I don't know how the go, I have not done one yet. But, from the outset, I planned to return to my top 1 or 2 choices for a "second look" day. I have already requested them...will discover what they are about when I get there.
One of the things I hope to accomplish is to spend part of a day w/ a realtor scoping out homes to potentially purchase. As a married dude & expecting my first child in Feb -- a little girl! I now have more to consider in selecting programs than only the merits of the program. I want to be able to ensure that my daughter has a safe place to live and good schools to attend.
So, this will be one of the goals of my second visits.
OldManDave - did you request these 2nd looks, or were they offered and then you accepted? The program I am looking at said I could come there for an "unofficial" (meaning not something they really offer) 2nd look, but it wouldn't change my standing with them - it's just to help me get to know their program better. I don't think I will go since it's in the city i live in and I know it fairly well anyway.
You don't have to do one. It is an offer usually taken by those particularly interested in a program (or a couple of programs). It is a way for the program to do 2 things: 1) give you a chance to see things you couldn't possibly see in half a day on your interview, and 2) a way for you to show them you're very interested, like they're in your top 3, for example.
They were both offered at the time of the initial interviews & I am certain that the chance was offered to all candidates. In fact, probably 60% of the places I have interviewed has offered them. I don't think its anything remotely unique. I simply contacted these two places and asked to take them up their offers. Of my top 4 choices, I did an elective at one of them and these two's intervews were fairly early in the interview process. I only just recently interviewed at the 4th.
This is as much a refresher for my mind as it is to refresh their memory of me. As I mentioned elsewhere, I am not only seeking a top quality program in which to train, I am also seeking a nice place with good schools that is a safe place for my family to live. And, I want to be able to afford to buy a home on our collective salaries. So, my second looks will also entail a meeting with realtor.