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Upcoming Events

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Spring Alumni Weekend
April 13-14, 2012


Join us for Spring Medical Alumni Weekend on April 13 and 14, 2012! This weekend is your opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones at events throughout the weekend. You will have a chance to learn what's happening in the School today, play a round of golf with current students, and celebrate your own reunions with classmates. We are honoring the classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002. Online registration is open now at:
www.alumni.unc.edu/medalumni

 

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Please also make plans to join us for a Medical Alumni Council meeting to kick off the weekend on Friday, April 13 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. If you'd like to know more, please contact us at medalum@med.unc.edu or (919) 962-8891.

 

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Alumni Socials:
April & May 2012
The Medical Alumni Association and Loyalty Fund plan to host "Casual Mix and Mingle" socials again this year! These socials give alumni a chance to meet and reconnect with fellow UNC School of Medicine alumni and families in a relaxed, fun setting. Look for invitations in your mailbox and email after the first of the year. We hope to see you when we come to your city! We'll be in Greensboro next on March 7 at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, and keep an eye out for us in Winston-Salem and Wilmington later this spring! If you would like to RSVP to the Greensboro event, please contact James O'Brien at james_obrien@med.unc.edu or (919) 966-3931.

 

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Charlotte Alumni & Friends Dean's Reception
March 29, 2012
Please join us for a reception and conversation about meeting the need for future physicians in your community through our medical education partnership with Carolina's Medical Center at The Mint Museum Randolph in Charlotte on Thursday, March 29, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Please RSVP to Angela Stallings at angela_stallings@med.unc.edu or (919) 966-3942.

 

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LCME:
March 2012
In March 2012, the UNC School of Medicine will host a visit by a site visit team representing the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the official accrediting body for educational programs leading to the M.D. degree in the United States and Canada. Learn more about this important process by visiting the UNC School of Medicine's LCME information site at: www.med.unc.edu/ome/lcme

 

Share Your News
Get married, have a baby, move
across the country, done medical
missions abroad? We want to hear from you, our alumni — and so do your fellow alums! Email your life update/story to us at medalum@med.unc.edu.

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Stay Connected
Please contact the Medical Alumni Association to update your name, address, phone, or email changes — medalum@med.unc.edu or 919.962.8891. Stay connected to UNC School of Medicine news and events.

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Contact Us
Medical Alumni Association
medalum@med.unc.edu
919.962.8891

The Loyalty Fund
Marie_Baker@med.unc.edu
800.962.2543

 

Dear Medical Alumni,

As winter's chill holds on and basketball season heats up, I hope this finds you and your loved ones in good health.

In this edition of your Medical Alumni Association e-Newsletter, we feature a current medical student and an alumna of the UNC School of Medicine who, while at very different stages in their careers, are both doing their best to make the world a better place. They have taken stock of the world around them and are focused on improving care around our state, and ultimately the nation. In each story we can see how our School of Medicine has not only given them the ability but also the creativity to face the health care challenges of the 21st century.

Additionally, we are including a recap of the Zollifcoffer Symposium held here in Chapel Hill February 16-18. Honoring a man who knew a few things about ability and creativity himself, it was a wonderful reminder of why we chose this profession; to make the world a better place beyond simply serving patients.

As always, my deepest thanks to those of you who have supported the Loyalty Fund this year, the primary vehicle by which alumni can support the outstanding students at this fine institution. If you have not yet made your gift, please renew your support by visiting giving.unc.edu/gift/maa.

As the Class of 2012 prepares for Match Day on March 16, I am almost as excited as they are to learn where these students will take their first steps as alumni of the School of Medicine. Also, I look forward to seeing many of you during Spring Alumni Weekend, April 13-14.

Warm regards,
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James R. "Bud" Harper, M.D. `60

Associate Dean for Medical Alumni Affairs

Zollicoffer Symposium launches Alumni Reconnect Campaign

Back in the summer of 2011, planning for the 32nd Annual Zollicoffer-Merrimon Lectureship began. Only this time, there was a bigger plan — a vision — to take one event, turn it into a three-day symposium and bring former administrators, former faculty and alumni back to campus. If you have ever met Michael L. Zollicoffer, M.D. `85 (better known as "Dr. Z") or heard him speak, you know his passion for people, medicine and UNC is absolutely contagious. And so behind his energy and enthusiasm, ten faculty/staff members and dozens of students worked to make this dream a reality on February 16-18, 2012.

Dr. Z is the son of the late Lawrence Zollicoffer, M.D. `62, the fourth African-American alumnus of the UNC School of Medicine, for whom the lecture was named at its inception in 1981. Dr. Z practices pediatrics in inner-city Baltimore, Md. and can often be found at his office well before sunrise and several hours after sundown, helping patients in need. The same genuine passion with which he treats each patient can be found in his love for this University and for his desire to reconnect minority alumni with the School of Medicine.

