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Preventive Medicine Residency- about

The UNC Preventive Medicine Residency offers two years of training, the academic year and the practicum year. The academic year consists of full-time course work in one of several departments of the School of Public Health, leading to the MPH degree. The practicum year is a closely supervised experience that primarily involves completion of a specific preventive medicine research project and an experience in a public health agency. Most successful applicants to the UNC Preventive Medicine Residency have already completed a residency in a primary care specialty.


Why Prev-med?

Specialists in preventive medicine pursue a variety of career opportunities.  These include work within federal, state and local public health agencies, academic positions in schools of public health and medicine, leadership roles in healthcare settings, or careers in other settings where population health and public health skills are required.

Changes in the healthcare environment have created many challenges, which physicians trained in preventive medicine are well equipped to address.  Training provides the knowledge and skills to study and find solutions to issues such as improving health outcomes for clinical populations and addressing the growing health disparities among different population groups in the US.  It also encompasses understanding the role of policy to improve the health of populations, and identifying more comprehensive ways to serve the underserved in our midst.  We are a community of physicians with expertise in both clinical medicine and public health.

The UNC Preventive Medicine Residency trains physicians to lead practice and research in public health and clinical population health in communities and other defined populations.  The UNC Preventive Medicine Residency h

as existed for more than 40 years and is headquartered in the Department of Family Medicine in the School of Medicine.  UNC Hospitals is the sponsor of the Residency and directly supports the program by funding three resident positions per year.  The School of Public Health is an active partner of the program.



Message from the Director

Thank you for your interest in the Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Our program benefits from its strong connections to the Department of Family Medicine in the School of Medicine, the UNC School of Public Health, UNC Hospitals, and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Each of these sponsors provides outstanding opportunities for learning and practicing preventive medicine and public health.

Our graduates find positions in a wide variety of settings. Recent graduates have positions in academic departments of pediatrics, family medicine, and internal medicine; in research centers; in local state, and federal public health agencies (e.g., CDC, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality); and in community health centers.

We hope that you will find the information you are seeking about our program here. Please contact us if you have questions or need more information. We look forward to hearing from you.


Deborah Porterfield , MD, MPH
Program Director

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