Resident Match Process Policy and Guidelines
The Society of Academic Urologists (SAU) has a responsibility to its members and all medical student applicants to conduct a fair and unbiased SAU-AUA Urology Residency Match process. Our responsibility is to publish and ensure standards that encourage ethical behavior and professionalism. All participants should be fully informed about the SAU-AUA Match process and the codes of conduct for, during and after the Match. The goal of the SAU-AUA Match is to ensure, as much as possible, that the right applicant is matched with the right program in the most objective and impartial manner possible.
SAU-AUA Match Policy
- Programs and applicants will sign an annual attestation form in order to complete their SAU-AUA application for the Match.
- All vacancies in each program will be offered as part of the SAU-AUA Match.
- No offers, commitments or implications to “rank an applicant” will be made to applicants before or at any time during the SAU-AUA Match process.
- No offers will be made to an applicant by a participating program outside of the SAU-AUA Match until after the Match process is completed. The only time offers should be made outside of the SAU-AUA Match should occur after the Match, with unmatched applicants, in cases when a program does not match with the total complement requested.
- Programs agree to accept any applicant the program has submitted on their rank list
- Applicants agree to accept a residency placement with any program submitted on their rank list.
- Programs will not state, suggest or imply that visiting rotations or second-looks are required or have any impact on the applicant ranking order. The SAU strictly prohibits requiring visiting rotations or mandating or offering second looks. Required rotations or visits and mandated second looks for consideration by a program to match with that program are over-burdensome for many applicants, unfair to all applicants and not in line with the SAU-AUA Match process. Program directors and interviewing team members should appreciate and respect the logistical and financial burden applicants face in being pressured to have multiple, physical interactions with a program or imply that these measures are used in determining rank order on a Match list. Some medical students do not have the financial means to make a second visit, which may put them at a disadvantage with regard to other medical students. This policy is not intended to interfere with pre-existing mentor-mentee relationships. Communications between a mentor and mentee that began before the interview process started are excluded from this policy.
- Applicants may visit the city or hospital of a particular program after the interview process, but are not allowed to request or seek to request a second look with anyone in the program, including the chair, program director/administrator, faculty or residents/fellows in the program.
- On occasion, and for unforeseen circumstances (e.g., missing a plane or family problem), some applicants are unable to make interviews to which they have been previously invited by the program. In these cases, programs that are willing to accommodate individual applicants for a first-time interview outside of the program’s regular interview process, may allow individual applicants to interview. Such interviews should be granted based on exceptional circumstances and not as a means to expand the program’s applicant pool. These interviews should closely mimic the interview day experience created at the regular interview day.
- Programs agree that after the SAU-AUA Match no commitments will be made with an applicant matched to a different program unless there is transparency and mutual agreement between all parties including the applicant and both program directors.
SAU-AUA Match Code of Conduct for Programs and Applicants:
- Program directors accept responsibility of actions of the interviewing team members — Program directors must instruct their interviewing team members and their residents and fellows about compliance with SAU Match policies and the need to ensure that all applicants are treated in a safe, respectful and non-judgmental environment. As such, program directors shall take responsibility for the actions of the entire interview team.
- Program directors and interviewing team members will avoid asking applicants about private information or information that implicates a protected status — Program directors are responsible for instructing interviewing team members and all trainees about compliance with policies of protected status. Do not ask about the 4 Ps:
- Pregnancy (past, present or future)
- Preference (religious, sexual or political)
- Parental status (present or potential)
- Pre-existing conditions (disabilities)
- Program directors and interviewing team members will respect an applicant’s right to privacy and confidentiality — All members of a program, including chairs, program directors, interviewing faculty and trainees may express their interest in the applicant, but they should not ask the applicant to disclose the names, geographic locations, specialties, or other identifying information about programs to which they are applying, intend to or may apply.
- Program directors and interviewing team members will avoid post-interview communications — Program directors must instruct their interviewing team members they may not solicit or require post-interview communication from applicants, nor shall they engage in post-interview communication. This behavior may appear disingenuous or be seen as an attempt to influence an applicant’s Match rank list.
