The Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) is the national, structured process through which unmatched NRMP applicants apply to unfilled residency programs. SOAP more closely resembles a traditional job search process than the residency match. It runs for the 4 days leading up to the NRMP Match Day, occurring the third week in March.
SOAP is not a match strategy as there are a limited number of programs and specialties for the number of applicants in SOAP.
- The annual NRMP Main Residency Match report contains statistical tables and graphs for the Main Residency Match and presents SOAP data.
SOAP for Applicants Video
How SOAP Works
SOAP runs for the 4 days leading up to the NRMP Match Day, occurring the third week in March.
|Applicants learn their match status|
Unmatched applicants apply to unfilled programs
Programs begin extending SOAP interview invitations
|SOAP interviews continue||NRMP offer & acceptance rounds begin||NRMP offer & acceptance rounds conclude|
SOAP process concludes
|NRMP Match Day
Matched applicants learn where they have matched online & at school ceremonies*
*Unmatched applicants who obtain a position through SOAP are already aware of their match location. Match results will still be created for school ceremonies.
SOAP begins the Monday morning of Match Week when applicants find out whether they matched to a position.
At 12 p.m. PT, programs begin to view submitted applications and contact applicants for interviews.
After applications are released to unfilled programs, unmatched applicants wait for programs to contact them for interviews by phone or web conference.
Per NRMP policy, no applicant or anyone acting on behalf of the applicant may contact any residency programs before programs initiate contact with the applicant.
Offer rounds are held on the Wednesday and Thursday of Match Week. Each offer round is a two-hour window in which programs extend residency position offers for applicants to accept or reject. Accepting an offer is a contractually binding commitment as outlined in the NRMP match participation agreement.
Applicants do not submit a rank list during the offer rounds and may receive more than 1 offer during each round. Any offers received during an offer round expires at the end of the round and cannot be carried over to the next round. SOAP concludes after the final offer round.
Commonly Asked Questions
More detailed information about the process and logistics is provided to unmatched applicants during SOAP week. Below are common questions.
In January and February, Specialty Career Advisors in partnership with Career Advisors, identify students who, at the conclusion of the interview season, are more at-risk of going unmatched.
Advisors meet with students to develop strategies to optimize their application profiles for success in SOAP, should they go unmatched.
Steps to take:
- Meet with Career Advisors to develop a strategic plan before match week
- Update any supporting documents, such as personal statements or letters of recommendation
- Clear your schedule if possible
- Reschedule travel and base yourself at a location with strong internet and phone service
- Unmatched students will be excused from clerkships. Student Affairs will communicate these excusals to clerkship directors and administrators
- Learn about the SOAP process
- Charge your devices (cell phone, laptop, etc)
On average, since 2012, between 2-6% of UW applicants have gone unmatched in any given year.
Some students secure a position during SOAP, some students secure a position after SOAP and before graduation, some students graduate without securing a residency position, and some students choose to expand their medical school training.
Of those who secure a position during SOAP, most of them secure only a preliminary position during SOAP and re-apply during the following application season.
Your Specialty Career Advisor or Career Advisor will notify you if they believe you are at risk of participating in SOAP
- If the applicant submitted at least 1 application through ERAS during the regular residency application season, there is no cost to participate in SOAP.
- If the applicant did not apply to programs during the regular ERAS season, they will be required to pay the base ERAS application fee in order to apply during SOAP.
Unmatched applicants receive intensive, hands-on support from Career Advising, Student Affairs, Specialty Career Advisors, College Mentors, and Deans.
Throughout the week, there are conference calls, dedicated advising and counseling sessions, PDF resource packets, and a series of emails that outline the schedule of the week and what to focus on during any given timeframe.
During Match Week, unmatched applicants will be able to view unfilled programs in the NRMP R3 platform.
This information is not available in any other public forum. If a particular specialty is not listed, it means that all residency positions in that specialty are filled and there are no spots remaining in that field.
No one can contact a program until the program initiates contact with the unmatched applicant. Once the program initiates contact, then anyone can contact the program on the unmatched applicant’s behalf.
Following the conclusion of SOAP, unmatched applicants can contact any remaining unfilled programs directly to inquire about applying to their program.