Letter from our Chiefs

Congratulations on taking the first step toward your new beginning as an emergency medicine physician at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill! Please allow us to share a few words with you regarding the special attributes that make UNC an outstanding place to learn and grow throughout the next three years of your training.

As a dynamic emergency medicine residency program, founded in 1995, UNC offers a perfect blend of tertiary care academic training at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, as well as a state-of-the-art private community setting at WakeMed Health and Hospitals in Raleigh. Both facilities are Level One Trauma Centers, thus providing an exceptional environment for exposure to the best in critical care and trauma the state has to offer. One of the unique aspects of our program is the diverse educational experience we receive. UNC offers a traditional academic model in clinical education, while the attending-to-resident ratio at WakeMed is always one to one. Few other training programs can guarantee this type of individualized learning experience, let alone a combination of the two models.

The residency leadership team is headed by program director Nikki Waller, MD, who is known throughout our institution and the country as an outstanding educator and resident advocate. The leadership team also includes Dr. Jane Brice, our department chair and director of the EMS Fellowship, Christina Shenvi and Graham Snyder, MD, associate program directors.  Our assistant program director Dr. Craig Frater (WakeMed).

Dr. Sarah Stahmer, our ultrasound director, coordinates a month-long ultrasound rotation for first year residents. Our interns perform over 150 scans during this month, ensuring their eligibility for ultrasound credentialing by the end of residency. The first year rotation is supplemented by several workshops throughout the year in which we have dedicated time to practice our sonography skills in the areas of FAST, biliary, renal, cardiac, thoracic, soft tissue, procedural skills, and others.

Our simulation experience is simply outstanding. Dr. Graham Snyder is the WakeMed simulation center director, a state-of-the-art facility so realistic and well-equipped that you might forget that the patients are not real. Dr. Snyder is notorious throughout the program for his ability to challenge us monthly with complex cases in resuscitation and critical care.

As a group we work hard, but we also look out for each other. This begins with fantastic residency coordinators. Jennifer Huston (UNC) and Wynne Sheen (WakeMed) and Kari Corker (UNC) assistant , who guide us at every turn as we make the adjustment to becoming full-time doctors.

Our shift demands decrease each year. Interns typically work 19 shifts each month (a mixture of 8, 9, and 11 hours shifts), with juniors and seniors working 8 hour shifts during the week and 12 hour shifts on the weekends (19 shifts for juniors and 17 shifts for seniors). Furthermore, our residency schedule is put together for the entire academic year by July, which allows residents to conveniently plan events and make switches weeks/months in advance. Residency “Morale Days,” give all residents from a particular class the day off together to do something fun of their choosing. Additionally, every year in the spring our department rents a beach house so residents from all classes-including incoming interns-can spend a few days relaxing away from the hospital.

Finally, this is a wonderful place to live. The cost of living in the area allows many of us to own our own homes. There are endless things to do, whether you like sports, outdoor activities, art, great restaurants, or music. The proximity to three large universities creates opportunities for interaction with people from all over the country. Many of our residents like the area so much that they choose to remain here for work after graduation.

We are very excited to have you here and look forward to meeting you in person. We believe this is a truly outstanding program and one of the best places you could spend the next three years. Please let us show you why we are glad that we chose to train at the University of North Carolina. Welcome to Chapel Hill!

Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time if we can be off assistance during the residency interview process. We understand that this is an important time in your career and would be happy to help you with any questions or concerns that you may have.

UNC Emergency Medicine Chief Residents, 2016 - 2017