With the first-ever Zollicoffer Symposium in February, the Alumni Reconnect Campaign (ARC) was born. ARC is a two-year campaign launched in 2012 to recognize the 50th year class reunion of Lawrence Zollicoffer, M.D. `62 and culminating with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Medical Education Development (MED) Program in 2014. ARC will focus its efforts on generating support from African-American medical alumni and for minority medical students. In Dr. Z's words, ARC has two primary goals:

"We are determined to increase medical school alumni engagement and support, especially among the beneficiaries of the wonderful [student] programs. Of course, we want to raise significant funds of at least $250,000—though I think we can do better—to help advance these programs as well as position them to be self-sustaining. But more than that, we want to motivate our alumni to become involved with the School again, to develop those relationships with each other that most certainly make for great health care professionals, and to want to give of their resources, including their time and talent as well as their financial resources. To me, giving of yourself, of your time and making that commitment is an unbelievable resource whose impact on future doctors cannot be exaggerated."

The three-day symposium kicked off with a welcome reception and silent auction, organized by the UNC chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), on Thursday evening. On Friday morning, alumni and current and former faculty met to discuss the current state of minorities within the UNC School of Medicine and the Medical Education Development (MED) Program. Cedric Bright, M.D. `90, assistant dean for Admissions and director of the Office of Special Programs, educated attendees on his goals to increase the minority presence through mentoring and better preparation of study habits, test-taking, and the coursework of medical school.

Dr. Marie Bernard, deputy director of the National Institute on Aging, presented the 32nd Annual Zollicoffer-Merrimon Lecture to a crowd of students, faculty, staff and alumni on Friday afternoon. The astounding research she and her peers are conducting will continue to see an increase in funding as Baby Boomers age. After the lecture, medical students participated in the activities of Community Service Day — oral presentations of service work performed, poster presentations from dozens of medical students in the hospital lobby, and the induction of these students into the Eugene S. Mayer Honor Society for Community Service.

Friday evening became the gem of the weekend at the Zollicoffer banquet, which drew its largest gathering in recent years. Alumni and former faculty who had not been back to UNC in decades were in attendance to hear about the new initiatives of ARC. Dr. Z talked about his passion to financially support today's medical students, while recognizing and honoring several faculty and staff who impacted his life, among them the late Dean Chris Fordham and the late Dr. Alan Cross. Dr. Marion Phillips, associate dean emeritus, gave an unforgettable performance of poetry and UNC student R&B a cappella group The Harmonyx ended the night with Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," reminding everyone in the room to make a change.

The symposium concluded Saturday morning with a panel on the History of the Minority Perspective. Panelists included Dr. Henry Frierson, former professor of educational psychology and director of the Research Education Support Program, Dr. John Merritt, the first African-American full professor at UNC and former professor of Ophthalmology, Dr. Marion Phillips, Dr. Michael Zollicoffer and Dr. Saundra Maass-Robinson, a 1981 graduate practicing psychiatry in Atlanta, Georgia.

The weekend provided a great opportunity to learn and talk about the history and current state of African-Americans at the School of Medicine. Students, faculty and alumni interacted throughout the symposium, creating exactly the type of atmosphere Dr. Z envisioned for the launch of the Alumni Reconnect Campaign. As we look to the next two years and future Zollicoffer Symposia, we hope alumni will continue to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to learn about our history while engaging in our present.

If you would like to learn more about ARC or would like to make your commitment, please contact Marie Baker, director of Annual Giving, at 919-966-0019 or marie_baker@med.unc.edu.

Alumni Spotlight — Margery Sved, M.D. `79

"Medicine was always a viable option for me," Margery (Margie) Sved begins. "I grew up in a professional family. My mother was a physician, so we knew several other women who were physicians." Involvement with the women's health movement solidified her unique opportunity to make a profound impact through medicine. Though she originally planned to pursue family practice or work as a midwife in an OB-GYN practice, Sved fell in love with psychiatry. "It stuck," she says, "although for many years I still tried to figure out how I could also do OB-GYN training."

As a member of the first UNC medical school class comprised of 25% women, Sved acknowledges that much of her passion for women's health issues and community comes from what she calls the "tone" of her class. "I was able to stay involved in political and social action efforts during medical school, and these have stayed a big part of my life and my profession," Sved says, crediting her parents with instilling in her the need to "get involved and do something" if there is a cause you care about.

