I have spoken to many residents at the hospital where I work and even those of them that went to IVY med schools tell me to go where I will be happiest, and where I think I can do the best. The truth is that if you want to do something competitive like ENT, Ortho, DERM, Neuro etc, you will have to have top grades,scores, AOA status etc. If you graduate in the middle of your class from Yale or Harvard, your chances of getting into these specialties will be compromised, even though there may be exceptions. I recently spoke to a chairman of a program and he told me that they get 400 applications, interview maybe 20-30, and accept only 4 people. I asked him how they decide who to interview and he told me that they use AOA (medical honor society) to screen out applications. So if you went to a really good school and did not do that well then you would be out of luck,except if other components of your profile were so great that they deserved a second look. He told me that this is the way most residency programs operate. If this is true then would'nt it make more sense to go where you felt you could do really well, and not have to compete against fellow classmates. I know that competition exists at all schools, but on average should you try to go to the school that is less cutthroat and had a cooperative non-competitive atmosphere. I wonde rwhat you all think !! Thanks!!