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Rise Up and Reset: SOAP Strategies for Unmatched Applicants

Objective: The SOAP process is stressful and anxiety provoking for advisors and students alike. In the emotional chaos of not matching, students are asked to make many quick decisions, develop an updated personal statement, and obtain new letters of recommendation, sometimes for multiple specialties. During this session, we will attempt to de-mystify the SOAP process by reviewing the steps, timeline, and rules. Next, the group will examine the pros and cons of various options for students in the SOAP (e.g., OB/gen surg prelim, another MS4 year) from the student, advisor, and PD perspective. We will discuss/share strategies for preparing for SOAP beforehand, & for a quick turnaround when SOAP is unexpected. Finally, best practices for supporting students during SOAP will be shared. At the end, attendees will be able to help their students rise up and reset in a supportive, constructive, and successful manner.


Methods:      Introductions(5min)/audience poll(who is here, who has SOAP’d, who has taken a student through SOAP)

          SOAP basics–a primer, reviewing steps of SOAP/SOAP rules(15min)

          Small Group activity:Discuss SOAP options (gen surg/obgyn prelim vs family med vs delayed graduation/additional year)(10min)

          Large group share:report back pros/cons of various SOAP options(10mi)

          1,2,4, all:strategies to help at risk student be ready for SOAP/get ready fast(10min)

          Small Group activity:How to best support our SOAPers(10min)

          Large group discussion:Report back on best practices re: what to say/not say and do/not do(10minutes)

          Wrap Up:Take aways and SOAP Box(5min)


Results: At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:

          Describe the steps and requirements of the SOAP process

          Discuss pros / cons of various SOAP options with their students

          Devise strategies for at risk students in order to ensure SOAP success

          Provide effective emotional support to the learner during and after the SOAP process


Conclusion/ Discussion: The SOAP doesn’t have to be chaotic; this session will help demystify the SOAP and provide strategies to prepare and support students

Topics: Faculty Development Seminar, 2023, Student, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Osteopathic Faculty, Professionalism, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, UME, Independent Study,

General Information

Student,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,Osteopathic Faculty,
Professionalism,Systems-Based Practice & Improvement,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,
Independent Study,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

Anirudh Udutha, MD; Susan Goldsmith, MD; Sarah Dotters-Katz, MD, MMHPE

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