Residency Background and Our Mission


The University of North Carolina Family Practice Residency program has been training family physicians since 1973.  Our graduates go into academic medicine, occupational medicine, health maintenance organizations and traditional private practice.  Regardless of career track, our graduates have a remarkable record of leadership in and contribution to their communities, state and national medical organizations, and the discipline of Family Medicine. We are proud of this legacy and seek to carry it into the twenty-first century.

As a state-supported institution, our mission is to train family practitioners to meet the diverse needs of the people of North Carolina, including maternal and child health, geriatrics and care for rural and underserved populations. To meet this goal, we offer an excellent mix of patient care and teaching, a nationally-known faculty dedicated to residency training and a commitment to the flexibility necessary to prepare you for a career along whatever track you may choose. Our residents are warm, talented and energetic. They are committed to excellence in patient care and supportive of each other.

We are also dedicated to embracing change; whether externally or internally driven, as change promotes a never-ending search for excellence. We encourage and expect our residents to be active participants in all changes within our program. Our responses to the mandates from the ACGME regarding work hour restrictions and the incorporation of the “Core Competencies” into our curriculum are prime examples of how change can bring new ideas that improve our educational program. In addition, our commitment to innovation and continual quality improvement over the years has led to a list of curricular elements, clinical programs, and research projects that keep our program in the forefront of Family Medicine nationally.


The following basic principles constitute our philosophy of residency training:

  • Patients teach. The core of residency training is patient care.
  • Residents need exposure to diverse clinical settings and patients. The broader the exposure of the resident, the better he or she will be able to adapt to his or her future practice sites and to changes in the health care system.
  • Residents learn a great deal from their peers; the more diverse the group of residents, the better the training environment. We believe that residents benefit greatly from exposure to people with different backgrounds and career goals.
  • Residents need a biopsychosocial approach to clinical practice. Comprehensive care addresses both the medical and psychosocial aspects of clinical problems.
  • Residents need to develop the habit of critical appraisal. Health care is an ever changing field and good clinical care is evidence-based. Residents should regularly review the quality of care they provide, and frequently evaluate evidence from published literature.
  • Residency training encourages development of independent learners.  We believe successful practice requires a problem-focused approach in which the learner defines his/her "knowledge gaps" and takes responsibility for filling them. Our residency curriculum aims to develop residents into successful self-directed learners.
  • Faculty are committed to the development of each individual resident. Being a residency faculty member requires a broader concern for the individual resident and his or her dreams and aspirations.