Resident Match: What if You Don’t Match?

Resident Match: What if You Don’t Match?

If everyone is running around celebrating and you got news that you didn’t match to any resident programs you applied to, it is not the end of the road for you and you can still reach your goals.

SOAP (Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program)

If you didn’t match anywhere and are eligible to participate in the SOAP program, you still have a chance of matching this year. You will need to go into the SOAP system, which is set up similarly to ERAS, and you can start expressing your preferences for programs you might be interested in since you didn’t match to any of the ones on your ROL. The programs will view your applications, and if they’re interested they’ll reach out. You can now receive offers at random times. It will be on you to monitor if you’ve gotten any offers. You only have two hours to accept or reject these offers. The SOAP window closes at 11AM on the Thursday of Match Week.

Contact Your Medical School

Didn’t match in the Resident Match and struck out in SOAP? You can still be a doctor. Keep that in mind, but your road is going to be unpaved and requires a lot of legwork. The first step is to go back to your medical school and ask for a transitional slot. This will give you the opportunity to mimic an additional fourth year of school and you can re-apply for the match in the next year.

You can also talk to your school about a potential research fellowship for a year. During this time, you can do research in the specialty that you are interested in so you become a more competitive candidate in the next year’s match.

Thinking about earning an additional degree? It may seem extreme, but if you go for a second degree you become very valuable all of a sudden to a Resident Program.

As the late Aaliyah said, “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off, and try again.”


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