Acting Internship (AI):

Just what it sounds like.  The medical student is acting as an intern with slightly less responsibility and no pay.

Ambulatory Care Center (ACC):

The Ambulatory Care Center is the medical center's primary multi-disciplinary outpatient clinic facility located off Mason Farm Road.

Advisory College:

The Advisory Colleges is an advising and career and professional development program established in 2008.  The program was developed to create an organized and structured system of advising whereby students benefit from ongoing support and wisdom of experienced faculty, educators and role models of professionalism.  One goal of the program is to foster a relationship between each student and faculty member where students receive guidance in order to be successful.  Another goal is building a community within the medical school.


Each College is paired with two student advocates from each year.


The Area Health Education Centers participate in a partnership of University health science programs and communities throughout the state.  AHEC was created to improve the distribution of health care professionals in the state.  There are currently nine centers in NC and they play a major role in the education of students and in providing continuing education for health professionals.


A faculty member who has finished all training (medical school, residency, possibly a fellowship) and has full medical staff privileges at the hospital.  Generally, the Attending is involved in teaching, research, administrative functions and most have a case load of patients that they follow on a regular basis as well as supervising an in-patient service at various times.

Beach Café:

Located on the ground floor of the Brinkhous-Bullitt, the Beach Café is convenient to all building in the UNC hospitals area. Known as the Beach, it houses a Chick-Fil-A, Quizonos Sub, Greens, Fresh on the Move grab ‘n go, and ExpressOasis coffee and also serves up drinks and snacks like a convenience store. Open Monday-Friday.


That horrible little thing worn on the belt or in the pocket when on-call.  It can summon your med student at any hour, for any reason deemed reasonable by an attending, resident, or intern. NOTE:  The beeper number for your medical student will change for each service, unless the student rents their own beeper.


The Basic Sciences Building. The building where med students previously "lived" for the first two years.  The first and second year labs were in Berryhill. Now, first and second year students enjoy lectures in the MBRB auditoria. Berryhill will be undergoing much-needed renovations.

Bloomer Hill:

A free clinic run by UNC medical students, located in Rocky Mount, NC, about a 90-min drive from Chapel Hill.  It is open from 9am-3pm on the first Saturday of each month.  Students of all years can volunteer.


To be licensed to practice medicine all states require med students pass a three part test, the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) "Boards".  The Boards consist of three tests generally taken:  at the end of the second year, the end of the third year, and after one year of internship or residency.  Residency programs require them.  Your student will receive more information about these exams during the first and second year.


This is where the School of Medicine Administrative offices (Student Affairs, Financial Aid, Alumni Affairs and the Dean’s Office) are located.  The Department of Allied Health Sciences is also housed in this building.  Named for Dr. Stuart Bondurant who served as Dean of the School from 1979-94 and Interim Dean from 1996-97, the building was officially opened in the Spring of 2006.  Most of the small groups meet here and in MacNider.


The preclinical education building, where many basic sciences offices and labs are located.  You’ll know it as home to the Beach Café.

Call or On Call:

During third and fourth years, students may choose to be on call.  They must be available after 5:00 p.m. for the rest of the day until the next morning.  Call varies in frequency with the rotation and the number of students on the rotation.  Some rotations require the student to stay at the hospital that night.  Other rotations allow the student to go home and stay AT HOME.  Formal call for students is limited to no more often than every third night (and includes weekends).  Informal call is when students volunteer their presence.

Career Goal Advisor:

Toward the end of the third year of medical school, when the student is beginning to plan the fourth year schedule and to think about residency applications, each student chooses a second advisor in his or her chosen post medical school specialty area.  Along with the Office of Student Affairs, this second advisor helps the student prepare for the residency application process and ranking programs for the "match."

Chief Resident:

This position is considered an honor, even though it sometimes involves an extra year of residency and always involves extra work.  The Chief Resident supervises the other residents in his/her Department or Division.

Class Advocates:

A group of students elected by their classmates to provide information and referrals to their peers on personal, academic, and professional issues and to serve as liaisons between students and the Office of Student Affairs.


Commonly used to refer to any part of the medical school experience which involves actual contact with patients.


Clinical Performance Examination is a practical test of basic clinical and professional skills.


A specialty area of clinical health care or basic science such as Department of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Department of Biochemistry, etc.  Departments are divided into Divisions.


A subspecialty area within a Department.  For example some of the divisions within the Department of Surgery include Urology, General, Neurosurgery, Plastic.


Evaluations by residents, Attending, and even nurses determine the majority of a student's grade during third and fourth years.  Shelf exams are weighted differently among Clerkships.

Family Practice Center:

The William B. Aycock Building located at the corner of Manning Drive and the 15-501 Bypass down the road from the Hospital.  This building houses the Family Practice Center.  Quite a few students, spouses, and their families receive medical care there.

