5 Steps to the Best Post-Match SOAP Preparation 2020
The Post-Match Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®) is not an option most residency candidates want to consider until they absolutely have to. And, that is very understandable! Thinking about the Post-Match may feel like thinking about the possibility of not receiving a Match through the Main Residency Match®— which can be a very scary thought.
But, if you have less than 10 programs on your Rank Order List, like it or not, it may be time to at least consider the Post-Match SOAP preparation. If you deem the Post-Match might be a part of your future, the best thing you can do for yourself is start getting ready well ahead of time.
You can take the following steps to make the most out your Post-Match SOAP preparation:
Make sure you are eligible:
- Register for NRMP® by the Rank Order List Deadline at 9 p.m. (EST) on Feb. 26, 2020
- Be able to enter a program July 1st
- USMGs – Your medical school must clear your graduation qualifications
- IMGs – You must have your USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS scores completed and reported by the week before The Match®
- For more on eligibility, visit the NRMP’s Guide here.
Look at data from the 2019 Post-Match SOAP and start considering which specialties you will be applying to
- For example, prelim General Surgery and prelim Internal Medicine both had many available positions while Pediatrics and Neurology did not
- Post-Match statistics made easy at: http://www.electronicresidency.com/post-match-in-numbers
Review the important policies on NRMP. Some important policies include:
- Applicants may not initiate contact with programs during SOAP. All communication must come from the programs themselves.
- All SOAP applications must go through ERAS to SOAP participating programs– do not apply to programs outside of SOAP until after 11 a.m. Thursday, March 19, 2020.
- Do not share the SOAP Unfilled Programs List with any other candidates
Review, update, and/or add to your applications materials
- Letters of Recommendation (LoRs) – If you didn’t receive many interviews, there may have been a problem with your LoRs. Consider getting fresh LoRs, preferably from US clinical experience — make sure they are specialty-specific to the specialties you may be applying to in the Post-Match. You can also check out Residency Experts’ helpful tips by reading Your Complete Residency Letter of Recommendation Guide.
- Personal Statement – If your Personal Statement was generic, or you did not receive professional assistance, your Personal Statement could have cost you some interviews. Just like with LoRs, make sure your statement is fresh, unique, and specialty-specific.
- Contact Information – Make sure your contact information is up-to-date and reliable. You don’t want programs calling you and your phone number is out of service or you have no voicemail.
Start preparing to pick the right programs when the Unfilled Programs List is released
- Remember, you will only be allowed 45 applications total, each program you choose to apply to should be GOLD
- You will only have 4 hours to research, pick, and apply to programs.
- Use Electronic Residency during the Post-Match to instantly find out if you qualify for a program’s requirements within the first SOAP hour.
By following this advice, you will be well ahead of the curve for Post-Match SOAP preparation. Although it is not what anyone is looking forward to, knowing you have the tools and professional assistance to succeed is vital. Make sure that your SOAP preparation is thorough and complete this Match season.