- Only urology applicants may initiate written contact regarding any follow-up questions they may have about a program. Responses to these questions should be submitted in writing only.
- Program directors and interviewing team members will not require thank you notes from applicants. However, applicants may write thank you notes.
- Post-interview, program-initiated communications with applicants are not allowed. This includes all verbal (e.g., telephone, speaking to an applicant at a meeting) and written (e.g., email, letters, postings) communications. In other words, neither the chair, program director, faculty nor resident/fellows may initiate contact with an applicant after the interview process has been concluded. These types of communications may be seen as an attempt to influence an applicant’s Match rank list.
- Medical students who completed an interview with the program immediately following their sub-internship (earlier than the formal interviews) may request in writing a follow-up interview. Programs which choose to host interviews immediately following the sub-internship, should post the process on their program’s website regarding how to request a follow-up interview by former sub-interns.
- Although thank you notes are not required, applicants may write post-interview thank you notes if they choose to do so.
- In order to meet the intent of this policy with regard to post-interview contact, Programs should not respond to thank you notes written by applicants.
Urology programs will open interview dates beginning 1 October of each academic year. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact each program of interest and to follow the program’s application and interview procedures. The applicant should be aware of each programs’ requirements, including all application deadlines.
Participation in Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®) is on an individual program basis. Check the ERAS® website for information and a list of programs participating.
Applicants should know they are under no obligation to reveal their program preferences to any program personnel and that no participating program director can make a binding offer other than through the SAU-AUA Match process. Both parties are free to change their intentions without prejudice up to the close of the applicant and program preference list phase. No changes by either program or applicant can be made after the preference list phase is closed.
Program Director’s Responsibility Regarding Couples in the Match:
The SAU-AUA Match process occurs prior to the National Residency Match Program (NRMP) process. As such, “couples matching” is not a process in which applicants participate. The following recommendations are made to encourage discussion between program directors and urology applicants who may have spouses or partners participating in the NRMP process:
Program directors are allowed and encouraged to:
- Meet with applicants who declare that they are “Couples in the Match” at some point during the interview process;
- Secure the name, AAMC ID # of the partner and the specialty to which the partner is applying;
- Inform all candidates that “couple’s matching” will not influence the program’s rank order;
- Speak with the applicant’s partner’s program director, as s/he sees appropriate;
- Remain supportive, making sure not to make any promises regarding how the partner will match with the other specialty
Preference List Requirements
Submission of Preference Lists
Preference lists must be submitted no later than early January* in order to participate in the SAU Match.
By accepting the online terms of agreement to the preference list, applicants make a formal, binding commitment to accept a position in any one of the programs they have listed. By accepting online terms of agreement to the preference list, program directors also make the results of the SAU-AUA Matching Program a formal binding contract.
Applicants are free to change preference(s) up to the time the preference list phase is closed, as are the program directors. Neither applicants nor program directors may ask for a commitment from the other outside the Match.
Changes to Preference Lists
Preference lists may be changed until early January each year*; and you may withdraw completely from the match up until this deadline.
After the preference list deadline in January of each year*, an applicant may not withdraw from the SAU-AUA Match and is morally and legally committed to accept a program to which s/he is matched.
All preference lists are considered confidential and their contents will not be divulged.
*Please check current year preference deadline date on the SAU website
Maximize Your Chances — Ways to Increase Your Chances in the Match
Previous years’ SAU-AUA Matches have demonstrated the need for applicants to include on their preference lists all of the programs in which, if accepted, they would agree to attend. Some applicants who did not match may have received offers from programs they decided not list. If the applicants had listed all acceptable programs in order of preference, some of the applicants might have matched during the initial Match process. The same holds true for programs. By listing all acceptable applicants, a program may protect itself.
The best match outcome occurs when all applicants and all programs to list all acceptable choices in order of preference, rather than in order of perceived chances of receiving offers or acceptances.
