UNC School of Medicine Ranked #1 in Primary Care

UNC School of Medicine was ranked #1 in primary care in the recent US News and World Report rankings for 2018.  This is recognition of UNC’s commitment to provide the highest quality of primary care education and healthcare for the needs of our state and our nation.  I am honored by the work the faculty, staff, and outstanding primary care residents do every day.

It is our leadership in the future of primary care and population health, innovative educational programs like the FIRST Scholars and Kenan Rural Scholars, statewide branch campuses and community-based training sites, and commitment to the mission of service that draws strong medical students to pursue careers in primary care. This is what our state needs and we will deliver on that promise.

– Dr. Cristy Page, Chair & William B. Aycock Distinguished Professor

Medsafe

Medsafe™ boxes provide patients with a safe and convenient way to dispose of expired or unused medications, including controlled substancesFamily Medicine Center staff and providers may not dispose of any medications on behalf of a patient.  Patients must bring their medications to one of the receptacles listed below and deposit their medications in the receptacle themselves.

Medsafe™ boxes are currently located at:

  • UNC Hillsborough Outpatient Pharmacy – Lobby Level, Hillsborough Hospital
  • UNC Central Outpatient Pharmacy – Lobby Level, NC Cancer Hospital
  • UNC Employee Pharmacy – Lobby Level, Memorial Hospital

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal Cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. Most colorectal cancer start as polyps, growths on the lining of the colon. Colorectal cancer can affect both men and women. Of cancers that affect both men and women, colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States.

Risk Factors

Your risk of getting colorectal cancer increases as you get older. More than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older. Other risk factors include having:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.
  • A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).

Lifestyle factors that may contribute to an increased risk of colorectal cancer include:

  • Lack of regular physical activity.
  • A diet low in fruit and vegetables.
  • A low-fiber and high-fat diet.
  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Tobacco use.

Who should get screened?

Screening helps find polyps in the colon or rectum before they turn into cancer.

If you’re 50 to 75 years old, get screened for colorectal cancer regularly. If you’re younger than 50 and think you may be at high risk of getting colorectal cancer, or if you’re older than 75, ask your doctor if you should be screened. There are now a couple of different ways to be screened so you should talk to your provider about what is the best way for you.

Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. You could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why having a screening test is so important. If you have symptoms, they may include:

  • Blood in or on the stool (bowel movement)
  • Stomach pain, aches, or cramps that do not go away
  • Losing weight and you don’t know why.

These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about whether screening is right for you.

Want more information? Read more here.

National Farmworker Awareness week

North Carolina farm workers load tobacco into a truck. Photo credit to the North Carolina Farmworkers Health Program, click to learn more.

At UNC Family Medicine, we collaborate with the North Carolina Farmworker Health Program, which trains and supports community outreach workers in 10 sites across the state. These bilingual community health workers visit farmworker camps, perform health assessments and help farmworkers access needed health care. In support of the NCFHP, we are celebrating National Farmworker Awareness week.

Did you know?

  • Farmworkers feed the world-85% of our fruits and vegetables are handpicked. There are an estimated 2-3 million men, women, and children work in the fields in the United States. Farms are in every state, including yours.
  • Farmwork is the third most dangerous job in the United States. The people who plant and harvest our fruits and vegetables suffer from the highest rate of toxic chemical injuries of any other workers in the nation as well as have higher incidences of heat stress, dermatitis, urinary tract infections, parasitic infections, and tuberculosis than other wage-earners.
  • Farmworkers are treated differently under the law. Overtime, unemployment insurance, even protection when joining a union are not guaranteed under federal law. Farmworkers were excluded from almost all major federal laws passed in the 1930s. The Fair Labor Standards Act was amended in 1978 to mandate minimum wage for farmworkers on large farms only and it still has not made provisions for overtime.

Read more about the North Carolina Farmworker Health Program here.