What I learned from Revisits

In general,

1. Revisit/second look weekends are like “prefrosh” weekend except with more alcohol and clubbing. Pack appropriately.

2. Don’t be that guy who wears a full suit and tie at the business casual dinner. But then again, don’t sweat the dress code too much – there will be a whole spectrum of fashion choices, particularly among guys.

3. Bring extra pants/shoes. It may rain (or flood like it did two weekends ago in St. Louis).

4. It may begin to feel a bit uncool if you admit you’re set on going to that school you’re visiting, since it feels like almost everyone else professes to be “unsure,” as if they have better choices regardless of whether that’s true.

5. Have a good time, but if you’re commuting from home to the med school for the revisit/second look weekend, don’t feel bad if you feel like you just want to go home at 11 instead of partying it up until 2am with your “new best friends.” College is not over yet for me and relationships in college are something I want to put effort into right now rather than prematurely yearning for the next 4 years when I’ll be stuck with these new kids.

6. There will be some awkward kids. There’s nothing you can do but (1) hope really hard that they make that difficult choice to go to another school or (2) admit that the class is probably big enough that you won’t have to see them much and (3) see it is an opportunity for your class to unite over your distaste for a few of its members. The latter phenomenon is sometimes very apparent in M1 classes.

7. Some schools throw much better revisits than others (better meaning more enjoyable or more informative). Schools have different styles: WashU partied a lot more than HMS for example, but WashU didn’t have enough panel sessions. Stanford apparently had too many panel sessions.)

8. TALK TO MS3’s or HIGHER. The first thing that comes out of their mouths is too often “MS1’s don’t know shit” or some variation thereof. Ask about hospitals, clinical years, Step 1, etc.

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Geographical distribution of 2012 match lists

The geographic diversity of a school’s match list indicates the extent to which the school enjoys a wide reputation and/or draws/places students from different areas of the country. One would not call a medical school ‘national’ if the vast majority of its graduates go to residency programs in its own state and the surrounding region.

I organized several 2012 match lists into geographical area. I limited the lists to only the PGY-2/categorical positions. I ignored non-match post-graduation plans, like a research post-doc, McKinsey, or residency abroad. A few judgment calls were made in order to fit everything into four geographical categories: Arizona and Kentucky were south, Utah and Colorado were west, Minnesota and Nebraska were midwest, Virginia was south but DC was east (aka northeast).

Since matching to one’s home institution confounds geographical influence so much, I took home matches (“inbreeding”) out of the denominator for the four geographical region calculations. The rate of inbreeding is the bottom row.

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