Frequently Asked Questions
One of the many strengths of our program is our Maternal Child Health curriculum. Our program has been reported in the literature (Fam Med, 2003; 35:174-80) as a unique blend of education and patient care that combines the viewpoints and philosophies of family physicians and midwives. The RRC requires 3 months of OB/GYN — we have 6 weeks of OB with obstetricians in a large community hospital and then 4.5 months of maternal child health with the FP faculty. Of those 4.5 months in the 2nd and 3rd year, only 1.5 months of that time is spent in “obstetrics”, with the remainder being inclusive of care for newborns, young children, adolescents, sexual health, family planning, and STI treatment. On average, upon graduation our residents do somewhere between 100-110 deliveries over the course of their residency.
The ‘C’ of MCH is also a strength of our program–newborn care, FMC children’s acute care clinic, pediatric care at a health department, urban and rural pediatric settings are all part of residents’ experience during MCH months. The residents also have 4 months of pediatrics with the Pediatrics services at Wake and at UNC Hospitals.
- Broad scope family medicine training including MCH, inpatient care, and the full spectrum of outpatient office practice throughout all three years of residency, all taught by Family Physicians
- Broad procedural experience taught by Family Physicians: colposcopy, vasectomy, circumcisions, exercise testing, dermatologic procedures, acupuncture
- Midwife on faculty
- Residents as teachers- we provide opportunities to mentor and teach medical students and other health career students
- Quality improvement training and training in new models of care
- Blend of community hospital, outpatient experience and tertiary care experience–best of all worlds
- Exposure to diverse group of talented faculty clinicians, teachers, researchers–strong identity as an academic department
- Diversity of resident physicians–we attract a unique group of residents who enrich our program with their individual interests and strengths.
- The state of NC is beautiful! And this part of North Carolina provides particularly nice lifestyle options.
- Intensity of program. This program is intended for candidates who are interested in being trained for the broadest scope of family medicine. It takes commitment to this concept. Candidates who are looking for intensity of the program to significantly decrease after internship might find our program too demanding for their style. Our second and third year residents have increasing leadership responsibilities in patient care and teaching of other residents and medical students.
- Driving. Several of our rotations involve some commuting (the rotations at Wake Medical Center in Raleigh are most notable in this regard). All the residents say these rotations are ‘worth the drive.’ However, for those who do not like driving or commuting this could be a turn-off.
We believe that one of the most important things a university-based program can offer is opportunity to engage in innovative change and advancement of the knowledge within the discipline. We can point to a significant list of ways that our faculty has worked to achieve distinction within the UNC University and Hospitals systems as well as nationally. You will find here examples of excellence and achievement in:
Cross-covering, or taking call on FMIS during a different rotation, is rare and only occurs 2-3 times a year with our new schedule. Third year residents work from 6a-6p 7 days of a week while on inpatient (six separate times throughout the year). MCH in both the second and third year is a q3 call on average, but this is call from home, so when there are no active labor patients, residents do not stay in the hospital. To maintain continuity to our laboring patients, the residents strongly advocated to maintain the call schedule during MCH.
This is a common question we receive from candidates who are concerned about the way FM residents are treated in academic medical centers. It is our feeling that the high quality of our residents over the years has built a strong reputation among their colleagues in the institutions where we work, and that there is an expectation for strong clinical skills in the FM residents. Accordingly, we feel that the other departments treat their off-service FM residents as equal members of whatever team they are on.
Additionally, our faculty hold several of the most important positions within the UNC system. These positions include: President of the UNC Physician Network, Director of the Office of International Activities, Designated Institutional Official for Graduate Medical Education, Medical Director of the UNC Health Alliance, Vice Dean for the UNC School of Medicine, Medical Director and Vice President of Ambulatory Care Administration, Dean of Clinical Education for the SOM and the President of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine.
Every incoming intern has a total of $2,000 that can be used over the three years for educational expenses, including books, subscriptions and travel to conferences. Most residents have used it for 1-2 conferences, travel to elective rotations and subscriptions.
