Many months ago I sent in applications to two different medical schools to do a month-long visiting rotation at each (one for his month and next month). While both are prestigious schools, one is in California and one on the east coast ... and what a difference a coast makes.
The California school informed within a week that they scheduled me in to the block I wanted.
Snooty East Coast School didn't get back to me after one month, two months, or even four months. I sent countless emails and made many phone calls to their registrar's office, all of which yielded no response. I even had an old advisor of mine (who is faculty there) send personal emails to the clerkship director, which, again, was fruitless.
After another month I finally got in touch with their registrar ... who not only acted like she had no idea who I was (despite my 5+ voicemails), but who still didn't know if they could accomodate me. It turned out that she had been unable to get in touch with the clerkship director (or his secretary). She certainly didn't feel the same sense of urgency I did, as this month was quickly approaching and I still didn't know if I needed to buy a $500 cross-country plane ticket.
The week before my theoretical start date arrived I gave them one last call, only to get lip from the registrar herself, saying how she had no idea how to get in touch with the clerkship director and that he was probably on summer vacation for all she knew. I was shocked to hear her getting angry with me ... and then she had the f'ing nerve to shrug me off with a "you might have better luck in the spring"!
So I was stuck with an empty month-long block that I need to fill, simply because of a sketchy clerkship director who didn't realize that students' schedules are on the line.
Topping off this story, the California school just recently contacted me, asking if I had a preference as to what attending I would like to be on a team with. What love!
In other news: I went out with some people last night, including the friend from the previous post. This situation is getting a little torturous for me, since nothing can happen because it would set up a triangle.
To sum up: California is great, and I'm a little conflicted.