The Who, What, Where, When, and Why of the

Post-Match SOAP

Understanding the Post-Match Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®)

It’s Monday morning of Match Week. You’re excited, but nervous as you refresh your NRMP® screen and email over and over again in anticipation. While you had a few interviews, you’re not sure if the programs ranked you highly enough to Match. Then it happens-- you receive the news, and learn you didn’t Match. As shock sets in, you wonder, “Now what...?”

Residency candidates who do not Match during the Main Residency Match® have the opportunity to participate in the Post-Match SOAP. The Post-Match SOAP gives eligible residency applicants a second chance to find a residency position. Throughout Match Week, SOAP candidates will receive the List of Unfilled Positions from NRMP®, research and apply to programs through ERAS®, conduct interviews, and participate in Offer Rounds.

Who Participates in the Post-Match?

Eligible residency candidates who were either:

  1. 1. Unmatched - Did not receive any residency position

  2. 2. Partially Matched - Matched into only a Preliminary position or Advanced position


Click to view the full Post-Match eligibility policies.

When Is the Post-Match SOAP?

The Post-Match occurs the Monday through Thursday of Match Week which is held during the third week in March. Click to view a full timeline of events.

How Does the Post-Match Work?

The Post-Match SOAP can be a confusing and overwhelming process. In order to clarify, the Post-Match can be broken down into 3 main phases:

  • Phase 1: Application
    During the first four hours, NRMP® will release the List of Unfilled Programs. Candidates will have the first hour to research each program they are interested in to ensure they are not wasting any of their 45 applications. After an hour, ERAS will open for candidates to select programs, assign documents, and submit applications. At 3 p.m., ERAS will begin allowing programs to view submitted applications.
  • Phase 2: Waiting and Interviews
    After all 45 applications are submitted, residency candidates must wait for programs to contact them for interviews. Interviews are generally held over the phone or through a video chat system such as Skype unless a residency candidate is local to the program.
  • Phase 3: Offer Rounds
    From Wednesday to Thursday, a total of three Offer Rounds are held. Each Offer Round is a two-hour window of time where programs can submit residency position offers for candidates to Accept or Deny. If a candidate misses an offer or chooses not to reply, the offer will disappear at the end of the Offer Round. After the third Offer Round, SOAP will conclude and the Unfilled List of Programs will update to include programs not participating in SOAP.

How Can Electronic Residency Help?

If you reach that pivotal moment Monday of Match Week, wondering, “What do I do now?” Remember, Electronic Residency is here to help you navigate through the Post-Match SOAP.

By signing up with Electronic Residency, you give yourself:

    • Access to the only Post-Match research search engine
    • Instant compatibility results to help you choose the right programs
    • In-depth program requirements for each program you search
    • Organization features to keep you on track
    • Endless support of a dedicated staff

Most importantly, you give yourself the confidence to overcome the shock and move forward in the Post-Match SOAP without getting stuck or overwhelmed. To make the most out of the Post-Match SOAP, get ahead with Electronic Residency.

Your fees for the NRMP® Unfilled List and applications through ERAS® are covered when you register with NRMP®.
Yes! While the Post-Match is highly competitive, all kinds of residency candidates do obtain positions every year. Since there are no additional fees to participate, there is absolutely nothing to lose by applying during the Post-Match.
In order to be SOAP eligible, you must be registered with NRMP® before the Rank Order List deadline in late February. US Medical Graduates (USMGs) will get cleared to participate by their medical schools. International Medical Graduates (IMGs) must have their USMLE® Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS scores reported and verified by the week before The Match®.
Submitting a Rank Order List is not required to be eligible for SOAP.
Yes. All Post-Match SOAP applications must be submitted through ERAS.
Every residency candidate is allowed a maximum of 45 applications during SOAP. You may not pay for additional applications.
No. Residency candidates are prohibited from initiating contact with residency programs during the Post-Match. This also applies to anyone acting on your behalf.
Thousands of candidates compete for generally around a thousand positions during the Post-Match. In order to have the best chances to have your application reviewed by residency programs, candidates should aim to be in the first group of applicants.
All offers expire and disappear after the Offer Round concludes. To avoid missing out on any potential offers, be sure to check your NRMP® account often throughout SOAP.