SOAP® for Applicants and Schools


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. 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!

SOAP-Eligible Applicants:

  • SOAP for Applicants Video TutorialsCan access the List of Unfilled Programs only for positions for which they are eligible.
  • Are prohibited from using any means other than AAMC’s 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.
  • Must refrain from communicating with programs until they initiate contact. School officials or other entities acting on your behalf also must refrain from initiating communication.
  • Have two hours to respond to an offer during each round.

What SOAP-Eligible Applicants Should Do

  • View the SOAP® tutorials and review SOAP® FAQs so that you fully understand SOAP® policy and functionality in the R3® system.
  • 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!

SOAP-Ineligible Applicants:

  • 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 3:00 p.m. 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 p.m. ET on Wednesday of Match Week.

Resources for Applicants and School Officials