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.   

 

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)