The Basics: How SOAP Works
- Applicants express preferences by applying to programs using ERAS®.
- Based upon the ERAS applications they receive, program directors create preference lists of applicants in the Registration, Ranking, and Results® (R3®) system.
- The R3 system offers positions to applicants in a series of rounds in order of each program’s preference list and according to the number of unfilled positions remaining in the program during each round.
- Applicants can receive multiple offers in any round and have two hours to accept or reject an offer.
- SOAP concludes at 5:00 PM ET on Thursday of Match Week.
- The dynamic List of Unfilled Programs will be available in the R3 system beginning at 6:00 PM ET on Thursday of Match Week for ALL unmatched applicants, regardless of SOAP participation status. All programs will be shown, including those that did not participate in SOAP. Program directors can update the number of unfilled positions as they are filled.
Key Policy Reminder: Positions offered and accepted during SOAP establish a binding commitment enforced by the Match Participation Agreement.
Info for Applicants
SOAP-eligible applicants must be 1) registered for the Main Residency Match® (Applicant Status = ACTIVE, RANKING, or CERTIFIED), 2) eligible to enter GME on July 1 in the year of the Main Residency Match, as verified by their medical school or ECFMG, and 3) unmatched or partially unmatched (match to only preliminary or advanced program) on Monday of Match Week.
- Can access the List of Unfilled Programs only for positions for which they are eligible.
- Are prohibited from using any means other than ERAS to apply to and contact programs.
- Can apply only to unfilled Match-participating programs that are participating in SOAP. Match-participating programs that are not participating in SOAP, as well as programs not in the Match, cannot be contacted by any means until after SOAP concludes.
- Have two hours to respond to an offer during each round.
- Cannot apply to any Match-participating programs, regardless of SOAP participation status, until SOAP concludes. ERAS will not send applications to those programs, and SOAP-ineligible applicants are prohibited from contacting the programs themselves or through personal contacts.
- Can apply to non-Match participating programs. ERAS will send applications to those programs beginning at 1:00 PM ET on Monday of Match Week. Phone, fax, email, or other methods also can be used. SOAP-ineligible applicants are prohibited from accepting a position before 12:00 PM ET on Wednesday of Match Week.
What Applicants Should Do
- View the SOAP tutorials and review SOAP FAQs so that you fully understand SOAP policy and functionality in the R3 system.
- Understand that ALL Main Residency Match applicants receive notification of their SOAP eligibility the Friday prior to Match Week. The notification is NOT an indication of whether you are matched or unmatched but rather an indication of your ability to participate in SOAP when you learn your match status on Monday of Match Week!
- Refrain from communicating with programs until they initiate contact. School officials or other entities acting on your behalf also must refrain from initiating communication.
- Be honest in your assessment of any offer and seriously consider whether to accept it. Offers that are rejected or expire will not be extended again, and positions fill quickly!
Additional resources provided at right.
Info for Programs
- Can accept applications only through ERAS and can offer positions only through SOAP until SOAP concludes at 5:00 PM ET on Thursday of Match Week.
- Cannot contact applicants directly or through personal contacts until after an ERAS application has been received.
- Cannot ask applicants to commit to an offer prior to the offer being extended through SOAP.
- Cannot “create” positions for unmatched applicants until SOAP concludes. Positions can be created only for partially-matched applicants.
- Can opt out of SOAP, but cannot fill positions until SOAP concludes!
What Programs Should Do
- Prepare for SOAP and other Match Week activities by reviewing the Match Week schedule and Leveraging Your SOAP Experience document. Also, review SOAP tutorials and FAQs to ensure you fully understand SOAP policy and functionality in the R3 system.
- Thoughtfully consider applications you receive. Offers extended constitute a binding commitment should the offer be accepted.
- Make sure your preference list is adequate in length based on the number of unfilled positions.
- Refrain from engaging in communication about unmatched applicants until you receive their applications, and do not ask an applicant to commit to accepting your SOAP offer.
- Log in to the R3 system after SOAP concludes to manage any remaining unfilled positions. A dynamic version of the List of Unfilled Programs, including programs that did not participate in SOAP, is posted to the R3 system at 6:00 PM ET on Thursday for ALL unmatched applicants to view. Program directors who do not wish to receive applications should log in to the R3 system and reduce their unfilled quota to zero.
Additional resources provided at right.