How the SSO Match Works

The process of securing a fellowship position includes applying to programs, interviewing, and participating in the match.

Application Process

Applicants must apply to all Surgical Society of Oncology (SSO) approved breast oncology training programs via the SSO Online Match System. Please follow the steps below to complete the application process:

  1. Review required documents and application instruction information
  2. Create an account via the SSO Online Match System link
  3. Pay application fee (fee must be paid for application to open)
  4. Complete and submit application

Applicants are required to submit their application to be considered for the SSO Breast Oncology match. Applicants who fail to submit their application will not be included in the matching process, no exceptions will be made.

Interview Process

All SSO approved breast oncology training programs conduct applicant interviews on the identified interview calendar dates. Programs will contact applicants they would like to invite for interview. The SSO requires applicants and programs to provide complete, timely, and accurate information during the application, interview, and matching processes. All interview associated costs are financed at the applicants expense.

Interview Calendar

  • 2018 Match Interview Calendar click here for applicants who are applying for fellowship training programs that will start in 2019.
  • 2019 Match Interview Calendar – Available after January 1, 2019 for applicants who are applying for fellowship training programs that will start in 2020.

Applicant Rank List Submission

All applicants must submit a rank list by the deadline listed in the chart below via the SSO Online Match System. Applicants who fail to submit their rank list, will not be included in the ranking process and will be listed as “unmatched”.

If you wish to withdraw from the match, you must email the SSO Training and Education department at before the Rank List Deadline for the current match year.

The Match

At 3 p.m. CT on Match Day the match result will be email to all matched programs, matched applicants, and unmatched applicants. The programs with open positions will contact unmatched applicants directly to fill positions. Unmatched applicants should refrain from contacting programs.

The Matching Algorithm

SSO uses an algorithm to place applicants into fellowship positions. The algorithm is based upon the applicant preference, meaning the preferences expressed on the rank order submitted by the applicant drives placement into fellowship positions.

The process begins with the attempt to match an applicant to the program which is most preferred on that applicants rank order list. If the applicant cannot be matched to that first-choice program (is not ranked by that program), then an attempt is made to place the applicant into their second-choice program, and so on. At this point, a tentative match is made unless all the applicant’s choices on their rank list have been exhausted. At first, all matches are tentative. As programs receive more requests, the program will retain only those applicants they consider most preferred by that program’s rank list. If an applicant is removed from a tentative match, an attempt is made to re-match that applicant starting from the top of that applicants rank list.

The outcome is pre-determined by the rank lists of programs and applicants, and are the only true determinants of a match outcome. At no point can this outcome be modified by a judgment or bias on the part of the intermediary, nor is there any element of chance.

Match Tips for Applicant Rank Lists

Applicants should rank, in sequence, those programs that represent their true preferences, not how the applicant thinks a program will rank.
Factors to consider in determining the number of programs to rank include the competitiveness of the specialty, the competition for the specific programs being ranked, and the qualifications that the applicant offers.

Applicants should rank all acceptable programs, i.e., programs in which he or she is willing to undertake fellowship training. Conversely, if an applicant finds certain programs unacceptable and is not interested in accepting offers from these programs, these program(s) should not be ranked.

The Society of Surgical Oncology’s Breast Fellowship Match application requires all applicants to acknowledge that all match commitments are binding and that the ranking of applicants by program director and the ranking of programs by an applicant establishes a binding commitment to offer or to accept an appointment if a match results. The Breast Match Program Violation Policy can be reviewed online by clicking here.

Match Tips for Program Rank Lists

Do not rank any applicants you are not willing to train. Listing an applicant on your submitted rank list establishes a binding commitment to train them if a match results.

Programs should rank, in sequence, those applicants that represent their true preferences, not how the program thinks an applicant will rank.

Programs are under no obligation to rank all applicants who have applied to their program. 

Important Resources


Please contact the SSO Education Department at 847-427-1400 or for assistance.