Even before noon on March 22, it was clear that the crowd gathering outside the mailroom at Harkness Dormitory was smaller than in years past. With more students taking a fifth year for research or other activities, the original class of 106 was whittled down to 79 by Commencement this spring and five of the 79 chose to pursue activities other than a residency.

Just the same, the smaller group made a large-enough stir. A few minutes after noon, as students came out of the mailroom clutching letters, screams and tears of joy erupted. Anthony Lemaire danced around the hallway next to the mailroom with third-year student Kate Lally. In the embrace, Lally said, “I lost a shoe and an earring. It was overwhelming.” Lemaire was headed for Duke University Medical Center, his first choice, for a residency in surgery.

Melissa Lee got on her cell phone to tell her brother and father in New York City that she’d be going to the Harvard Combined Medicine/Pediatrics Program. “They were hoping I would stay on the East Coast,” she said. Christopher James was thrilled to be going to New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell for a residency in neurosurgery. “It’s an up-and-coming program. It has a great reputation,” he said, noting personal reasons for choosing Cornell. “I’m from New York and I went to Cornell as an undergrad.”

As in previous years, the students’ greatest preference was for internal medicine—38 percent chose that field. Nationwide, the National Resident Matching Program reported a shift away from family practice positions among the 24,000 medical students who participated. Slightly fewer than half matched to a residency in one of the generalist disciplines—internal medicine, pediatrics and family practice. The Yale placements appear on the opposite page.

—John Curtis