Episode 42: Pritzker Revisit

One of the student revisit coordinators joins Camie and Ben to discuss the upcoming revisit weekend here at Pritzker. We discuss the schedule, what to expect, and some other frequently-asked questions.

If you have questions for us, please send them to pritzkerquestions@gmail.com. Or, call (773) 336-2POD and leave us a message.

[Music: “The Area” used with permission from Eliot Lipp. “Shiggidy” used with permission from Greg Spero and GMG.]

Episode 42 Transcript

Ben Ferguson: Hello everybody, welcome to another episode of the Pritzker Podcast. This is Ben. Again, this is Episode 42 and actually, today we’ll be talking about the upcoming Pritzker Revisit for accepted students to allow them to get a second look at the Pritzker campus and Pritzker as a school. So I’m here with Camie Petri. How’s it going Camie?

Camie Petri: It’s good. Hi, everyone.

BF: Welcome back to the podcast. You were on a few episodes again, I guess.

CP: Yeah, a couple of months ago I came on to say hi.

BF: Awesome. And we’re also here with Eric Wagner who is a fourth year and he’s actually running or he’s, I guess, co-running the Pritzker Revisit weekend. So, hey, Eric.

Eric Wagner: Hi, how’s it going there?

BF: Good. Eric, can you briefly just introduce yourself, tell folks where you’re from and your background before you got to Pritzker?

EW: Yeah, so I’m originally from three states: Texas, Colorado, and California. I went to school out at UC Davis for my undergraduate. I took a year off for international work in Costa Rica and Nicaragua before coming into medical school. And then once coming to Pritzker, I’ve been involved with multiple activities including coordinating some of our free clinics and community service and outreach organizations, involved in some international opportunities as well as receiving a fellowship to pursue a year of research after my third year of medical school. This is the second year I’ve been on the admissions committee and I’m working with Jasmine, who you guys will all meet, to organize this amazing thing.

BF: Right. And you guys are kind of coordinating a huge bunch of first and second year students as well to kind of coordinate the different areas of the revisit.

EW: Yeah, exactly.

BF: Eric, you’re a fourth year, what are you going to be going into?

EW: I’m going into orthopaedic surgery.

BF: Awesome. And you’ve got your match list already set and stuff.

EW: Yes, if I sent them and now it’s in the hands of the computers.

BF: Yeah, exactly. Alright, well, I have–I’ll do my best Ira Glass impression–I have the physical schedule in front of me, so I was wondering if we could just talk about the weekend in itself with you, Eric. The first day basically is devoted to taking a tour of the campus, kind of getting your bearings, meeting with faculty and stuff like that. Is that kind of a general gist for the first day?

EW: Yeah, the first day, everybody will finish off whenever they can in the morning and as they show up, we are going to tour them–they’re going to be assigned to different tours with first and fourth year medical students to tour the campus, get familiar with the area, and then they will meet with a medical student and they will treat you to a beverage of choice at one of the local coffee houses and kind of meet in a group and answering any immediate questions if they can and just kind of get them familiar and acquainted with everything before the formal proceedings start in early afternoon.

CP: So, Eric, when should people arrive on campus?

EW: People should arrive anytime before–anytime basically between 9 and 12 o’clock on the first day. So it’s–depending on their flight arrangements, with their housing arrangements, living arrangements, if they like to stay the night before, Thursday evening, we can start to talk to the host or if you’d like to fly in Friday morning then ideally they’d get here sometime before lunch time, so they really could go see the campus, kind of get to know some of the students before they’re sat down and talked to by Dr. Humphrey and Sylvia Robertson.

BF: Can you talk more about how people will go about finding student hosts to stay with? Is there some website or…

EW: Yeah, good question, so there is a website that we have set up, the Pritzker revisit website. On that website most of your questions should be answered. There’s also a blog at that site. If you have any questions please post them on the blog. The purpose of this blog is to enable you will be able to ask any Pritzker coordinator. On the revisit website there’s an RSVP link they can click to 1) to let us know that they are coming and then 2) to let us know if they will use housing accommodation. And if they do, our hosting coordinators will get back to them, their names are Ashley and Hannah, they go back to them as soon as possible about potentially staying for two or three days with different medical students.

BF: OK, so that would be at the longest, Thursday night, Friday night and then Saturday night after it’s done.

