The pre-pod thread on "most important factor in a pod school" got me thinking about the various factors which I will be considering when choosing my clerkships and residency interviews soon... I think the factors in this poll are all very pertinent, and I've been advised by various sources (profs, upperclassmen, residents, etc) that each of these can make a residency boom or bust in terms of what you get during the training as well as for the rest of your practicing career. So, which one is it and why? (I have allowed multiple votes per person if you feel 2+ factors are equally important) Here's a bit of my current thinking: Other Residents - You can't win the Kentucky Derby with jackasses, no matter how hard you try. Director/attendings - If they don't know or don't care anymore, who will? Location - It's 3yrs of the prime of your life, and connections made there can last a lifetime. Reputation - Some names will automatically get you job offers, even if they "slipped" recently. Surgical volume and diversity - Programs change fast, and this doesn't always correlate with name. Other - ???