Did you ever run into someone who says he/she got a connection with a residency program? If so, then take that with a grain of salt. From my experience, those connections never come through unless they are strong connections.
If you depend on connections alone to get into residency, then you may be disappointed. Connections are one of the top ways to get a residency but they are rare. I noticed only family connections go through but everything else is useless. If a sibling, a spouse, a cousin is in a residency, then it’s easy to get in. However, if it’s anyone outside of the family, then the chances are very slim, because the people in the inside may not take the extra step to get you in.
The only way to get in is through your hard work, or smart ways to win the attention of directors and other staff members of the residency programs. It’s imperative to plan ahead and make sure that you impress the staff from Day 1. If you consistently contribute to the hospital you want a residency in, such as random projects, then you will increase your chances to get a residency position.