What happens if I obtain a position and decide not to accept it? Can my program release me from my obligation to attend?

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The Match Participation Agreement states that a match between an applicant and a program creates a binding commitment to accept a position if a match results and to start training in good faith (i.e., with the intent to complete the program) on the date specified in the appointment contract. For the Main Residency Match®, the same binding commitment is established during the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®) if a program offers a position by listing an applicant on its preference list and the applicant accepts that offer.

Under certain limited circumstances, the NRMP may grant to an applicant or program a waiver of the binding commitment if honoring the commitment would result in unanticipated serious and extreme hardship. However, programs are not authorized to release an applicant from a binding commitment.  A waiver of the binding commitment may be obtained only from the NRMP. Please visit the Policies page on the NRMP website for information about the waiver review process.