How Does the SAP Work?



  1. Background and Context
  2. Process for Program Directors
  3. Process for the Candidates
  4. Submitting Rank Lists
  5. First Choice Matching
  6. Offering Remaining Positions
  7. Real Time Updates to SAP Updates






  • Prior to the Standardized Acceptance Process (SAP), there was a lot of heterogeneity in timetables for interviews and offers across programs.
  • The purpose of the SAP is to allow both programs and candidates to have adequate time to complete the interviews before offers are made.
  • The SAP was first implemented in January of 2017. It was then implemented in January of 2018 when the first-choice match policy was introduced. 
  • The SAP policy is updated each year by the ACPM SAP Task Force based on program director and candidate feedback.  The Task Force is comprised of program directors and one resident.
  • Around ¾ of eligible GPM/PH residency programs participate in the SAP.



  • Information relevant to program directors is described here


  • Information relevant to candidates is described here 




  • Per SAP Policy, programs and the candidates are required to submit their lists on this website.
  • Candidates will register and submit rank lists between December 16th and January 10th.  These rank lists should name all programs to which the candidate is willing to matriculate (from most to least preferred).
  • Programs will submit their rank lists of candidates beginning January 13th and ending no later than 5:00 PM ET on January 16th.


5. FIRST CHOICE MATCHING (Tuesday January 21 11:00 AM ET - Wednesday January 22 11:00 AM ET)


  • Rank lists will be used to identify any mutual first-choice matches. ‘First choice’ candidates for a given program will be defined based on the number of slots a program is offering. For a program with three positions to offer, for example, the top three candidates will be considered first choice candidates. If any of these first choice candidates rank that program as #1, then ACPM will notify the programs by 11:00 AM ET on Tuesday January 21 and programs are allowed to immediately make an early offer to that/those candidate(s).
  • If a candidate accepts the offer, programs should notify ACPM of the acceptance of offer no later than 11:00 AM ET Wednesday January 22. Program making the offer should immediately notify ACPM by email at, cc’ing the candidate on the email. 
  • ALL OFFERS ARE MADE ONLY BY THE PROGRAMS. ACPM WILL NOT contact any candidates to notify them of their match or make any offers on behalf of the programs. 


 6. OFFERING REMAINING POSITIONS (Beginning Wednesday January 22nd Noon ET on wards) 


  • Programs may begin making offers to candidates who were not placed through the first-choice match on Wednesday January 22, 2019 at Noon ET.
  • Only one offer may be pending at any given time for each available residency position a program has. 
  • If a candidate fails to accept or decline an offer within 6 (six) hours of receipt, the program making the offer may (but is not required to) withdraw the offer and immediately offer the position to another candidate.
  • When an offer is accepted, the program making the offer should immediately notify ACPM by email at, cc’ing the candidate on the email.




  • The Program Directors’ Database will be accessible only by staff at participating programs.  The names of candidates who have accepted offers will be listed alongside the appropriate program name.  
  • The Candidates’ Database will list all participating programs and the number of unfilled spots each has.  No login is required for the Candidates’ Database.

Refer to the 
SAP policy for additional information regarding this process.

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