In the last few years, the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery has become increasingly concerned that the number of applicants to vascular surgery residencies has remained stable, while the number of available positions has increased substantially and quality of applicants has diminished. What factors are relevant for residents and medical students whether they do or do not choose vascular surgery as a specialty? In this article, we cite specific reasons that played key roles in this decision-making process, based on various surveys and reports addressing this issue. Technical aspects of vascular surgery, the role of mentors, and lifestyle issues were shown to be critical factors in the choice of potential trainees. Different training paradigms were also shown to be favored by residents and students, depending on their level of training. The findings in these surveys have helped vascular surgery program directors devise new and innovative training paradigms and to develop strategies to attract future trainees.