Preparing for SOAP

According to the NRMP, 1,652 positions were filled during the 2019 SOAP. For people who had less than 8 interviews for most specialties, you may want to do some preparation for SOAP. The number of interview offers you receive relates to how competitive you look on paper. The NRMP has compiled all the data on matching related to the number of interview offers. You can review this for your specific specialty. Prepare for SOAP by writing a new personal statement for your back-up specialty and for an intern year, AKA TRI and uploading into ERAS. Also get some LOR’s for the back-up specialty and have them uploaded in ERAS. Talk to a physician about options for alternative specialties.

Arrange to take off work if necessary for Monday and possibly the entire week. Get a haircut for interviews, and have your outfit ready for online or in-person interviews. If you have anxiety, increase your workout routine in order to increase endorphins and relieve stress. If possible, have someone available to be with you on Monday to provide emotional support. Ask your significant other to take off work.

Be prepared to answer the question, “Why do you think you did not match?” Real self-reflection will help you grow. Write out answers to interview questions and practice answering them. “Why are you interested in this specialty and our program?” Watch yourself in the mirror while you answer questions and work on your visual responses. Smile, be positive, interact with the interviewer.

SOAP is only the first chance to find open positions after the Match. After SOAP there is the unfilled position list available from the NRMP, programs which did not participate in the Match may begin interviewing again and programs which were given accreditation during the Match may begin interviewing. If you do not find a position during SOAP, do not stop trying. You can keep looking and may find openings. Many times it is just about making phone calls until you get lucky. Also, visit the resources page on my web site for information on Assistant Physicians and which states are licensing for this. Good luck and you can do this!