Franklin Street:

Refers to the 3 or 4 blocks of the main street in Chapel Hill with something for everyone from restaurants and bars to clothing stores and gas stations.

Friends’ Café:

A destination of choice located in the Health Sciences Library.  It serves up coffee, bagels and pastries throughout the day for all those times you just can’t flip through another textbook.  Open M-F 7:30a.m. – 5:30p.m.


A name given to the surgical scrub suit.


The overachievers in each medical school class who are totally preoccupied with studying and grades.  They do make good grades but often at the expense of their personal lives.

Health Science Library (HSL):

The library located in front of MacNider that is devoted to all health related fields.  This is a GREAT place to study (or take a nap).  It has wireless for laptops.


A collective term for residents and interns.


See visiting residency programs.

Junior Resident:

The resident is considered a Junior Resident between internship and the senior year of residency.  Also called "JAR" (Junior Admitting Resident).

Lab Group or Group:

During the first and second years, the class is divided into five groups of approximately 32 students.  Students generally develop more friendships within their group than with others in their class.  Some students prefer to spend most of their study time with their group; others find they study better in other places (e.g. home, library).


The Liaison Committee on Medical Education is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree.

Learning and Assessment Lab:

Provides an array of services for medical students that include academic counseling, self-assessment materials, review materials, stress management, test-taking skills, study skills, time management, learning strategy implementation and note-taking techniques.


From Columbia Street, the building behind the HSL.  This is the former home of the School of Medicine.  Many administrative offices are still located there. Most of the small groups meet here and in Bondurant.

The "Match":

The match (NRMP - National Residency Matching Program) is the process by which students are assigned to residency programs.  After the interviewing process is completed both the fourth year students and the programs list their choices in rank order on computer.  A national computer system compares the lists and matches students to programs.  The results are revealed simultaneously to all students and residency programs on what is called "Match Day" in mid-March.  Most students match somewhere, not necessarily their first or even second choice.  Those who do not match initially find out on "Unmatched Day,” two days before the match, and can usually work out a match before Match Day.


Sometimes used as a general term to describe the overall field of health care.  Also used to describe a specialty field involving non-invasive (or non-surgical) treatment.


Medicine & Society Class – a course taken by first years that meets almost every Wednesday.  Some students love this course and some hate it – there’s not much in-between.


Medical Biomolecular Research Building.  First and Second year lectures are held in this building which has two auditoria on the lower floors and research labs on upper floors.


Medical student as in MSI, MSII, MSIII, and MSIV. Also called first years, second years, etc., as opposed to "freshmen," "sophomores", etc., although MSIV's are sometimes called seniors.


National Board of Medical Examiners.

N.C. Children’s and Women‘s Hospitals:

Opened in 2002, offers complete inpatient and outpatient care of women and children in one convenient location.  Key features include Newborn Critical Care Center, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Children’s play atrium, newborn nursery, Women’s Resource Center, shared operating rooms, a chapel, and a the Terrace Café.

“Nasty Netter”:

An old, greasy, lab-friendly edition of Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy.  Students will use it while dissecting.

Netter, Moore:

Anytime you hear a person’s last name it is probably the primary author of a textbook.  People simply call books by the author’s last name and the edition of the text instead of using the title of the text.  So know the author’s name when asking for a textbook.

N.C. Neurosciences Hospital:

This building houses clinical (inpatient and outpatient) and research activities of several neuroscience disciplines such as Psychiatry, Otolaryngology (ENT), and Neurosurgery.  In addition the adult and pediatrics emergency services and Carolina Air Care are housed in this building.

Office of Information Systems (OIS):

An administrative office in the School of Medicine which has responsibility for maintaining and supporting electronic communication and network security. OIS also provides laptop support and electronic curriculum support for all medical students. A walk-in Client Services office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. in 63 MacNider.

ONE Card:

University ID card that includes your picture and PID number.  You will receive one during orientation.  Keep this card in your wallet – you use it to access recreational facilities (the gym & pool), get into athletic events, stay late at the library, get cheaper movie tickets, etc.


The “Only Name You’ll Ever Need.”  You’ll get this name and password during orientation.  Know this so you can log onto computers in computer labs for free printing.  It’s a pain to get a new password if you forget yours, so write it down somewhere if you have to.  Unfortunately, you also have to change your password about 4 times a year!


Objective Structured Clinical Exam – a timed exam using standardized patients (SP’s) which is given at the end of ICM2.  Passing is required for promotion to third year.

PID Number:

It is a 9 digit number that is printed on your ONE card. Learn this number because you have to put it on every single document you sign.


Someone who supervises and teaches students in actual practice situations.

Present (verb):

Third and fourth year students are assigned patients for which they are partially responsible.  On most services, before rounds they are expected to have checked on each of their assigned patients and be prepared to "present" a brief medical history, test results and plan for treatment during rounds.


