UNC School of Medicine Asheville

Information about Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum

Introduction: 

  • UNC School of Medicine Asheville campus opened in July 2009 with the support of UNC School of Medicine, Mission Health, and Mountain AHEC. Beginning with four students, we expanded to 20 students in 2014, and will have 24 students in 2017.
  • The foundation of this program, a longitudinal integrated curriculum,  is similar to the “Cambridge Model.” In 2004, Harvard restructured their third year clerkships to place a cohort of students in outpatient settings for the majority of their curriculum, which allowed students to follow “their patients” in all health care settings. 
  • Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) have the following core principles:
    Relationship and continuity of the four Ps:
    • Preceptors

      Patients

      Place

      Peers

  • Active, hands on roles with patients
    • Flexibility of unscheduled half days for self directed learning

    The Asheville community, with its robust primary care services and diverse specialty practice settings, provides an ideal setting for this type of curriculum. (Reference: Latessa R, Beaty N, Royal K, Colvin G, Pathman DE, Heck J. Academic Outcomes of a Community-Based Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships Program. Med Teach 2015; 37(9):862-867). 

     

    • The longitudinal curriculum utilizes a cadre of dedicated teachers and a greater reliance on outpatient teaching. Students have more exposure to experienced practicing physicians and a much greater likelihood of seeing the same patients over an extended period of time and through the continuum of care.
    • The Individualization Phase reverts to block schedules and presents opportunities for rotations in Asheville and rural WNC, as well as Chapel Hill or across the state, nation, or internationally. 

      What students say about the program:

      Monique Araujo

      Monique

      Oi! This clumsy little girl from the picture grew up in Sao Jose dos Campos, SP, Brazil. When I was 16 years old, I found myself moving to Durham, NC, USA. After finishing high school in Durham, and getting into UNC-CH, I decided to stay and live in the U.S.! The sudden change of culture in my adolescence brought to my awareness the influence that the socioeconomic environment has on a community and on an individual. I pursued a BS in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry from UNC, all along with a burning desire to become a physician. After graduating in May 2011, I worked, continued to study, and organized fundraisers to go clowning in Russia with Patch Adams. It was there that I felt the difference between taking away pain and relieving suffering pumping in my veins for the first time. Upon returning to the U.S., I joined the darker shade of blue and worked at Duke and the VA with prostate cancer research. When our study was over, the lighter (read right) shade of blue called me home to work at the Ambulatory Care Center with the Enhanced Care Team and Diabetes Management. On an unsuspecting Tuesday morning at the clinic, I received the unforgettable news that I had been accepted to my dream school, and started UNC SOM in the fall of 2014! While volunteering in Uganda with an HIV summer program in 2015, I was blessed with the news that I would be training in Asheville during third year. So far, I’ve ventured into biking, a total pancreatectomy, yoga, delivering babies, trapeze classes, pediatric palliative care, hiking, giving cortisone shots, and so many countless blessings that I not infrequently wake up and think, “How did I get so fortunate to be here?” In short: “a 27 year old Brazilian female presents to the city of amazing food, trails, and people with the chief aspiration to become a competent and humane physician. In addition to receiving superior medical exposure and education, she develops meaningful long-term relationships with preceptors, mentors, patients, and peers.”

       

      To me, an ideal medical career would include (but is not limited to): healthy work-life balance, international travels characterized by caring for underserved populations (while exploring different places, cultures and foods!), providing competent and compassionate medical care, and a life of service and endless academic curiosity and growth.