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 26 students in 2018-19.
  • 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:

      Anna McKinsey

      Hi! My name is Anna McKinsey and I am one of the Asheville Program students who has made Hendersonville, NC my home base for third-year clinical rotations. I am originally from East Tennessee, but spent middle and half of high school in Asheville and call it home. After leaving Asheville to go to NC School for the Arts for the last couple years of high school, I ended up in Connecticut where I studied printmaking and neuroscience as an undergraduate and master’s student. After leaving Connecticut, I took a roundabout way down to New Orleans and lived there for a couple years working as a medical assistant at an urgent care, taking ASL classes at community college, riding a brakeless bike around the city, and building sculptures out of driftwood.
      As a Kenan Rural Scholar at UNC SOM, it is my intention to return and practice primary care in rural NC after residency. As a student in the Asheville Program I’ve loved being in the western part of the state and learning more about the challenges and joys of practicing medicine in rural areas. I’ve had a great time exploring Hendersonville over the last couple months and have discovered such treasures as: kitten yoga at Sanctuary Brewing every Saturday at 10am (only $5!), the Mineral and Lapidary Museum on Main Street (so cool and glittery and for free!), the bike trail on the river that connects all the parks in the town, Underground Bakery, Mary’s Burritos, etc. I have also been very fortunate to have been placed with some amazingly smart and inspiring preceptors for the year who have helped me think more deeply about my direction in medicine and where I would ultimately like to end up.