After a psychiatric residency, Sved accepted a faculty position at Medical College of Georgia. There, she worked on a medical-psychiatric unit that served primarily chronic psychiatric patients, and realized this was the type of population with whom she wanted to work. Returning to North Carolina as quickly as possible, Sved began working at Dorothea Dix Hospital, where she eventually became Division Director of Adult Psychiatry. Of this position, Sved says, "I fully expected that was what I would do for the rest of my career, since I liked 'psychiatry on my feet,' and the mix of administrative and clinical duties." But in 2001, amid changes in the way the state would manage a system of care for those with chronic mental illness, Sved left Dorothea Dix and has since worked for Wake County Human Services and in her own small private practice.

Sved has experienced meaningful accomplishments in the psychiatric field at national, local and state levels. She served as Representative to the American Psychiatric Assembly from 1995 to 2005. She has remained very involved in the North Carolina Psychiatric Association, including serving as President from 2005 to 2006, during a time of great upheaval in the state with regard to the care of those with significant mental illness. For the past few years, her volunteer psychiatric time has been focused on policy and projects related to the integration of primary care and mental health.

"From the moment I came to North Carolina to interview for college, I have loved this state and her people," Sved says of her love for the area and choice to spend most of her life here, where she claims the state has the weather, diversity and stimulation that worked for her. "We like it here. Our friends are here. We have community here. This is our home, and we have worked to keep things as safe as we can for our children and for those who come after us." Sved lives in Raleigh with her partner, and the couple has raised two adopted children, both from Guatemala, now 25 and 18, in addition to serving as foster parents for a number of years.

When asked how her community involvement, a sense of a need to give back and be a part of outreach and education has intertwined with a career in medicine, Sved responds, "For me, it is all connected. I still have the belief that I can make the world a better place. Being a physician often allows what I say and do to have more weight."

Student Perspective — Ayesha Lovick, MS2

Ayesha Lovick calls the summer of 2008 the "defining moment" of her life. That's the summer she spent in the Medical Education Development (MED) program at UNC, an intensive educational experience and challenging opportunity to gain insight into the realities of attending medical or dental school. The program is designed to increase opportunities in health professions for those who demonstrate promise and commitment to a health career but who have lacked opportunity in the past to move toward their professional goals. For Lovick, this was all she needed to officially begin a journey toward becoming a physician: "I've always wanted to be a doctor. People tell me I've said that since I was five years old! Now, they're so amazed that I'm actually doing it."

While her journey to medical school at UNC and her time here have not been easy, Lovick never remembers feeling that any obstacles were insurmountable or would get in the way of pursuing her dream. "My experience at Carolina so far is what's gotten me from where I was to who I am," Lovick says, explaining that during tough times the past year, the supportive family of faculty, advisors and fellow students at UNC have helped her make the right choices for her and grow into a better person. Lovick is not at all concerned with current trends in education or medical experiences abroad, but is instead firmly grounded in a passion for community service. "I do the things that I love right here," she says emphatically, "People right here are in desperate need we can't even imagine." Lovick speaks of a shift in both the health care system and society overall to less awareness of the "stories behind the scenes," which she believes are often the most important, especially in the primary care setting.

"I came to medical school with this notion that I did not want to do primary care," Lovick recalls. After spending time in the Emergency Department here at UNC, Lovick decided the gamut of patients and diseases were appealing. It was during this time that she began to ask herself an important question which has shaped the direction she will take with her studies and practice: "Why are people coming to the E.D. for things that are not emergencies?" The answer was clear: because, it seemed, so many of these patients have nowhere else to go. One cause of this massive problem is a lack of primary care physicians. So, Lovick decided that in order to respond to the need which has become so clear to her and to stay true to her passion for community service and caring for "the whole person," she will pursue a career in primary care.

Lovick is slated to graduate from the UNC School of Medicine in 2014, and plans to eventually open a private practice where she can deliver a "very different type of care from what's generally out there." She describes this practice as a family medicine-centered with an urgent care component — a direct solution to some of the emergency department obstacles she experienced first-hand. She does not plan to give up her acquired interest in emergency medicine altogether, however, with the idea to work part-time in an emergency department after completing residency.

"I want to practice medicine differently," Lovick says urgently, as if she has no other choice, "I want to treat the person and not just the disease. Having an M.D. behind my name doesn't excuse me. It's my job to treat you, and talk to you and listen to you." She holds fast to the opinion that the best diagnoses are made after a relationship is formed with the patient: "That is what results in change."

Event Recap — Chapel Hill Medical Alumni Social

Medical Alumni in the Chapel Hill-Durham area joined us at Spice Street on February 1st for a chance to reconnect with fellow alumni, guests and current medical students. Thanks to all who attended! We had a great turnout and it was wonderful to see our alumni and students together. Our next Casual Mix and Mingle social will be in Greensboro on March 7th at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen!