency candidates to go through. As bad as the Post-Match can be, you wouldn’t want to make a tough situation any worse by unwittingly breaking any of NRMP’s® policies. Below is a list of NRMP Policies to be aware of which affect residency candidates during the Post-Match SOAP and the Main Residency Match®.

**Please Note: Breaking NRMP’s policies can lead to a violations investigation and subsequent 1 to 3 year, or permanent ban from NRMP. Candidates who are flagged by NRMP suffer greatly during following Match seasons.  

Top 10 Most Important NRMP Policies

  1. You must be eligible for SOAP in order to participate.
    • Review eligibility requirements at: http://blog.matcharesident.com/eligibility-post-match-soap/
    • SOAP-ineligible applicants may not apply to unfilled Match-participating programs until after 11 a.m. (EST) Thursday, March 15th 
  2. Residency candidates may not initiate contact with programs during the Post-Match SOAP
    • Programs must initiate first contact with candidates
    • Those acting on behalf of a residency candidate may not contact programs as well. For example, a medical school may not talk to a program to promote their student.  
  3. Those who are granted access to the NRMP List of Unfilled Programs absolutely MAY NOT SHARE THE LIST with any SOAP-ineligible candidates
  4. SOAP-participating candidates may not apply to programs outside of SOAP until after 11 a.m. (EST) Thursday, March 15th.
  5. If extended a residency position offer during an Offer Round, you have two hours to Accept or Deny— after those 2 hours, or the offer will disappear.
  6. Accepting a residency position through the SOAP is a binding agreement to begin training at the residency program July 1st the year of The Match®
    • Unless you obtained a waiver
    • See NRMP for waiver requirements
  7. All SOAP residency program applications must go through ERAS®
  8. All applicants must provide complete and accurate, personal and professional information through their application
  9. Applicants cannot apply, discuss, interview with or accept any residency position outside of NRMP after the Rank Order Deadline (Feb. 21, 2018)
  10. Do not initiate a chargeback for any of NRMP’s fees. Applicants who attempt to chargeback NRMP will be banned from The Match

These are only the policies most relevant to the Main Residency Match® and Post-Match SOAP for residency candidates. Be sure to review the full Match Participation Agreement to make sure you fully understand what is expected of you as a residency candidate.

(Content Updated: February 1, 2018)

Tackling the First 4 Hours of Match Week

Tackling the First 4 Hours of Match Week

While you can click to view the full timeline for the Post-Match SOAP® here, it’s truly important residency candidates understand the tricky timing and limited nature of the Monday of Match Week.

One of two things with happen, Monday, March 12, 2018. Either you will be Fully Matched, or you will remain Unmatched/Partially Matched. If the first option happens, you can pop open a bottle of champagne and kick back until Match Day on Friday, March 16th. However, if the second option happens, you will be thrown into the Post-Match SOAP without a life vest. (Remember, unmatched means you did not obtain any residency position and partially matched means you matched into either a preliminary position or advanced position.)

Summarizing the First Four Hours

Time

What Residency Candidates Should Be Doing

11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (EST)

Research Time

  • Check your Match Status
  • If not Fully Matched: Review the List of Unfilled Programs on NRMP’s® R3 System® and decide which programs to pick based on personal preferences and fulfillment of program’s criteria requirements
12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST)

The Golden Hours

  • Search the programs you have chosen from the List of Unfilled Programs within ERAS when it opens at 12 p.m. (EST)
  • Assign documents to your chosen programs
  • Review your 45 program application choices and make sure they are STRONG**
  • Apply to programs when you are sure you’re ready (While you can technically apply to programs from 12 p.m. to the end of SOAP, it is highly suggested that you apply before 3 p.m. to be among the first group of applicants). 
3 p.m. (EST)

Application Release

  • Continue applying to the 45 programs that you assigned documents (ERAS® will release the prepared applications at 3 p.m.)
  • Continue checking your phone, email, NRMP, and ERAS accounts throughout Match Week


**STRONG program choices are those in specialties you have the right, specialty specific documents for (Personal Statement, Letters of Recommendation, etc.) and you fulfill the program’s application requirements.

As you can see, the first four hours of the first day of Match Week are time sensitive and limited. Unlike the Regular Match Season with unlimited program applications, you are only allowed a maximum of 45 applications. You will need to squeeze a month’s worth of research into the first three hours in order to make the most of those 45 applications.

SOAP Case Scenarios 

Applicant A is an IMG who did not Match in the Main Residency Match®. They are prepared to apply to preliminary Internal Medicine programs and Family Medicine programs by having the right, specialty specific documents. Hypothetically, there are 40 programs in Internal Medicine and 60 programs in Family Medicine. This is far more than they are allowed to apply to so Applicant A must make their choices wisely. Applicant A wants to focus on IMG friendly programs that they have the right credentials to apply. But, there is NO WAY for Applicant A to visit 100 program websites and assign documents to their program choices in the time allotted. Applicant A ran out of time to research and applied randomly. They were immediately filtered out of 10 of their program choices and their SOAP chances were hurt very badly.

Applicant B is also an IMG participating in SOAP and aiming for preliminary Internal Medicine programs and Family Medicine programs. However, Applicant B was aware of the time sensitivity and decided to seek professional research help. Applicant B registered for Electronic Residency and activated the Internal Medicine and Family Medicine specialties. By simply searching with the 10-digit ACGME code or surfing by specialty, Applicant B was able to identify 45 strong, compatible programs to apply to in plenty of time.

With a limited amount of program applications you can send out, each program choice you make must be golden. But, it is almost impossible to make well-informed choices in the time allowed and many applicants end up applying blindly to incompatible programs. Fortunately, services exist to help you complete your program research instantly.

Check out Electronic Residency to learn more about the SOAP, and see what the power of the right help can do to relieve stress and strengthen your Post-Match chances.

(Content Updated: February 9, 2018)

 

Letters of Recommendation for SOAP

Letters of Recommendation for SOAP

If you are reflecting on your Residency Application Season so far and you’re dissatisfied with the results, it may be possible that your application supporting documents were not doing you justice.

While preparing for the Post-Match SOAP®, there are some aspects of your residency application that are worth revisiting to ensure your application is as strong as it can be. Two of the most important documents you can refresh, rewrite or replace are your Personal Statement and Letters of Recommendation.

Supporting Documents for the Post-Match SOAP: Letters of Recommendation

Of course, the first step is to review data from last year’s SOAP to get an idea of which medical specialties are more likely to have vacancies and which specialties probably won’t. This way, if you have the specialty specific documents already, you can just edit or revise them. Or, if you don’t have the documents, you can put them together.

For example, the medical specialties with the most vacancies in 2017:

  1. Preliminary General Surgery (486 positions)
  2. Family Medicine (141 positions)
  3. Internal Medicine (128 positions)

Be sure to carefully compare the documents you have in-hand to the specialties you are considering applying to in the Post-Match. It is especially important you start thinking about your Letters of Recommendation now because these can take time to ask new letter writers and for the writers to craft their letters.  

Almost every specialty likes to see at least one specialty specific Letter of Recommendation. If you do not have a Letter of Recommendation in the specialties you have identified from the previous SOAP year’s data, you should be sure to secure at least one per specialty. This will give you a great advantage over those who come into the Post-Match unprepared for the contingencies.  

Even if you already have Letters of Recommendation in your chosen specialties, it is most certainly worth the effort to refresh them. When it comes to Matching in the Post-Match, residency candidates cannot afford to leave any stones left unturned.

Addressing your Letters of Recommendation now will not only strengthen your overall application but also give you an edge over other residency applicants who are not as prepared.

(Content Updated: February 1, 2018)