While talking with some residents and faculty today, we started talking about the upcoming match. After a little bit of this we started wondering, what do students find impressive/ useful? How much does it affect your rankings? Apparently, in surgery with the applications down some nationwide (though not at our program), some of our students are getting a lot of phone calls/ e-mails/ letters, etc. We have also heard from them about fairly lavish meet and greets the night before, and one ummm..."party bus" event (from a program that I will leave unnamed, but is generally considered to be a pretty good place to train by all). So... do these things (bar nights, get togethers, letters, calls) matter to you? If so, how much stock do you put into them. We had generally "played by the rules" not sending any direct formal post-interview feedback (letters or calls), but now I wonder if students perceive that as disinterest and let it affect their rank list. Or the reverse, does hearing from them and having them on the phone give you just added stress of trying to decide what to say?