North Carolina has an illustrious educational history in the United States, being the first state to open a public university in the country in 1795. The University of North Carolina, now known as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, also includes one of today’s top medical schools in North Carolina.
The state is well-known for its great mix of public and private universities, with some of the nation’s best universities being found there. Moreover, studying medicine in North Carolina puts you in a great position to experience its patient population, the local requirements, and challenges.
Let’s have a look at the best medical schools in North Carolina.
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Top Medical Schools in North Carolina
1. Duke University School of Medicine
Duke University Medical School is known as the best medical school in North Carolina. It was founded in Trinity in 1838 by Quakers and Methodists, and moved to Durham in 1892, where it can be found today. Duke University has a great endowment, one main campus and three sub-campuses, and partnerships with universities across the world (including two of its own schools, one medical – Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore).
The School of Medicine gravitates around Duke Medical Center and the Duke University Hospital, its main teaching hospital that has been functioning since 1930. Duke University and its team of researchers are credited with lots of advances in research at Duke Hospital, such as more recently being the first team in the US to transplant an adult heart into a recipient through donation after circulatory death.
The MD program at Duke covers clinical sciences in the first year, clerkships in the second year, and a full third year devoted only to scholarly research. In your fourth year, you will fulfill elective rotations to complete your clinical training. Duke also offers many opportunities for dual degrees, such as with MBA, Master of Public Health or others. The Medical Scientist Training Program trains highly qualified students for an MD/PhD degree as well.
2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
The UNC School of Medicine has a rich tradition of excellence, focusing on patient care, education and research. Their vision is to be the US leading public school of medicine, and they are achieving this by currently being ranked no. 1 in primary care education among all US medical schools and 6th among public peer universities in NIH research funding. As one of the top medical schools in North Carolina, their remarkable focus on research funding is unique: they have 16 top-ranked MD and basic science departments.
The patient side of their mission is to promote healthcare and fight against health disparities in North Carolina and across the country.
The MD program is run on the TEC Curriculum – Translational Education at Carolina, which seeks to transform the way medical students learn by integrating basic sciences and clinical skills, providing longitudinal patient care experiences and offering earlier clinical opportunities in specialty fields to better inform residency program decisions.
There are three phases to the TEC program: a foundation phase with integrated coursework in basic sciences and organ systems, followed by an application phase when clinical rotations take place. There is then a third individualization phase when students can take elective courses and delve into research opportunities.
3. East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine
Located in Greenville, North Carolina, the Brody School of Medicine was founded in 1969 and is the newest of the four medical schools in North Carolina. Brody is best known for its performance in the field of family medicine. The main mission of the School of Medicine is to increase the supply of primary care physicians within the state of North Carolina.
As a result, the Brody School of Medicine has very strong ties to the community, evidenced by a multitude of student projects and initiatives. One of these is the Greenville Community Shelter Clinic, run by medical students – a free medical clinic first opened in 1988. This is an excellent opportunity for students to practice their clinical skills while offering free consultations.
The James D. Bernstein Community Health Center is also run by the students at Brody as well as at the East Carolina University College of Nursing. This is a health center for low-income, uninsured or medically underserved rural families.
4. Wake Forest School of Medicine
We end our list of best medical schools in North Carolina with the Wake Forest School of Medicine. This school is located in Winston-Salem and is affiliated with the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. It is a top-third school in terms of funding from the National Institutes of Health and has been teaching students since 1902.
The MD program is structured in three phases, starting with an 18-month period of basic science coursework interspersed with clinical and patient care. The second phase is called “Immersion” and lasts 12 months, allowing students to rotate between clerkships where they learn how to treat patients in a hospital setting. In the last part of the program – Individualization – students have 14 months in which to choose their rotations based on interests. This also includes research or exchanges with other universities. They can go abroad, or choose to take on dual degree programs offered by Wake Forest University. There are MD/PhD and MD/MA degrees available as well as a joint MD/MBA program.
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