It seems many applicants use the US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT Best Hospitals Rankings as a gauge to whether they should apply or rank highly a particular program. People should understand however that these rankings are sometimes misinterpreted to mean US NEWS AND WORLD REPORTS "Best Residency Programs". Do not let these rankings influence you too much. Many of us who have already started residency will tell you, and I'm sure you realized this when you starting on the interview trail that sometimes these rankings don't mean a hill of beans. With regards to the surgical specialities, it may well be true that a low mortality ratio, low RN/PT ratio, and advanced availability of technology services, as used by the rankings, could possibly translate in better training for you. But in the end the best program for you, is the program that you feel most comfortable at. Many of the ranking for specialities such as OPHTHO, REHAB, PEDS, and PSYCH are based solely on reputation alone. Hardly considered scientific data acquisition. I knew many people who chose reputation of a program over the true quality of the program, and some were miserable for it. That's why some people transfer. Just as we all know the smartest people don't always make the best doctors(although don't tell that to the med schools that brag of having incoming students with an avg MCAT scores of 36 and 3.8 GPAs), so is true with regards to a hospital who brings in the most money not necessarily being the best hospital for residency training. Most of you are nearing the end of your interview season, so you will have some very important decisions upon you in the next few months. Make sure you are making these choices for the right reasons.