EW: Yeah, exactly. The longest they could stay is Saturday night, or they could have two days, it’s kind of up to the student.

BF: Right. OK, and then Friday night they kind of have like a reception type of thing with faculty and then dinner at some place in campus?

EW: Yes, at 3:35 there’s a faculty reception. We’re inviting in a lot of the people from every specialty—from surgical specialties to medical specialties and everything in between—to come and have an informal cocktail reception. And then shortly after the reception, they will meet with their either host or their buddies if are not actually staying with a host. And their hosts and buddies will sort of arrange for them to go to a local restaurant. One of the restaurants just on the edge of the campus is called Seven Ten. At this restaurant, it is kind of a place for us to… we’ll have food and drinks available as well as kind of a chance to bowl and play pool and just get to know a lot of the medical students that are helping out to organize this weekend.

BF: OK. OK, so that’s Friday and there may or may not be an informal party with the first years which we may or may not be given more information about as that comes up.

EW: We may or may not at Seven Ten, unofficially, of course.

BF: Yes, of course.

EW: But yes, and then I know a question is always about dress and this is basically casual dress. They don’t expect them to be in their suits, no ties, nothing too fancy. The place we’re going to is a sports bar, so I mean, you can kind of imagine what the dress will be with your friends so you guys can use your imagination but please no suits.

BF: Yup, no suits, no ties but also no like flip flops and shorts and stuff like that probably too.

EW: Yes, no flip flops and shorts, you can use your discretion. Yeah, I guess, neither end. I think somewhere in the middle of that is a good strategy.

BF: Yeah.

CP: Does it matter what you’re wearing on Saturday, then?

EW: So, on Saturday, you’ll be going through–you’re having a couple of initial meetings, they’ll teach you about the financial transition as well as you will be having a variety of different presentations. So, you know, at night, we’re going to a little bit nicer restaurant Saturday night. The dress, you might–if you’re to bring a nice outfit then you might want to bring a little bit of a nicer outfit just because the restaurant is a nicer sort of an Italian restaurant downtown. And if you are going to dress up, that would be the occasion to dress up. However, once again, I mean, we’re not requiring anybody to–we really–we don’t want anybody to wear suits or ties. I mean, something like a business-casual outfit would be perfect.

BF: OK. So let’s talk about the agenda on Saturday then. It seems like more of an introduction to students and more like features of Pritzker, is that right?

EW: Yes.

BF: Yes, so there’s a–

EW: So, yeah, it’s an introduction to Pritzker and the financial transition that they will be facing going to medical school. Then they will have panels which are student-run panels, sessions that will vary from everything from PowerPoint presentations to panels. There should be five in the morning, five in the afternoon that they can choose from. And what they’ll basically do is they’ll choose three of the 30-minute presentation panels that they want to go through. So whatever interests them. So it’s going to range from everything from the research opportunities to housing opportunities to–there’s a discussion about the different tracks available, the scholarship and several tracks available at Pritzker to everything in between. So pretty much–and hopefully will cover all the sort of every individual interests. As well as in the afternoon, there is–one of the sections is a tour of the children’s hospital as well as the center for advanced medicine because most interview days they didn’t get to go to some of those places. So it’s sort of like if you want to get out and stretch their legs a little bit, they can go on these tours.

BF: OK, and then after–

EW: Either run by first and second years with the fourth year and emphasizing helping them out and they’ll be mostly all students at these panels. So there, you know, it should be a very relaxed kind of open environment for the students to ask questions and get anything that they want answered.

BF: Right. OK, and then there’s–after the panels there’s a talent show? Is that going on?

EW: Yeah, that’s supposed to be–first years and fourth years who are from the home classes, in the process of organizing a talent show for this revisit weekend. So we’re going to have a couple of acts from both classes and showcasing some talents, some sort of comedy sketches and kind of everything in between. So it’s really pretty fun, pretty relaxed hour and it’s kind of a nice transition to kind of get away from the nuts and bolts of medical school and that shows how much fun we actually do have at Pritzker. That’s one of those perks of Pritzker is the students really get along, they really love each other’s company, they can have all the fun.

BF: OK. And then, let’s see, after the talent show they basically go on a bus tour of Hyde Park. It looks like kind of an early evening. And then they make their way up to the Magnificent Mile to dinner some place.

