Doctor at a table typing
Doctor at a table typing

Open mainly to internal UNC candidates, the UNC Department of Family Medicine has offered a full-time Career Development Fellowship since 2000. Fellowships are one to three years, with an educational program and experience tailored to individual clinical and career objectives.The guiding philosophy of the Career Development Fellowship is to combine practical experience in patient care, teaching, leadership, and scholarship with exposure to the rich environment that the department, university and state provide in specific areas of clinical work, teaching and administrative activity.



Program Overview

The University of North Carolina Department of Family Medicine graduates have an impressive track record of leadership in clinical, teaching and research organizations. The department has a long history of successful fellowship training through a number of programs, including the part-time Faculty Development Fellowship, the NRSA Primary Care Research Fellowship, and the UNC Preventive Medicine Residency Program.

The Department is involved with program development, clinical standards, data systems development and human resources across the UNC Health Care System. Department faculty have working relationships with the UNC Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, as well as research centers such as the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. Across NC, our Department is a leader within the statewide AHEC system.

The guiding philosophy of the Career Development Fellowship is to combine practical experience in patient care, teaching, leadership, and scholarship with exposure to the rich environment that the department, university and state provide in specific areas of clinical work, teaching and administrative activity. Planning of an individually-mentored curriculum designed to address the career goals of the fellow begins with the application process, using needs assessment and meetings with fellowship faculty.

Fellows spend 40% of their time in academic development. For some fellows, their academic development may include graduate-level courses in the UNC School of Public Health, either in pursuit of an MPH or similar degree or to meet individually-determined learning objectives without a degree. For others, academic development is focused on development of excellence in a particular area such as a specific clinical focus, curriculum development or scholarship. The remaining time (60%) is spent in teaching and clinical care. Fellows typically spend one half-day/week precepting family medicine residents. They provide clinical care in one or more UNC Health Care System-affiliated sites, including the UNC Family Medicine Center, Family Medicine Inpatient Service, Maternal-Child Health Service, emergency department at a nearby rural hospital, and local health department sites.

Examples of recent fellows’ clinical foci include:

  • Maternal and Child Health with operative OB Training
  • Maternal and Child Health with emphasis on non-operative OB Training
  • Global Health
  • Hospitalist
  • Leadership Training

Fellows have faculty appointments and participate in Department of Family Medicine faculty meetings. They travel to national and regional meetings of organizations such as the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the Association of American Medical Colleges and meetings focused on specific clinical areas such as maternal-child health.

This position offers a competitive salary and benefits, including an allowance for educational expenses, funds for travel to professional meetings, and office space and computer access.

Application process

The Career Development Fellowship is designed to prepare residency-trained UNC physicians for a career in academic family medicine or in clinical leadership positions. Internal candidates are given priority.  Applicants must be eligible for NC medical licensure and board-certification in Family Medicine. Applications are particularly encouraged from women and members of minority groups. For many of our clinical sites, Spanish language ability is a plus.

Applications for fellowships that start in July are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. The application process typically includes:

  • Completed written application materials
  • Dialogue via e-mail and/or telephone to help clarify goals and priorities
  • On-campus interviews scheduled with applicants whose career goals and interests appear to be a good fit with the fellowship program’s strengths and resources
  • Acceptance decisions usually within 4-6 weeks after interviews

Applicants are required to submit their current CV (please include medical licensure and Board certification/eligibility information). Applicants also need to submit brief answers to the following questions as well as an optional personal statement (applicant should copy and paste these questions into a separate Microsoft Word document). Applicants should save the file as lastname_application.doc (or .docx).

  • Applicant Full Name
  • Date
  • [Optional Personal Statement]
  • Career:
  1. Please describe your ideal job five years from now.
  2. Fifteen years from now, what do you hope to have accomplished?
  • Clinical:
  1. As a practitioner, what are your particular areas of interest? What new areas would you like to develop?
  2. Are there any clinical areas in which you want further development?
  3. What would your ideal clinical practice look like? (e.g., how much inpatient practice? Maternal-child health? Any procedures? Any special clinical focus?)
  • Teaching:
  1. As an educator, what learners and levels of teaching do you have most experience with?
  2. What are your strengths as a teacher, and what areas do you wish to develop?
  • Scholarship:
  1. As a scholar/researcher, what skills do you need to develop?
  2. Is there a particular area that has been your scholarly focus up to now? If not, is there an area in which you have questions that you would like to pursue?
  • Logistics:
  1. Are you are interested in pursuing an MPH or similar degree as part of your fellowship?
  2. If so, have you applied to the UNC School of Public Health? For which program, which starting date?
  3. When do you want to start your fellowship? (Usual start dates are between July 1st and August 15th)
  4. How many years of fellowship training do you think you need?


Applicants will please send their current CV and upload their response questions to an e-mail to:

Dionne Apple
Administrative Support Associate to Margaret Helton, MD, Career Development Fellowship Director
PHONE: 984.974-4990
FAX: 919-966-6125