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Un-Matched Students

Not matching into a chosen specialty is one of the most stressful events of medical school. There are multiple reasons for not matching: Some specialties are so competitive that even highly competitive applicants are routinely unable to obtain spots; students may have been limited by geographic or family reasons; students may not have applied to a sufficient number of programs or gone on enough interviews, and some students have unique circumstances that resulted in an unmatched status.

OSA is available to support, guide, and advise unmatched students regarding next steps.

I am worried I might not Match – what can I do?

  • Attend the Match Week and SOAP® Prep Workshop
  • Consider ahead of time what your next steps would be without the in-the-moment stress of Match week
  • Connect with OSA and departmental contacts about your concerns

I did not match – what should I do?

  • Take a moment to catch your breath and reach out to your personal support network
  • Unmatched students should contact OSA immediately (OSA is available by phone, email, zoom and in-person)
  • Connect with your Departmental Advising Team (if you are uncertain of who your contacts are, OSA can direct you)
  • Careers in Medicine: Unmatched Applicants
    • Normalizing Going Unmatched
    • A Transitional Year Residency Program Provides Innovative Solutions for Unmatched Medical Students

Your Health and Mental Health are IMPORTANT

This is a very difficult and emotional time associated with a range of emotions including shock, grief, anxiety. It is important to pay attention to these feelings and to start processing these emotions to be most productive in determining next steps. In addition to your personal support network, the UMB Student Counseling Center often reserves appointments specifically for medical students during this time.  To schedule or for additional resources, please see below

What are my options? 

Based on discussions with your mentors, you may consider the following:  

  • Participate in Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®)
  • Identify a residency position through unfilled programs after SOAP® (see Additional Resources below)
  • Apply for Research Fellowships
  • Apply for Master degree Program
  • Find other opportunities such as service, policy, industry (e.g., scribing, volunteer work, public health)

Resources for Students who plan to participate in SOAP®

Review the NRMP SOAP Resource Page:

  • The NRMP SOAP Timeline
  • THE SOAP Applicant Cheat Sheet
  • The SOAP Guide for Applicants

Additional Resources:

Students have found these sites helpful in searching for unfilled positions (Please note that no specific site is endorsed by OSA; these should be considered in addition to the NRMP Unfilled Program List and Departmental Advisors may have their own lists through program list serves)

Financial Planning

Counseling Center

Physician Support Line