EW: Yes, we’ll take them on a bus tour which kind of gives them a chance to talk to some of their other revisitors as well talk to the medical students that will be helping them and then we move up to Magnificent Mile, we’ll be stopping at a couple of parks that make Chicago famous, getting people chances to take pictures and get to see some of the icons, I guess, of Chicago as well. And then we will–the bus will drop us off at dinner and then at dinner, we’ll have–you know, have the opportunity once again to hang out with different student that has been involved in the weekend and ask them questions. There’ll be some members of the admissions committee as well as the faculty there to kind of answering more questions that they have. Dean Humphrey and Dean Robertson will give them a presentation. And then once the dinner concludes, we’ll have a–so at the end of the dinner sort of–weekend is officially over. Unofficially, there is a chance that we might have more to do since we will be taking them to uptown Chicago.

BF: Wow, hypothetically of course.

EW: Hypothetically, of course.

BF: Yeah.

CP: Eric, are revisitors going to have to pay for any of the food over the course of the weekend?

EW: No, they don’t have to bring any money. The only money would have to bring is if they would like to buy half off beverages at Seven Ten or maybe if they do any unofficial visits, unofficial events. They don’t have to really bring any money. We’ll serve them breakfast, lunch and dinner both Friday and Saturday. Hopefully, that will take care of all of their meal needs.

BF: Yup. And then other assorted beverages are kind of on their own.

EW: Yes. We have non-alcoholic beverages throughout out the weekend at their expense, with exceptions of wine at the dinner, all the beverages will be at their own expense.

BF: Got it. I think one big question that has come up at least to me is that it seems like the weekend coincides with revisit weekends at the couple of other medical schools. And people have tried to resolve going to, not just one or the other but try to make it to parts of both. Do you see that as being feasible or what would you recommend for those people?

EW: Yeah, I know, definitely. I figured there are some conflicts with the other medical schools. I think it’s totally feasible to go to a little bit of both. I mean, if they want to come on Friday then leave on Friday evening to go to another revisit or if they’d like to come from another revisit and they come in the morning, that’s… honestly, most of the questions can be answered. If they have more questions, I mean, feel free to ask at any time, to take one of us aside or talk to any of the medical students that are running around. Ask them any questions. But I think, ultimately at the end of the day they will get a feel of the really amazing culture, the atmosphere that’s relaxed and fun that really represents Pritzker and all of its fabulous medical students. I mean, I would encourage them to at least make it for a day if they can’t make it for both.

BF: OK. Let’s see, what was my other question?

CP: The student life or logistics or suitcase stuff.

EW: So logistics, with regards to the accommodation, the host will be in charge of seeing them to and from the event in the morning as well in the evening so hopefully that will be, you know, once they get in front of the host they should get in contact with their host and sort of arrange those–and of course, and like I said, if they have any questions please feel free, to either contact us via email us or go onto blog that we have set up and post any questions they may have on the blog.

BF: Yup, we actually pulled out that blog, it’s revisitpritzker.blogspot.com and then I guess you can also, for the listeners of the podcast, you can also get information at pritzker.uchicago.edu/admissions/revisit. Eric, are you guys going to be sending information out to the accepted students, too or should they just visit those websites?

EW: I encourage them to visit the website. We will be in contact with them throughout. We’ll probably send them a couple of emails between now and the time that they actually come as well as the people in charge of the hosting, as well as their hosts. So they should receive contacts from us. I encourage them come to this website, explore around each questions that they may have previously is posted in the blog or ask us directly. You can ask a certain of question they will probably turn out to an entire list of people and everybody knows the answer.

BF: Yup, OK. Thanks Eric. Hopefully this helps for people who are trying to figure out what to expect from the revisit.

EW: Yeah, I want to encourage them this weekend is going to be a really–and I want to emphasize it, this weekend is going to be a really relaxed, really fun, there’s no pressure to talk. It will be a chance for them to come and get to know other culture and lay back and just kind of get to know some of the students and really see if we are a good fit for them.

BF: Yeah, well, and they get to meet you and Jasmine and Camie and me, too. So I think that’s probably reason enough to come.

EW: Exactly, we’re here for whatever you need.

BF: Yeah. Alright, thanks very much, Eric.

EW: Thank you guys very much.

BF: Take care.

Posted on March 11, 2011 to: