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Scramble Experience and Suggestions For Do It Yourselvers

This procedure has become obsolete with introduction of the new Post Match Scramble system - Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) . There will be no do-it-yourself information for this year's batch of scramblers, sorry. We will post best practices once this year's scramble is over.

We have new up to date SOAP Post Match Scramble Information at our main page SOAP Postmatch

Five years ago we helped our first IMG FP residency applicant during the post match days. We learned a couple of things that could be beneficial for others.

Some updates to the original write-up:

1. is not a good idea anymore as after I published this write-up (2002), they got overwhelmed with a load scramble applicants and could not handle the load on the critical day. In 2005 they even added a text something like "if you are a scramble applicant, please do not expect your fax..."

2. Time has changed 9AM CST has become 11AM CST. Monday has become Tuesday.

3. NRMP has beefed up their infrastructure and now it is working very well in terms not generating "site unavailable" pages. Good job, NRMP!

Time is of essence! Most of the post match positions get filled by 3 PM the post match day!

Plan of The Game

1. Have the following equipment available:
two or even better, three phone lines, cell phones will do fax machine; computer with high speed internet connection a couple of friends who will help you to call the programs frozen lunches or a friend ready to bring some from the nearest McDonald's

2. Get the unmatched programs list

3. Call, e-mail and Fax your application as fast as you can, so you are ahead of others

What you should expect on that day

1. Monday from about 9 AM CST every future resident in the country is trying to log on to the NRMP®. Needless to add - most of them are unsuccessful. The closer it gets to 11 AM, the less chances one has to get there. The web site just cannot handle the load. That's where having a fast internet connection, more than one computer and a couple of friends trying to log on, pays off big time.

2. After logging on, you still are three clicks away from downloading a list of unmatched programs. Each click you will have to repeat from 10 to 100 times because everybody else is doing that. What you will see is a "Site is unavailable" page after some time out. Our advice - do not give up and start over, use browser "Refresh" to get thru.

3. After getting the list, you have to filter out the information you need: specialty and geographic location. Now you need to compile a list of phone numbers, e-mails and faxes of the programs you want to apply to.

4. You log on to ERAS® and apply for up to 30 programs you are interested the most.

5. One of your helpers faxes your application to ALL programs in ALL specialties you consider. I recommend using some fax service like . You can pre-load your documents in advance. The most important thing - they have lots of phone lines and fax machines trying to deliver your faxes simultaneously. Their service is $.06 per page and it's worth it!

6. Another helper of yours e-mails your application to the programs.

7. You and all other helpers available call the programs.

8. You get a spot if everything went OK!

Everything listed above should be of some help for you just by itself. If you need professional help getting your information before or after the match to as many programs as possible, please see the "Before the match" and "Post Match" pages.

You may also consider Residency Place, which lets you prepare your application web page at no charge: You can use this page in your Scramble process.

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