Second look?

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by SaintFrances, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. SaintFrances

    SaintFrances Senior Member
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    Does anyone go on "second looks" for Anesthesiology residencies? If so, then it is always initiated by the applicant or do some programs do the inviting? Any opinions on doing a second look and if so - how to go about initiating this?
     
  2. Pilot Doc

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    I've never heard of a program initiating a second look

    Second looks are a waste of time and money borne out of the belief that you can turn a rank list into something other than the crapshoot that it really is.

    Truth #1 - You can never really know enough about a program to make an informed choice.

    Truth #2 - Even if #1 is untrue, it doesn't matter because programs change and you probably don't know what you want/need anyway
     
  3. RickKane

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    A "second look" is definitely not necessary and at best may only marginally improve your standing with a program if things go well. It shows a genuine interest on your part but it gives you one more chance to rub someone the wrong way as well. I personally think you should only do one if you are really struggling with the decision of who to rank #1. I went on one last year. It went well but I ended up ranking them #2. I have never heard of a program specifically inviting an applicant back. You may hear a blanket statement like "we would be happy to have you back if you are interested in a second look" etc. Another piece of advice, if you would really like to see a program again, do so with a specific purpose. For example ask them if you could spend some time in OR or attend a grand rounds. If you come back without a plan you will just be in the way and will likely be more of a nuisance.
     
  4. Buckeye Anes

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    You won't move down anyones list if you don't go for a second look but if you were considered marginal after the interview or there was some question about how interested you are it can help you move up the list. Although I agree it would not be a giant leap up the list by any means. I always recommend sending a note or e-mail to the programs you really liked at the end of the interview trail to let them know they are still at the top of your list.
     
  5. bigdan

    bigdan SDN Donor
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    My impression is that second looks may actually help in the not-super-popular areas, where program directors are really looking to rank people that WANT to be there; it may go further to show up a second time in a small city in upstate NY than to do so in Manhattan.

    I think about the med school rotations that I was SUPPOSED TO BE THERE, and I was clearly in the way; I can only imagine what it's like to set up a day for a student that is not insured, has no ID, knows no one, and has no idea where he's going...prolly not fun for anyone.

    dc
     
  6. Pilot Doc

    Pilot Doc SDN Angel
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    It might also help you move down.
     
  7. DET0897

    DET0897 DET
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    I agree. To be honest, I've always looked at the students coming back for second looks as desperate rather than dedicated.
     
  8. Southpaw

    Southpaw ASA Member
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    You and Pilot are going to need to explain this one. So Program X is interested enough to invite Applicant Y to an interview. Yet that applicant all of the sudden becomes desperate if they're interested enough to want to come back to see a "day in the life", show their spouse/significant other around the town, meet with a realtor to look at potential buying opportunities, discuss job opportunities for the spouse/significant other? I completely disagree.

    I don't believe an applicant should move up the rank list for taking a second look, but unless they come across like a complete tool during the second look I can't fathom them moving down. There are many reasons why I can imagine people take second looks, the least of which should be to hang out with a resident for half a day.

    If you didn't see enough of the location/program during your one day interview, and your spouse was working and couldn't come with you, then take a second look. They offer them for a reason. I've had several interviewers at different programs tell me to come back for a second look at the end of the interview season if I was still strongly considering their program.
     
  9. Southpaw

    Southpaw ASA Member
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    Do people really go to second looks to provide patient care? If I decide to go on a second look, I sincerely hope the resident I'm with doesn't expect me to step up and provide the anesthetic for the patient from the point we take them from pre-op to PACU. I can't imagine much liability in shadowing someone for half a day, which I would hope is what happens during a second look. Do people who go to these really expect to be the one providing the care, and therefore putting themselves at a liability?
     
  10. Southpaw

    Southpaw ASA Member
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    I think there is a misperception here, atleast in my mind, regarding second looks. Granted, I'm still interviewing so I'm not at the point in the decision making process to decide on a second look. I never perceived this as something to use as a tool to move up a program's rank list. Rather, I've perceived this is something the program offers if you're strongly considering them, yet you missed something during your interview experience. That something could involve you needing to see more of the location, or your spouse/significant other needing to see the location/housing opportunities/job opportunities/etc. This is what I've gathered from programs who've told me to come back for a second look if I'm strongly considering them at the end of the season.

    Again, I'm sure people in this specialty and others take this opportunity and abuse it in an effort to move up a rank list. I'm sure, over the years, programs have caught on to this and therefore second looks mean little in their eyes. I guess my advice would be that if you're looking at this as something you can use to move up a rank list, then don't waste the time and money. But if you're considering a program that will involve a move to a different region of the country, and you have a significant other that will be coming with you, then I can definitely see the benefit of a second look.
     
  11. Arch Guillotti

    Arch Guillotti Senior Member
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    I can remeber a few programs explicitly stating that a second look made absolutely no difference in where you fell in the rank list, that it should be purely for you to see what a program is like when the "guard" might not be up so high.
     
