Amy Weil, MD
Professor of Medicine and Social Medicine
Co-Director Beacon Child and Family Program
5039 Old Clinic Building
Campus Box 7110
B.A.: Yale College, CT (History and Psychology)
MD: University of Rochester School of Medicine, NY
Residency: Yale Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency, CT
General Internal Medicine
Trauma Informed Care
Gender and Health
Behavioral Health Integration in Primary Care
Humanities in Medicine
New Care Models for Vulnerable Populations
Amy’s background in her own words
I was raised in New York City and spent a lot of time riding the subway back and forth to high school. Being commingled with people from such different walks of life, I wondered what their lives were like and what would make my own life meaningful. For awhile, I was best at reading while in motion – a college library came as a bit of a shock! If you’d asked me during those years, medical school wasn’t even on my radar screen (philosophy and law were), yet now my choice is completely resonant with what I want from a career that enables me to integrate my passion for social justice into my daily work.
I attended Yale for college and residency, and the biopsychosocial University of Rochester for medical school. My undergraduate background is in the humanities (History and Psychology majors) and I worked for 4 years in a variety of jobs and took premed classes after college before attending medical school. Though it did not come to pass, my motivation for attending medical school was to become a psychiatrist! I considered several other specialties quite intensely before becoming a General Internal Medicine doctor.
Now in my 20th (!) year at UNC, I remember training well, yet I am removed enough to have found my way, navigating through choosing a discipline and a residency, finding a partner, deciding on and beginning a family and balancing these elements. I am a member of a multicultural 2 career family (I am Jewish and my husband is a Sri Lankan scientist raised in the Buddhist tradition who runs a large lab at UNC). I worked 75% time for about 5 years when our sons were younger. They are now in high school and college and I have been back to full time for a number of years. I have also trained and worked in Sri Lanka, first on a self created rotation in residency and then as a Senior US Fulbright Scholar during 2006. Between my Chief Resident year and beginning on faculty at UNC in 1999 I lived with an indigenous family in Costa Rica for 3 weeks, participating in a Spanish language immersion program. All of these experiences have enriched me and opened my eyes to my own and others’ cultures in ways I never could have predicted. I have very much enjoyed teaching Foundation Phase Medical Student courses SHS 1-2, the Healer’s Art and PCC, caring for my own patients and teaching the medical residents, all areas where my experiences are quite relevant. Out of those experiences I created the RICE portion of SHS4 and love being a part of unpacking the experience of Clinical Year with students. I also teach an elective on Student Hotspotting and teach a faculty development course called Passing the Torch.
My interest in gender based health issues is longstanding and I integrate this into patient care, teaching, administration (Co-Director of the Beacon Child and Family Program), advocacy (Founding Board Member of Kiran – a community based resource for South Asian Survivors of Domestic Violence) and advising where appropriate. Most recently, I have been using my ‘trauma-informed’ lens to work on student and faculty wellness and on alternative care models for vulnerable patients along with interprofessional colleagues.
I have often served as an ear for friends and colleagues mulling over difficult decisions and/or personal problems. Since college, I have had experience as a counselor for survivors of sexual assault and for patients living with mental health challenges. I also love to spend time with my family and friends, travel, read and write, swim, hike, watch birds, cook and do yoga. Just as in patient care and teaching, I find that a collaborative, non-threatening environment can put students at ease and I try to create this when we meet. I see advising students as a natural extension of my roles as clinician, teacher and parent and have enjoyed it a lot over the years. Issues surrounding work/life balance continue to interest me personally and professionally and helping others navigate these is something I enjoy. I look forward to working with you on your new adventure!