Where do people learn this stuff?
Cornell is competitive, but very much self-selecting. They want people who are focused on psychoanalysis/dynamics. But it's not even close to Columbia/MGH/UCSF/UCLA in terms of competition to match there.
Similarly, NYU is not that competitive. The class is huge and they want people who want to work very hard and don't mind being in a little bit of a run-down atmosphere at times (no knock on Bellevue, it's an amazing place, but it's nothing fancy). However, given that it's one of the good programs in NYC, there is a certain degree of competition of someone who'd rather by in New York than even the best program in another city.
Standford is extremely competitive. Maybe it's not as good as Columbia/MGH, but it's extremely hard to match there, partly because they have the added "California factor" that raises a barrier for non-West coasters. Recall multiple people last year got the "we're not inviting you for an interview because we have such limited interview spots and don't know if you'd come out here, but if you are serious about coming to California [lists criteria by which "serious" is defined], then let us know" e-mail from Stanford.
Longwood is not as competitive. It's a great program, don't get me wrong. But if you are a good applicant with a good interview, you can match there. You don't have to be from a top undergrad, a top med school, or have research. Excellent facilities, large faculty, especially for consult-liason. But the Harvard name elevates it more than the actual substance of the program.
And, UCLA - it's highly competitive. It's the best program in SoCal, "the best in the west," whatever you think. That's why the residents there work very hard -- they can afford to recruit 15 or whatever number of people who will smile and work very, very hard (for the first two years - years 3-4 are a cakewalk). Compared to NYU, Cornell, Longwood... UCLA has their pick of applicants.
Think about why not a single Cornell med student matched at Cornell psych last year -- because none of them ranked it first.
Consider that Longwood didn't fill their class two years ago.
Those are things that don't happen to the top top programs.
A lot of comments on these message boards, over the years, seem to simply repeating other people's views about different programs, rather than using real evidence, an insider's view, or from actually knowing the program.
So, for all you applicants, learn about the programs yourself and don't pay too much attention to what you're reading here, especially when you don't know the person writing! Trust yourself!!