The Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) offers an additional accelerated matching process that takes place during Match Week to fill available positions for applicants and programs. #Match2022 will be the second consecutive year that SOAP is virtual due to COVID-19. Previously, we wrote about the first virtual SOAP season, which was novel in that it was the first to include a four-round SOAP process. Although this year, there have been several updates to SOAP that will be covered in this blog. The Official SOAP Schedule and Guidelines are provided by the NRMP.
How the 2022 SOAP process works: the one-sentence version
The Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) is an additional accelerated supplemental matching process for applicants that did not match and programs that did not fill.
How the 2022 SOAP process works: The longer version
On Monday of Match Week (March 14th, 2022) at 9am ET, applicants are informed of whether they successfully matched into residency positions by email and through the NRMP R3 system—but not where they matched.
Applicants who have not matched (or partially matched) and programs which are unfilled become eligible for SOAP. Full eligibility criteria for applicants include:
- Registered for the Main Residency Match.
- Eligible to start residency on 7/1/2022 as verified by the applicants’ medical school (for US grads) or the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (for IMGs).
- Unmatched or partially matched on Monday, March 14th, 2022.
ERAS Fees: Applicants who applied (i.e., submitted at least one application to a residency program) during the recruitment cycle do not have to pay additional fees for SOAP. Those applicants who are SOAP eligible but did not apply this cycle must pay a $99 registration fee.
NRMP Fees: There is no NRMP registration fee for SOAP.
The general outline for the SOAP process is as follows:
- Applicants discover that they are unmatched at 9am ET on Monday, March 14th, 2022, and will have one hour to research the programs prior to ERAS opening. The List of Unfilled Programs will be accessible in the NRMP R3 system under the SOAP tab.
- At 10am ET, the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) will open for SOAP, and applicants may submit a maximum of 45 applications to unfilled positions. This includes both new programs and programs previously applied to for the main residency match cycle. All submitted applications count towards this total and cannot be withdrawn. Fully matched applicants can apply to any program. Partially match applicants (i.e., advanced, preliminary, transitional) can only apply to the program types for which they are SOAP eligible.
- Programs receive the list of SOAP applicants at 8am ET on Tuesday, March 15th, 2022, and from these interviews build preference lists. Applicants do not build preference or rank order lists during SOAP, and additionally are forbidden to contact programs until the program initiates contact. Programs will spend the Tuesday and Wednesday of match week reaching out to applicants and conduct interviews. New for 2022, SOAP rounds 1-4 will all take place on Thursday of Match Week (March 17th, 2022), instead of the Wednesday/Thursday split seen in 2021.
- There are four rounds in which programs offer positions and applicants can then decide whether to accept or reject them. Each round is two hours long.
- Applicant offers are extended through the R3 system simultaneously at the end of each round.
- Applicants may accept, reject, or allow offers to expire. If accepted to multiple programs, accepting one offer rejects the others. An accepted SOAP offer is binding and concludes the applicant’s participation in SOAP. Note: Rejected SOAP offers from prior rounds will not be offered again in later rounds.
- Most positions fill in round one. The unfilled program list updates after each round.
- SOAP ends on Thursday, March 19th at 9pm ET. Unmatched Applicants and unfilled programs may then contact each other freely to fill any remaining positions in a process called “The Scramble.”
The SOAP process will be run according to the following schedule below. The Official Schedule and Guidelines for SOAP can be found on the NRMP’s website.
Mon, March 14th, 2022:
- 8:30am ET: Medical schools can access an embargoed list of their unmatched applicants via the R3 system.
- 9:00am ET: SOAP Begins: Unmatched and partially matched applicants can access the List of Unfilled Programs in the R3 system. This list is also provided to medical schools. Unfilled residency programs are notified of their status via the R3 system.
- 10:00am ET: The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) opens for SOAP and applicants can begin preparing materials.
Tues, March 15th, 2022:
- 8:00am ET: ERAS Opens Programs begin reviewing SOAP applications in ERAS and may begin contacting applicants.
- 11:30am ET: Residency programs begin creating SOAP preference lists of Applicants in the R3 system (note: applicants do not complete this step).
Wed, March 16th, 2022:
- Programs continue reviewing applications in ERAS, completing interviews and building preference lists.
Thu, March 17th, 2020: SOAP ROUNDS!
SOAP Round 1
- 8:55am ET: Round 1 program preference list certification deadline.
- 9:00am ET: Applicants receive Round 1 offers in the R3 system.
- Note: Medical schools may track their student’s progress using the real-time SOAP Schools Report.
- 11:00am ET: Applicant deadline to accept/reject Round 1 offers.
SOAP Round 2
- 11:55am ET: Round 2 program preference list modification/re-certification deadline.
- 12:00pm ET: Applicants receive Round 2 offers in the R3 system.
- 2:00pm ET: Applicant deadline to accept/reject Round 2 offers.
SOAP Round 3
- 2:55pm ET: Round 3 program preference list modification/re-certification deadline.
- 3:00pm ET: Applicants receive Round 3 offers in the R3 system.
- 5:00pm ET: Applicant deadline to accept/reject Round 3 offers.
SOAP Round 4
- 5:55pm ET: Round 4 program preference list modification/re-certification deadline.
- 6:00pm ET: Applicants receive Round 4 offers in the R3 system.
- 8:00pm ET: Applicant deadline to accept/reject Round 4 offers.
- 9:00pm ET: SOAP ENDS
At the conclusion of SOAP, the List of Unfilled Programs is updated to include programs in SOAP that did not fill as well as unfilled programs that did not participate in SOAP within the R3 system. Applicants are now permitted, through a process called “The Scramble,” to contact all remaining unfilled programs in a final attempt to secure a residency position for the upcoming education year that starts July 1st.
How Thalamus assists with the 2022 SOAP process works
- During any SOAP round, applicants may receive an interview invitation from a SOAP program via email from email@example.com.
- Applicants who already have an account within Thalamus will be prompted to log in. Those Applicants new to the Thalamus system will be prompted to create an account. This is an ~10 second process that includes setting up a password and logging into their account.
- Applicants can self-schedule a time slot with that program on their Thalamus Calendar (or conversely a program may manually schedule an applicant on their end) and will receive confirmation both in-app and by email.
- Programs may interview Applicants a variety of ways including phone call, video conferencing software (Zoom, Teams, Webex, Thalamus Video platform), WhatsApp, Facetime, etc.
Important: Key SOAP actions will take place in the following software as noted:
- Notification of need to SOAP – NRMP R3
- Application to <= 45 programs in SOAP – ERAS
- Interview Invitations – Email, Thalamus, or other interview scheduling software.
- Interviewing – Phone, Video Conference (including Thalamus), etc.
- Notification of residency offer + offer acceptance/rejection – NRMP R3
As always, the Thalamus Customer Care team is available for both applicants and programs by clicking on the “Help” button at the bottom right-hand corner of any Thalamus screen or emailing us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
For residency programs interested in learning how to use Thalamus for your SOAP process, please contact us at email@example.com
The Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) process for the 2022 Match season will remain virtual. New for this year, all SOAP rounds will occur on the Thursday of Match week (March 17th, 2022).
Happy Match 2022 everyone and best of luck during Match Week!