Match Violations Process
Policy and Procedure
In the event that an applicant or program registers a complaint through the SAU reporting system, the SAU will conduct an investigation according to the Match Violations Process and provide recommendations or sanctions if the rules of the SAU-AUA Match have been violated. Neither the American Board of Urology (ABU) nor the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) will assist in resolving such disputes but may be notified of confirmed Match violations.
Anyone with knowledge of Match violations should contact the SAU to report such violations at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Match Violations Form:
Match Violations Reporting Form
The SAU is dedicated to maintaining confidentiality for all reported Match Violations. Reporting may be done anonymously; however, this might impede the SAU’s ability to investigate any alleged violation.
SAU Match Violations Committee
The SAU Match Violations Committee is comprised of 3 active SAU program directors, each of whom rotate biennially (every other year) from the 8 AUA Sections. The committee members are selected by the SAU President. The SAU Match Violations Committee is chaired by the SAU Executive Secretary, a non-voting member of the Committee. The Committee members will act on behalf of the SAU to review evidence and analyze information to determine if a Match violation occurred. The majority of votes will create the basis of the violation. As such, a violation would be assessed by a peers of program directors since program directors are ultimately responsible for the actions of the entire recruitment team. The SAU will acknowledge a Match violation within 21 days of the receipt of reported violation. Following an investigation, a report will be written by the SAU Executive Secretary and provided to the SAU Executive Board within 30 days. The program will be notified of a Match Violations investigation by the SAU Executive Secretary within 45 days of the Committee convening.
No details of the potential Match Violation will be shared with the program during the investigation. The SAU Executive Secretary may contact the program if the Committee has questions regarding the investigation. At no time should the program contact the SAU regarding a Match Violations investigation.
The SAU Match Violation Final Report, written by the SAU Executive Secretary, will first be delivered to the SAU President and Executive Board for review. The SAU Executive Board will deliver the SAU Match Violation Final Report to program director, chair of the department and the DIO of the institution. Limited information will be communicated to the party who originally reported the violation in order to close the loop.
Disposition and Consequences
- First Violation — SAU may refer the concern to the AUA Board of Ethics, the ABU and Urology Review Committee of the Accreditation for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
- Second Violation — SAU may suspend any applicant or program from the SAU-AUA Match for one year following the ruling of violation based on credible evidence produced by the Match Violations Committee that the applicant or program violated the terms of the SAU-AUA Match Requirements & Guidelines.
- Violators of the SAU-AUA Match will be registered on the SAU and AUA websites.
Contractual Responsibilities of a Withdrawal or Change of Match Assignment
When an applicant and a program director agree to enter into the SAU-AUA Match process, they each assent to be bound by the results. As a consequence of this mutual assent, a contract is created and is enforceable by law.
If the applicant and the program director cannot agree on withdrawal or change of the Match assignment, such disagreement or violation of the residency contract may be referred to the SAU Executive Board. However, neither the SAU, nor the AUA, will have ultimate responsibility for dispute resolution, which must be undertaken between the resident and the institution to which s/he is contractually bound.
If any such issues cannot be resolved within thirty (30) days, by informal discussions through these mechanisms, then the applicant and program will consent to mediation selected by the SAU and agreed upon by both parties. Should mediation fail, the parties will submit their dispute to binding arbitration of all disputed matters pursuant to the rules of the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA). By virtue of this application, each party agrees finally to be bound to this process and by the final arbitration order, which will be enforceable in a court of law.
Safeguards for the SAU-AUA Match process:
There are three (3) safeguards present to ensure an accurate SAU-AUA Match:
- A validity check on identification numbers is made by the computer to eliminate any mis-codes.
- The AUA will check each list against the computer version of that list.
- The SAU-AUA Urology Residency Match Audit Committee audits a sample of the matches and verifies that:
- The program matched with any applicant was the highest offer on the applicant’s list.
- The applicant matched with a program was the highest ranked applicant on the program’s list that could accept the program’s offer.
- Unmatched programs and applicants really have no offers that are acceptable.