Teaching rounds are conducted by an Attending and include residents, interns and students. They usually involve seeing each patient on a Service and discussing treatment plans.  Third and fourth year students are required to attend these and will at some time be asked to present a patient. 
Work rounds.  Each MD, from intern on up, sees all of the patients assigned to him/her at least once a day to evaluate treatment.  Your MS may choose to accompany an Attending on work rounds, during first or second year, just to get a feel for how it's done.  Grand rounds are not really rounds at all.  Each Department conducts a weekly presentation on topics of interest to that specialty. Rounds often begin early in the morning (6:30 to 8:00 a.m.) but can occur at any time during the day (especially grand rounds) and sometimes more than once a day (i.e. morning rounds and evening rounds).

Scrub, scrub-in, scrub up:

Technically, this is to prepare oneself for the sterile conditions of surgery.  Also used to refer to actually participating in surgery, either as an observer or to assist in some way such as holding a retractor or cutting suture.

Scrub suit or scrubs:

Loose fitting garments usually worn during surgical or OB/GYN procedures.  They are provided and laundered by the hospital. Scrubs ARE NOT PERMITTED in the clinic and should be worn only in the OR, special care units or procedural areas.  They should not be worn while traveling between facilities.

Scut work:

What your student will do especially during third year and internship.  It is a part of training involving drawing blood, obtaining lab results on patients and sometimes general "gophering" which, as its name implies, becomes less than desirable work.

Senior Resident:

A resident in his/her final year of residency, unless he/she is chosen as Chief Resident.  In some specialties (e.g., Radiology) a senior resident is also selected to serve as a Chief Resident.


This refers to an in-patient subspecialty area of the hospital such as Cardiology service or Orthopaedics service.


A student organization (Student Health Action Coalition) where Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Public Health, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, and Social Work students run a weekly free clinic, build a Habitat for Humanity House, hold health fairs, and partner with homebound elderly and underserved communities to implement health promotion programs.  Learn more and volunteer at


Standardized Patient, an actor trained to play the role of a patient case as well as grade student performance.  SP’s are used in teaching activities as well as exams.


A general area of medicine (health care) such as Pediatrics, Surgery, Psychiatry, etc.


Student Recreation Center.  This is the campus gym, containing equipment for weight training, cardio, and an aerobics room.  It is open to all students. You must show your ONE card to get in.


Nick name for the Human Patient Simulator (HPS).  Also knows as “Standard Man” you will meet him in the Clinical Skills Center.  “Stan’s life is saved every day”.

Student Affairs:

An office that provides support for students.  Dr. Dent is the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and oversees Records, Scheduling, Financial Aid, Health and Safety, Dean’s Letter Process, International Affairs, Career Development and Academic Assistance.


Specialties are broken down into subspecialties.  For example some subspecialties of surgery are Plastic Surgery, Urology, Vascular and Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Tar Heel Café:

Yet another restaurant, this one located in the Thurston-Bowles building next to the MBRB.  It houses a Chick-Fil-A, Montague’s Deli, Java City, and Kettle Classics.  Open M-F 7am – 4pm.

Terrace Café:

Located on the second floor above the lobby of the N.C. Women’s and Children’s Hospitals, offers a wide variety of meal options.  Open 24 hours/7 days a week.  It’s easily recognizable by the “do-nothing machine” to one side.

UNC Health Care System:

Refers to the umbrella organization of the medical center that includes the UNC Hospitals, the UNC Physician & Associates and various other entities such as on-campus and community medical clinics, home health agencies and other medical management and patient care activities.

UNC Hospitals:

Refers to the umbrella organization of hospital facilities of the UNC medical center.  The flagship hospital is North Carolina Memorial Hospital.  Other facilities included in the organization are the N.C. Neurosciences Hospital, N.C. Women's Hospital and the N.C. Children’s Hospital.

UNC P & A:

The UNC Physicians and Associates is the association of all Attending physicians at UNC for billing purposes.  If you are seen as a patient at UNC Hospitals you can expect to receive a bill from UNC P & A for your physician's services.  This is a separate charge from hospital or clinic charges for laboratory work, supplies, medications, etc.

Visiting residency programs:

During the fall and/or winter of the fourth year, students visit residency programs to which they have applied and from which they have received invitations.  A few MS may in special circumstances, try to arrange to do an elective at some of these hospitals.  Interviews allow both sides to view each other and to make decisions regarding compatibility.  Students must handle financial arrangements on their own for these trips.

White Coat Ceremony:

An annual ceremonial event in which first-year students are presented the short, white coat worn in clinical settings.  An oath is taken swearing to lead lives of compassion, uprightness and honor. Parents and families of first-year students are invited to attend the event in Memorial Hall.


Third and fourth year students are assigned a certain number of new patients from whom they are expected to obtain a complete medical and family history and perform a complete physical exam.  These patients are the ones who may be presented during teaching rounds.