Sadly I have to agree with the sound bite above - when I was on the interview trail elsewhere (New England programs), and ran into other students from my school, or from other New York schools, we were all slack-jawed in disbelief that:
1) Ancillary services could be *good*
2) Nurses could be *nice and helpful*
3) Residents could be *happy*
People who go to New York programs or stay at New York programs do so because they want to live here, or because they have family or significant other ties to the city.
However, if you do want to stay, here are my thoughts on the programs that I know:
Columbia: My school, enormous MFM department - one of the largest in the country, so large volume of interesting patients. No surgical fellows, so access to all OR cases. However, volume is *too* high, and the residents are really overworked and fairly unhappy, and they violate work hours - however, the program is applying to add an additional resident per year startin 2005. New L&D is gorgeous. However, in our hospitals in general, ancillary services, radiology, consults - aarrgh, like pulling teeth.
St. Luke's Roosevelt: Wildly differening accounts of this program - P&S students who have rotated through have reported miserable residents/faculty - however, when you talk to the residents themselves, they say that they are blissfully happy. Who knows? Roosevelt is a nice, private hospital, St. Luke's is more of a public hospital feel. My experiences with the other services (medicine, surgical specialties) has always been great, people in general in the hospital are very knowledgeable and friendly - but I myself have no clinical experience with the Ob dept....
Cornell: Rich private patient central
Mt. Sinai: Very front-loaded, terrible intern year with no night-float, very little surgical or even OB experience (triage duties, and *maybe* you'll do some deliveries/C-sections) Interesting mix of low-income, diverse patients and the richest of the rich Upper East Siders.
NYU: I have no experience with this program, but have actually heard good things about it, maybe others have more detailed thoughts...