Sep 7, 2010
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It seems like many of the programs I am interviewing at are telling me that I should come and visit their program. Whether it was during the interview itself or by mailing me something and telling me that I should come back and take another visit.

Are these second visits important? I just can't see what else I can learn from the program by going again. But I don't want to kill my chances with these programs by not going. Just want some opinions about this
 
Aug 30, 2010
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4th year med student here. i can't speak from their side. not sure how they view this. from the applicant side though, it seems like we could get a better feel for their program. maybe by rounding with them, or whatever we do, we could see a more realistic view of a typical day in their program.
 
OP
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Sep 7, 2010
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Are you gonna be going to these second look visits? I just can't see how it will be any different from what the residents and attendings told me it will be like. The only way I will go is if it will be taken into account when doing their rank list.
 
Oct 27, 2010
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I did read over the chapter on interviewing in "First Aid for the Match" a few months ago and I remember it talking about these "second visits." It said that they may be helpful for an applicant in terms of assessing if they are a good fit for the school, etc. However, it said that it takes a lot of time/effort for the school to arrange tours, shadowing, etc for a return applicant and it said that it has no bearing on the rank list.

Granted, this info is not specific to surgery as a specialty.

I agree that it most likely won't give me any additional info and I am currently not planning on going to any.
 

braluk

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I might go to a second look or two if the places are in the area, if I am on the cusp of where to rank the place as it's also ranked similar to another program, and also if I don't have to go out of my way to see how the day is. Some places require you fill out all these forms, others tell you to e-mail them and to show up at so and so, with them providing you with scrubs and so forth to rotate through the day.
 

jacksonphonic

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As a PGY-4 resident, I highly recommend doing a second look. Here is why:

1. You actually get to see what day to day life is like for you as a resident there. Interviews are one thing, but seeing rounds, cases, consults, traumas etc can give you a good perspective on a program.

2. It lets the program know you are interested. We interview about 100 applicants for our 5 spots, so alot of people get lost in the shuffle. Those that do a second look are remembered by the residents and faculty.

Bottom line is that all residencies want people there who want to be there and truly like the program. If you like a program and want to really let them know, do a second look. I did one at my program and it cemented my decision in the program and my programs decisions in me.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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A second look is a luxury. If you have one program you really really want to go to, and it's not a huge inconvenience, it can only help. You would likely go up on their rank list for it. Not only that, I agree with jacksonphonic that you really would get a better idea about resident day-to-day life. The interview days are somewhat pretense.

That being said, I didn't do a single second look and most people I know did not either. It is not necessary but it would be icing on the cake. I dont' thin kti's worth the $ and time, however, to do more than one. It's your call.
 

ACSurgeon

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A second look is a luxury. If you have one program you really really want to go to, and it's not a huge inconvenience, it can only help. You would likely go up on their rank list for it. Not only that, I agree with jacksonphonic that you really would get a better idea about resident day-to-day life. The interview days are somewhat pretense.

That being said, I didn't do a single second look and most people I know did not either. It is not necessary but it would be icing on the cake. I dont' thin kti's worth the $ and time, however, to do more than one. It's your call.
Really? I was told a sub-I is a double edged sword. Do you think a second visit is different? My top two programs (as of now) happen to be in locations where I can do a second visit without any cost, and at times where I have a ton of free time. If it can really only help, then I'll plan on doing that. Thoughts?
 
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Winged Scapula

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I respectfully disagree (somewhat) with treehorsio.

While a second look may be helpful to the candidate, there are situations in which it might hurt you. If a program has a formal second look process, then its generally acceptable to go and shouldn't hurt you (outside of the applicant being a total tool).

The problem arises when a program doesn't have a formal/semi-formal second look process. We all know the work that goes into an interview day and there are some programs where significant work goes into "hiding" the bad stuff, the ill behaved residents, etc. A second look means more work to hide the dirty laundry.

Alternatively, even good programs find having a candidate coming for a second look stressful - think about it, when you have a party you expend a lot of energy cleaning up, preparing, etc. If someone you don't know well but want to impress comes over *sort of* uninvited (even if they say "sure come for a second look if you like" this is not a formal invitation), its stressful because you want to show off, but yet you have a lot of work to do. This can be irritating (and I've heard complaints about it [mostly from residents]) because it takes extra time to include the student in on rounds, do some teaching, polish things up, etc.

In addition, if you are somewhat socially awkward you may find that the second look gives you another opportunity to say something wrong, ill-timed or to generally embarass yourself.

Bottom line: second looks are for you, they might show interest but do not expect that they will move you the rank order list and treat them just as you would a real interview day. Be on your best behavior and remember that a casual visit by you should have an agenda (what are your goals, what do want to see, whom do you want to talk to).
 

SouthernSurgeon

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A second look is a luxury. If you have one program you really really want to go to, and it's not a huge inconvenience, it can only help. You would likely go up on their rank list for it. Not only that, I agree with jacksonphonic that you really would get a better idea about resident day-to-day life. The interview days are somewhat pretense.

That being said, I didn't do a single second look and most people I know did not either. It is not necessary but it would be icing on the cake. I dont' thin kti's worth the $ and time, however, to do more than one. It's your call.
Disagree with the bolded. It can certainly hurt. If you do go on these you need to be aware that this is essentially another interview; if you spend the whole day with the residents and they don't like you, you are basically toast at that program.

You also need to, as WS says, have a good sense for the program's opinion of second looks. Some programs actively discourage you from taking them, others view them as a mild nuisance, others encourage them.
 
OP
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Sep 7, 2010
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I am hoping it doesn't matter. I have 16 interviews I am going to, and the last thing I want to do at the moment is spend even more money on second look visits!! I just felt like some of the PDs during my interviews kept on pushing me to schedule one if I am interested in their program, so I didn't know if that meant that they won't rank me high if I didn't show that interest!!

I am going to take Winged Scapula's advice, and just take it as thats how PD are acting polite, and it doesn't hurt if I don't go to them!!
 

SLUser11

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Really? I was told a sub-I is a double edged sord. Do you think a second visit is different? My top two programs (as of now) happen to be in locations where I can do a second visit without any cost, and at times where I have a ton of free time. If it can really only help, then I'll plan on doing that. Thoughts?
Second looks are unlikely to improve your chances of matching. They are more useful for the applicant to get a closer look. It is difficult and almost impossible to get second looks at more than a couple spots outside your local geography, as money and time don't permit.

The vast majority of students matching into surgery have not done a second look at their matched institution, so it is definitely not necessary to match. I guess if an applicant is marginal, it can only help, but I doubt it would help much.

Also, the misspelling of sword above is driving me insane. I'm not sure why.
 

ACSurgeon

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Second looks are unlikely to improve your chances of matching. They are more useful for the applicant to get a closer look. It is difficult and almost impossible to get second looks at more than a couple spots outside your local geography, as money and time don't permit.

The vast majority of students matching into surgery have not done a second look at their matched institution, so it is definitely not necessary to match. I guess if an applicant is marginal, it can only help, but I doubt it would help much.

Also, the misspelling of sword above is driving me insane. I'm not sure why.
That's what I figured. Thanks!