  12. bigdan

    bigdan SDN Donor
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    No fella. I didn't mean it that way...I was just saying if med students can be a pain in the ass to deal with when we're supposed to be there, I believe we'd be even more of an annoyance when we're not supposed to be there.

    dc
     
  13. DET0897

    DET0897 DET
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    Programs have a certain number of spots, and interview some multiple of that number of applicants to fill those spots. Some of those applicants who interview are "tools", hence the multiple. Seems like its the tools during the first interview that are the ones coming back for second looks.

    You present several good points why a second look at a program may be warranted. Some of those can be done with a phone call/email. Some are good reasons to go back to the program's area to look around with your spouse. The PD may even ask you to stop in and talk since you are in town. Why not just do that rather than waste a 1/2 day shadowing a resident who thinks you are a tool.

    Please don't mistake my opinion as advice. I would never tell a specific individual not to take a second look if thats what they wanted to do. Just like I wouldn't tell anybody not to apply to 100 programs or go on 40 interviews. You do whatever you think is appropriate in determining the best place for you. It's an important decision.
     
  14. SaintFrances

    SaintFrances Senior Member
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    I appreciate this quote and often refer back to it as I am considering scheduling "second looks." I am spending so much time deciding between my top choices for ranking and thus feel a second look might somehow aid me in choosing. However, I would feel pretty stupid if I spend a bunch of money flying myself and spouse back around to the top 2-3 places we are considering only to find out on match day that I blew right through my top choices and matched at #5. Even though it is statistically important to seriously consider what to rank as #1 - it is also probably nearly as important to seriously consider who is #5 or #6. And if that is the case - it then seems reasonable to do second looks at every program. Since that is impossible, I will probably not do ANY second looks. Unless you are an extremely competitive applicant and are confident that wherever you rank as your #1 will also rank you just as highly, second looks do seem much like a crap shoot.
     
  15. lushmd

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    I would stick with the fairly standard advice to only consider going on a second look if it will affect your rank list, not with the intent of influencing the residency program's list. Having said that, i agree that its largely a waste of time for all involved.
     
  16. Frank Rizzo

    Frank Rizzo Member
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    as the chief resident at my program, I can tell you that at my program, a second look will not affect the applicants position on the rank list. It is purely a tool to be used by the applicant to see what a 'normal day' is really like in the OR and to answer any questions about the program for them. Basically we pair you up with on of the CA-1's and let you observe for the day. Can't touch the patient, can't even put monitors on. Pretty boring actually.
     
  17. coprolalia

    coprolalia Bored Certified
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    YES!

    The "second look" is a high-risk, low-yield procedure. Avoid it at all costs.

    -copro
     
  18. cchoukal

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    I have a friend in gen surg who really liked a program and was told, "Of the 6 people we matched last year, 5 did second-looks. YOU do the math," but I don't think this is necessary or advisable in anesthesiology programs.

    I think in general, we aren't into *****-kissers, and that's sometimes how this looks. If you REALLY don't know whom to rank 1 or 2, you can always email the PD and ask for residents who wouldn't mind talking to you and telling you whatever you'd want to know (as if some new piece of objective data would really put your mind at ease).

    If you and your spouse really don't know about the city/region, that could also be arranged without potentially raising your tool-factor.

    And if you REALLY are just trying to show that you're uniquely interested in a particular program in the completely misguided hope that your interest will move you up the rank list, the standard thank-you note or email to the PD will suffice. You can even add "and really, I'm not just saying that" to the end of your note to provide emphasis and genuineness.

    Our PD tells people not to do 2nd looks unless there is truly something specific you think you need to see (again) in order to make up your mind.
     
  19. cchoukal

    cchoukal Senior Member
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    I have to add, and I just can't emphasize this enough, that, to me, it's absolutely crazy to think that a program is going to move someone up the rank list just because a given applicant appears more interested. The program wants who the program wants. Granted, I'm not a program director, but it just seems folly or hubris to me to think that the adcom at a residency program would really be swayed by this.

    If you're a marginal candidate who's really interested in my program, you're going to rank me #1. If I think your app puts you at #50, and all the better candidates chose other places ahead of me, it's not like I'm risking losing you by not ranking you higher. It's a losing proposition, in my opnion. Bumping you up merely because you're interested just puts you ahead of other, more qualified applicants, some of whom would've matched at my program ahead of you.
     
  20. Nuriko

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    I did a second look. Why?

    1. The program I was interested is in my hometown. Re-visiting would not have required any extra money or time.

    2. It was a program that I was truly interested in, but was very disappointed by its presentation on interview day. As such, I wanted to give it another chance, rather than looking at them to give me another chance.

    I shadowed a resident for half a day, and we got along just fine. If he thought I was a tool, it certainly didnt come off, and I couldn't see why he would have any reason to hide that fact from me, being a lowly medical student applicant and all.

    Besides, we are front loaded with information at every interview we go to. Every interview's information starts to merge, and I have trouble remembering what was where anymore. Taking a 2nd look can be very helpful and informative. Sure, you run the risk of pissing off the wrong person, but like someone else said, unless you act like a complete tool, I hardly see this moving you down the rank list.
     
  21. Nuriko

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    Duplicate. The first post wasnt showing up for some reason.
     
    #21 Nuriko, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008

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