Next week begins Match Week. Although an exciting time, the potential for not matching can cloud the week with worry.
Of course, matching into your preferred residency program is the best-case scenario, but what options are there for those who do not match or partially match?
While there’s no scented handwash here, SOAP can be a refreshing second chance for those who have less than ideal news this Match Week.
Formally known as the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program, SOAP is an opportunity for eligible Match applicants to apply for and be offered positions that went unfilled during the Match. These offers can be made and accepted Monday through Thursday of Match Week.
SOAP was expanded last year and will continue to offer a fourth round of offers in 2022. This expansion helps to offset the increasing number of unfilled residency positions and move more medical students closer to their career goals.
How to Participate
It is important to note that during the Post-Match process that all contact must be initiated by the residency program. This means that candidates are not allowed to reach out to residency programs about their unfilled positions. It also means that SOAP-eligible candidates are not permitted to share unfulfilled program information with non-SOAP candidates.
Although part of the excitement of Match Week is because it celebrates the end of more than a year of hard work and studying, participating in SOAP does bring another fair share of effort. However intense it may be, it is less than another year of preparing for residency, which may make it worth it for eligible candidates.
On Monday of Match Week, candidates who find out if they are partially matched or unmatched and are SOAP eligible will have until noon Eastern Standard Time to research residency programs taking applications. At noon, applications can be sent out. Candidates are able to send a maximum of 45 applications.
Although applications can be sent throughout Match Week, residency programs can begin making offers starting at 3 p.m. Monday.
Read more here for a full schedule of the SOAP process during Match Week.
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