Understanding the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program

Residency Program Insider, January 8, 2020

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Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from HCPro’s book, Resident Recruitment: From ERAS to Match. For more information about this book or to order your copy, click here.

The Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) process is similar to a mini-version of the Match. The entire process occurs within four days of Match Week, Monday through Thursday. To be considered, candidates who did not match must already have their applications submitted to programs electronically via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). ERAS then sets up a specific file for SOAP applications for each program. Program directors have Tuesday to review those applications and contact any candidates in whom they are interested. Only the program director can contact the candidate for a phone interview. ERAS rules bar the candidates from reaching out to the programs or having anyone reach out on their behalf.

Between Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon, there are several opportunities to review and interview candidates as well as to submit mini rank lists for matching opportunities. For the first matching opportunity, the program would submit a rank list in the order of the candidates that the program director would like to see come to their program. The candidates have a two-hour window to decide whether they want to match.

The program can submit any number of people on the list, but the invitation to match to the program is sent to only the number of open positions. For example, if your program has two open positions for SOAP and you list 10 candidates that you are interested in, SOAP sends the invitation to match with your program to only the first two names on your list. Those two candidates have two hours to decide whether they want to accept your offer. Remember, that they may be receiving invitations from other programs as well. That matching opportunity closes at the end of two hours. If you still have positions available, you have an hour to update your listing. In the meantime, those candidates that you originally had on your listing may be moved up or removed from your list as they may have accepted other positions. The SOAP process then has another two-hour window, invitations are sent, and candidates have those two hours to decide what they want to do. This continues until the SOAP process ends on Thursday. If empty positions remain, programs and candidates may fill empty slots outside of the Match.

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