Podcast Episodes

Podcast 85: Match and SOAP


Dr. David Flick hosts this episode to talk about preparing for residency applications. He’ll go over the ERAS timeline, the NRMP timeline, why the match process exists, and how to do well in these areas.

[0:45] Timelines.

ERAS opens around the beginning of June, and the beginning of September is when you can begin to apply. About halfway through September is when those programs receive your application. At the beginning of October, the MSPE is released from your school and goes out to all residency programs. March is when you actually match.

The NRMP system opens near the end of September, and you have from then through November to register. Once you start interviewing, you’ll be able to build a rank-order list. In February, you’ll have to certify your list and it can’t be touched afterwards.

[4:45] The match process.

The NRMP supplies a great video that shows how this process works. The algorithm goes down your rank-order list and tries to pair you with a hospital until it finds a match.

If you don’t match in that algorithm, NRMP has a separate program called the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP). There a video for this process, too.

[9:29] Match week.

It typically occurs in the second or third week of March. The match itself occurs on the Friday of that week.

On the Monday after, you’ll find out if you didn’t match and can then access the SOAP process. You will have access to look at and research the programs, but you cannot contact them directly. You can apply to as many as forty-five and then wait to see if they reach out to you.

If you didn’t match in any of the three rounds of SOAP, you’ll then have access to all the unfilled programs that are left. Here, you are allowed to contact programs directly.

[15:00] How to do well in match and SOAP.

The best way to do well in match is to study the statistics. Your rank-order list must have enough programs on it.

For SOAP, timing is everything. You’ll need to be very proactive, and you’ll want to use all forty-five of those slots. Be available to field phone calls, and make sure to brush up on your interview skills.

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