Making your residency rank list and picking a residency program is arguably the most important decision you will have to make during medical school. I have asked TONS of people (basically anyone who is willing to talk to me) about how they made their choice, and what factored into their decision.
Now, usually when I ask people in the medical field for advice they are more than happy to talk truthfully about their personal experience and give concrete examples. I theorize that this is because of two things: 1 – because people in medicine tend to be more scientifically minded, and 2 – because medicine is such a small and almost “exclusive” field, people tend to be happy and willing to share with those that understand what they are going through.
This is why I was very surprised when almost everyone told me to “go with your gut” when picking a residency program. I felt like it was such vague, nonspecific, and unscientific advice. However, now that I have done all my interviews, taken notes, analyzed random data points, made excel spread sheets, etc. – I begrudgingly realize that this advice is completely true.
In the end, when I try to rank programs objectively, it just never FEELS right. I keep going back to the programs and places that I just felt good at. And so, like everyone told me, I have thrown away my notes and spreadsheets and ranked based on my gut.