What is SOAP Residency?

Many medical students get great results on Residency Match Day, but not everyone has the same story. For some, on the Monday of Match Week, they might find out that they did not get any match. While opportunities might be in short supply, there is still some hope for these medical students. This is where the SOAP residency comes in. 

What is SOAP Residency?

The Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) is a service of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). 

Through a series of offer rounds during the Match Week (from Monday to Thursday), eligible unmatched or partially matched applicants can apply, interview, and be offered unfilled residency positions in participating programs.

medical student wearing scrubs

The Friday before Match Week, all applications will receive email notification of their eligibility for SOAP residency. Keep in mind that receiving this email doesn’t indicate whether or not you’ve successfully matched. However, it’s important that you be ready for SOAP residency should you find out on Monday of Match Week that you are unmatched.

How to Prepare for SOAP Residency

To help ensure success, you should know what to expect and how to address things during Match Week. 

First, the List of Unfilled Programs comes out at 11:00 am EST on the Monday of Match Week. At 2:00 pm EST, you can start submitting up to 45 applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). At 3:00 pm EST, programs can see the applications and begin reaching out to the medical students. 

During the SOAP residency process, it’s a violation for applicants to initiate contact with programs outside of ERAS. Rather, the program will contact you first and conduct an interview whether through a phone call, video call, or in-person appearance. Regardless of the format, it is essential to be ready for the interview and show that you’re fit for the program. 

Generally, there are three offer rounds throughout Match Week, of which offers are based on the program’s rank list. After the last offer round, you’ll see open positions from the SOAP and non-SOAP programs, allowing applicants to reach out directly. 

What Happens After SOAP 

If you remain unmatched after the SOAP residency process, the list of unfilled spots can be the basis of programs that you can reach out to directly. While there might not be a lot of options left, it’s still worth contacting any program you can train at. 

It’s an opportunity to improve your application to know the best path for the next time you apply. Your clinical grades and USMLE scores will not change. But you can work on improving your letters of recommendation, research, and connections. It’s also the time to seek out feedback from mentors or trusted peers.

SOAP residency is not always the ideal result for many medical students. But it still offers a second-chance opportunity for medical students to achieve their goals. 
If you need any help with your residency application, SOAP residency preparation, or other clinical experiences, C.H.H.A is here. We work with international medical universities, students, and graduates. Contact us today to learn more. Let’s work together and start making your dream of being a doctor a reality!

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