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.
In words: HMS and Stanford’s matches are restricted to the coasts. Yale is as well but heavily biased towards the east/northeast. The two midwest schools were distributed differently: Pritzker leans more towards the midwest, while WashU fields more students to east/northeast programs. Vandy was as southern as any of these six schools, but, ignoring home matches, its students were more likely to go to the east/northeast.
HMS has the highest rate of home matching, definitely attributable to it having several big affiliated clinical sites. Nobody wants to stay at Yale. The rest of the schools had inbreeding rates in the one-fourth to one-third range, typical for most schools.