So far I've gotten 9 interviews, but since I declined to interview at New Jersey, Albany and Drexel (cost and timing of invites, I had 6 interviews that I attended with 4 being in the winter (Jan-Feb). Below are my thoughts on each interview day so if you are interviewing at any of these schools, enjoy and hopefully, these help!
Temple is in the heart of Philly and a great school. The area is very urban and sure you don't want to walk around by yourself at night but it is safe and a great clinical school with a fab clinical reputation. The interview day is very cool with a good tour and good info sessions. The interview there itself is very laid back and the people are genuinely interested in getting to know you. I stayed at the Conwell Inn, the hotel on Temple's main campus, and it was not that expensive and a NICE room/breakfast for the price. Temple was my first acceptance - I got it about a week after I interviewed. I have been holding the spot since November but I am going to give it up after recently being admitted to MCW and I would rather go there if Temple and MCW were my only 2 choices.
My interview at New York Medical College was also a great experience. The interview day was fun with some very enthusiastic people who were very nice. The anatomy lab is GORGEOUS and so well-circulated, you would think you were in any other room. No smell whatsoever! The students are very laid back and there is a real sense of community there. Valhalla itself is very suburban but really pretty/wooded and up against some mountains. Only a 30 min. train ride from Grand Central Station in the heart of NYC. I interviewed there on December 1st and then didn't even hear anything from them until mid-March (waitlist) so if you interview here and don't hear for a while, bug them if you are very interested in the school so you know what's going on.
MCW, my third interview, was nice. The school impressed me when I finally got to go and see it in person. The website is very informative and gives a good idea of the place but it was really great to get out to Wisconsin and see it myself. The students and administration were all very nice...in fact, EVERYONE in Wisconsin seemed very polite and happy to help out! It is a great school with awesome facilities and hospitals and Milwaukee has a lot to offer. The interview day is very laid-back and highly organized and staying with a student host was wonderful! MCW was my second acceptance - I found out on 1/19/06, almost 2 weeks after my interview. There fin. aid is a little intense, requiring a credit report among other things, but the school is great. Don't judge it because of its location if you are from a coast like me - it's a great school and the students there are very happy to be there.
UC Davis, my 4th interview, was a really good experience. The asst. dean on admissions, Dr. Bera, is a really laid-back guy and he's really nice - I interviewed with him later in the day. The entire med school campus is moving to Sacramento and the facilities will be brand new for next year. The hospital is excellent and during the tour, we got to see a lot of it which was really neat. The students there are really happy to be there and there is a TON of flexibility in your 4 years as far as free time, as far as marriage and kids are concerned, which is a key thing for me since I want all of those things soon! Sending in an update letter probably wouldn't hurt if you really want to go there and haven't heard from them post-secondary. They took a long time (~6 weeks) to tell me I was on hold which isn't even a real decision so don't give up if this is your top choice, they are just being a UC and dragging their feet.
UChicago, my 5th interview, was AWESOME and by far the best of all. That school definitely deserves all of its fabulous press....the administration, faculty and students are amazing and so genuine. They really care about you there and really pour themselves into your application to find out who you really are as a person. The group of people I interviewed with was the best group yet - I could totally see myself being classmates with all of them and having so much fun. The day went by so fast because it was FUN to be there and to be part of it all. This was the one school where I felt like I really made a good move from the moment I landed at Midway. Chicago is a great city and I just can't say enough about the school! It's perfect! If you get an interview here, GO TO IT!
My last interview at Tufts was ok. I really wasn't impressed with the school because it seemed like everyone, even the other applicants, were very reserved and only interested in specific things. They didn't really seem like a very 'open' group of people. I'm sure it is a great school if you fit there but I knew I wouldn't fit very early on during the interview day....most of the people there were from the east coast and seemed very uppity and one of my interviewers was not very friendly at all, even suggesting that I really think of a back up plan in case I didn't get into med school this year....only I already had 2 acceptances and was about to get the 3rd when I was in Boston! So yeah, it is CRAZY expensive and not that impressive but Boston was a fun city so if you love Boston and don't mind paying a gabiliion dollars a year, go for it :)
3/17: It's official! I've decided to attend the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. Even though I'm still on hold at UC Davis, I am realizing more and more that I really made more of a connection at Chicago and that I was only holding on to the prospect of Davis because it would be the easier choice - probably cheaper, easier to move to, easier for people to visit, etc. The price difference is the big thing but Pritzker's fin. aid is amazing and when I talked to some people at Davis about fin. aid, they said not to expect much besides loans. If I'm just taking out loans, and Pritzker is about giving grants and loans, why not just take the chance and say to heck with easy! I am looking for something new and exciting and Chicago is such a great school so even though Davis hasn't given me a final word, I am going to Chicago since I am pretty sure I would choose Chicago over Davis if I got into both. Yay! I'm really done with this whole process! Good luck to all of you still hanging in there and if you are going to Pritzker in the fall, I'll see you there!
4/6 & 4/11: I just got my financial aid packet from Pritzker today via e-mail and I am SO happy! I qualified for a scholarship that will be about 21,500 for the year so out of a 55,399 budget, that is FANTASTIC! I am soooo happy! For the people who asked, I had all of my financial aid forms (including tax returns for me and my mom and our W-2s) in by the March 1st priority deadline. Also, after looking through their guidebook to financial aid, I have determined that my awards were likely due to financial need and not merit since they said that most of their Pritzker Scholarship money goes to help out with need and I didn't get an early award which is more indicative of a merit award. So, in addition to the scholarship, I also qualified for the subsidized stafford, perkins and unsubsidized stafford to cover everything so I won't have to take out any more commerical loans like I did for undergrad. Yay! I love Pritzker!