Effective July 1, 2017, the current academic year salary scale for residents is:
* R1 – $51,814
* R2 – $53,662
* R3 – $55,367
Other UNC housestaff benefits can be accessed here.
A common theme of much of the research in our department is improving the effectiveness of primary care. The faculty members involved in these projects are involved in residency teaching. Our philosophy is that ongoing patient care related research enriches the learning environment. Residents are encouraged but not required to do research. However, they are required to do two projects during their residency. In Year 2 during Family Medicine Month, they do a short group project examining an aspect of preventive care. In Year 3, they do a major project over the course of the year aimed at improving some aspect of the actual practice as it is conducted in the FMC. Both projects involve a detailed examination of the questions related, thorough search and review of the literature, chart reviews of current practices, summary of findings and recommendations. Formal presentations at conference time serve to complete these projects.
The University of North Carolina Family Medicine student program is a vital part of the Department’s mission in the institution. Residents’ interactions with students on clinical rotations are vital to attracting medical students to family medicine. Family Medicine interns also work with third year students when rotating on Pediatrics, Medicine, Surgery and Obstetrics services; our inpatient service has both acting interns and third-year medical students.
In third year, our residents have an opportunity to precept under supervision in the FMC. All residents also help with coverage of the Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC) free clinic that is organized and coordinated by the medical students at UNC Medical School. The continued presence of psychiatry first-year residents on our service emphasizes the importance of gaining teaching and supervisory skills.
The Family Medicine Center, where residents’ continuity practices are located, serves a cross section of Chapel Hill. Just over half of the patients are adults between the ages of 20 and 60, with 25% of the patients over 65, 30% black, and 20% Medicaid.
For the two residents each year who participate in the Underserved Track, their continuity practice is located at Prospect Hill in rural North Carolina. In spite of the 40-minute drive from UNC, this commute allows for a tour of our state’s beautiful countryside and insight into the remoteness and limited resources experienced by some North Carolinians. Just over half of the patients at the Prospect Hill clinic are Spanish-speaking.
Most of the hospital rotations take place at either the University of North Carolina Hospitals, a tertiary care facility with comprehensive facilities or Wake Hospital, a large community hospital about 30-40 minutes away in Raleigh. Short rotations in other settings–local practices, rural community health centers and practices, the Student Health Service–provide specific clinical experience and exposure to other kinds of clinical settings.
The Department of Family Medicine and University of North Carolina are nationally renowned for the variety and quality of fellowship training available. Our fellows have gone on to take leadership roles in the AAFP and in departments across the country. Through our residency and fellowship training, almost 10% of all faculty in Family Medicine in the United States are graduates of the UNC Department of Family Medicine. Examples of our fellowship opportunities include:
Primary Care Sports Medicine
Career Development Fellowships , which can be tailored to your educational goals.Examples of recent fellows’ clinical foci include MCH with operative OB, MCH without operative OB, Global Health, and Hospitalist training.
Faculty Development Fellowship
Primary Care Research Fellowship
We participate in the Electronic Residency Application System, and all applicants should consult their respective medical schools to learn how to use this system. Using the information available through ERAS we screen candidates’ applications and will begin inviting individuals for interviews as early as we can, usually around September. We conduct formal interviews on most Mondays and Fridays from October through January. The evening before interview days, our residents meet with candidates informally over a dinner held at a resident’s house. Further application information is available via this link.
At every step of the process, residents play a very active role in selecting their colleagues. In early February, we prepare a draft rank listing of all applicants based on a scoring of academic records (50%) and interviews (50%). The interview score is obtained by averaging faculty and resident evaluations, and all evaluations are counted equally. This draft match list is then modified at a combined resident-faculty meeting before being submitted to the NRMP.
We honor the spirit and the letter of the National Residency Match Program, which is designed to protect the interests of medical students. Applicants should expect to receive an acknowledgement from the program after their visit, but in no case will there be a promise of a position in advance of the match. We encourage further communication from candidates. Often there are additional questions that need to be addressed after getting back home and some people like to come back for a second look. We are perfectly amenable to that and will be happy to help anyone who wishes to do so make the necessary arrangements.
Updated: August 2017