Last Friday was Match Day.
The 2012 Main Residency Match was the largest in NRMP history. More than 38,000 applicants vied for 26,772 PGY-1 and PGY-2 positions. In addition, the NRMP debuted the Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP), a new system designed to automate, streamline and equalize the process for unmatched applicants seeking unfilled positions.
SOAP replaced the traditional "scramble" used in the past to help programs fill unfilled positions. Here's some more information:
For individuals who were not matched to a residency position, the NRMP debuted the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance ProgramSM (SOAPSM), a new process developed in partnership with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and in consultation with student affairs deans, residency program directors, resident physicians, and medical students. Designed to help streamline, equalize, and automate the process for students who are not matched initially, SOAP replaces the “Scramble,” the unofficial name for the period of time during Match Week when unmatched applicants contact programs with unfilled positions. Under SOAP, the NRMP makes available the locations of unfilled positions so that unmatched students can submit applications for these positions through the AAMC’s Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®). After receiving applications through ERAS, residency program directors create a list of candidates in order of preference and the NRMP offers positions in that order in a series of up to eight rounds. Applicants are able to receive multiple offers in a single round; if an offer is accepted, it is binding.