Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® - During Match Week, unmatched and partially matched applicants may participate in the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) to try to obtain an unfilled residency position.

How SOAP works

  • Applicants express preferences by applying to programs using ERAS®.  Applicants are prohibited from using any means other than ERAS to apply to and contact programs.
  • Based upon the ERAS applications they receive, program directors create preference lists of applicants in the R3® system.  Program directors can accept applications only through ERAS and can offer positions only through SOAP.
  • The R3 system uses a series of rounds to offer positions to applicants in order of the program 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.
  • SOAP concludes at 5:00 p.m. ET on Thursday of Match Week.

Positions offered and accepted during SOAP establish a binding commitment enforced by the Match Participation Agreement.

SOAP Eligibility

To participate in SOAP, applicants must be 1) registered for the Main Residency Match®, 2) fully or partially unmatched, and 3) eligible to enter GME on July 1 in the year of the Main Residency Match.  ALL applicants are notified of their SOAP eligibility status the Friday prior to Match Week.

SOAP-eligible applicants:

  • Can access the List of Unfilled Programs for those positions for which they are eligible
  • Can apply only to unfilled Match-participating programs that are participating in SOAP and can use only ERAS to submit applications

Note: Some Match-participating programs on the List of Unfilled Programs do not participate in SOAP.  They are “greyed out” on the List and cannot be contacted by any means until after SOAP concludes!

  • Can apply to non-Match participating programs after Match Week

SOAP-ineligible applicants:

  • Cannot apply to any Match-participating programs, regardless of SOAP participation status
  • ERAS will not send applications to SOAP-participating programs, and applicants are prohibited from contacting those programs by phone, fax, email, personal contacts, or other services
  • Can apply to non-Match participating programs
    • ERAS will allow applicants to select non Match-participating programs beginning at 1:00 pm ET on Monday of Match Week.  Phone, fax, email, or other methods also can be used

Match-Participating Programs:

  • Can accept applications only via ERAS
    • Cannot use phone, fax, email, or personal contacts until after an application has been received.
  • Cannot extend offers outside SOAP until SOAP concludes
    • Cannot “create” positions for unmatched applicants until SOAP concludes at 5:00 pm ET on Thursday of Match Week.  Positions created can be only for partially matched applicants.
  • Can opt out of SOAP, but cannot fill positions until SOAP concludes!

Important considerations


  • Notification of SOAP eligibility the Friday prior to Match Week is NOT an indication of whether you are matched or unmatched.
  • Applicants deemed SOAP-ineligible will not have access to the List of Unfilled Programs.
  • Offers made and accepted create a binding commitment.  Offers rejected or expired will not be extended again.
  • Positions will be filled quickly!  Be honest in your assessment of any offer and seriously consider whether to accept it.

Program Directors:

  • Thoughtfully consider applications you receive and 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.
  • Offers extended constitute a binding commitment should the offer be accepted.
  • Applicants cannot be asked to commit to an offer prior to the offer being extended through SOAP.
  • The List of Unfilled Programs is posted to the R3 system for all unmatched applicants to view at the conclusion of SOAP.  The List is dynamic so that program directors may update the number of unfilled positions as they are filled.  Program directors with unfilled positions at the conclusion of SOAP who do not wish to receive additional applications should log in to the R3 system and reducing their remaining unfiled quota accordingly.


I am SOAP®-eligible. How do I apply to or contact programs about unfilled positions during SOAP?
If you are SOAP-eligible, you must submit your applications only through ERAS®, beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET on Monday of Match Week, and you may apply only to Match-participating programs that are participating in SOAP. You will be able to apply only for the categorical, preliminary, and/or advanced unfilled positions for which you are eligible.  Other individuals or entities are prohibited from initiating contact on your behalf prior to contact from the directors of unfilled programs.
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