UNC School of Medicine Asheville
Information about Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum
- UNC School of Medicine Asheville began with its first class of 4 students in July 2009 with the support of UNC School of Medicine, Mission Health, and Mountain AHEC. Twenty students will start their third year training in July 2014.
- The foundation of this program and our innovative third year curriculum is similar to the longitudinal “Cambridge Model.” In 2004, Harvard restructured the third year clerkships to place a cohort of students in outpatient settings for the majority of their curriculum, which allows students to follow “their patients” in all health care settings. (Reference: Ogur B, et al. The Harvard Medical School-Cambridge Integrated Clerkship: An Innovative Model of Clinical Education. Acad Med. 2007; 82:397-404.)
Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) are characterized by:
- The Asheville community is well suited to this type of curriculum because of its robust primary care services and diverse specialty practice settings.
- The longitudinal integrated curriculum utilizes a smaller number 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 fourth year reverts to block schedules and presents opportunities for rotations in rural WNC, as well as Chapel Hill or across the state, nation, or internationally.
- Comprehensive care of patients over time
- Continued learning relationships with preceptors
- Students meet majority of year’s core clinical competencies across multiple disciplines simultaneously. (International Consortium of Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships. Consensus Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship Definition. CLIC Meeting: 10-14 November 2007; Cambridge, MA.)
What students say about the program:
My name is Lateef Cannon, a third year medical student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I first came to western North Carolina in 2005. I attended undergraduate university at Warren Wilson College and completed my BS in Biochemistry at UNC Asheville. These beautiful mountains attract inspired people to live and work here, and I felt blessed to have learned from top notch educators in small academic settings.
Coming back to Asheville for my third year of medical school has offered the same intimate and high yield clinical experiences. My days are spent working alongside my outpatient clinical attending or as part of an inpatient resident care team. I have never felt like my time was wasted or like I was an unnecessary appendage. I am allowed opportunities to be a useful contributor to patient care and am constantly directed in my clinical learning.
Our curriculum has also allowed me to enjoy living in the mountains, affording enough time for the occasional adventure up into the hills via hike or bike. This area is a mountain biking mecca and I have enjoyed continuing to explore new trails. This year, I have been going to kayak roll sessions and hope to start to explore opportunities in white water rafting.
I feel blessed to have this opportunity to develop my medical knowledge and skills in such a nourishing environment. I have appreciated close connections with my colleagues and preceptors and continue to feel increasingly connected to the larger medical community of Asheville which has been so willing to support our learning.