BaystateOne of my top three residency programs is Baystate. I spent a month there in the combined Med-Peds clinic and loved it. I loved the attending, esp the program director, and the residents and the patients. They are an older, larger Med-Peds program with lots of grads working in the area and plenty of dual trained faculty. They have an awesome reputation in the Med-Peds world and their grads can really do whatever they want after finishing their training. They go on to successful practices or great fellowships, and many stay on as faculty in the clinic or as hospitalists. So great training with people I got along with.
Now for the all important (but should it be?) location factor. Baystate is in Springfield, MA, which is the Pioneer Valley in western Mass. The area is beautiful and near the mountains so there's lots of outdoorsy stuff to do on weekends off. It's an easy 90 mile drive to Boston and not too far from NYC. The negative about location is basically that it's 1000 miles from home (so no seeing the family except on weeks off when I can swing the plane fare) and quite a climate change. They get a fair amount of snow, which as a South Carolina girl would take some getting used to. The major drawback is the city of Springfield itself. I was there for a month (yay for free student housing!) but was not impressed by the city. I spent my weekends leaving town, either to Holyoke a few miles away to go shopping at the mall and Barnes and Noble (a staple in my life) or the further away Northampton. Many of the residents live in Northampton which is a really cool college town that I could totally see myself living in. Lots of little coffee shops and ethnic restaurants, funky little shops, and two independent movie theaters. But it's a 20 minute drive to the hospital. Do I really want to drive that far at 5am? Do I really want to make that trip during the winter when it's snowing?