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UNC School of Medicine Asheville

Information about Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum


  • UNC School of Medicine Asheville campus opened in July 2009 with the support of UNC School of Medicine, Mission Health, and Mountain AHEC. Beginning with four students, we expanded to 20 students in 2014, and currently have 31 students in 2022-23.
  • The foundation of this program, a longitudinal integrated curriculum, is similar to the “Cambridge Model.” In 2004, Harvard restructured their third year clerkships to place a cohort of students in outpatient settings for the majority of their curriculum, which allowed students to follow “their patients” in all health care settings.
  • Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) have the following core principles:
    • Relationship and continuity of the four Ps:
      • Preceptors
      • Patients
      • Place
      • Peers
    • Active, hands on roles with patients
    • Flexibility of unscheduled half days for self directed learning

The Asheville community, with its robust primary care services and diverse specialty practice settings, provides an ideal setting for this type of curriculum. (Reference: Latessa R, Beaty N, Royal K, Colvin G, Pathman DE, Heck J. Academic Outcomes of a Community-Based Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships Program. Med Teach 2015; 37(9):862-867).

  • The longitudinal curriculum utilizes a cadre of dedicated teachers and a greater reliance on outpatient teaching. Students have more exposure to experienced practicing physicians and a much greater likelihood of seeing the same patients over an extended period of time and through the continuum of care.
  • The Individualization Phase reverts to block schedules and presents opportunities for rotations in Asheville and rural WNC, as well as Chapel Hill or across the state, nation, or internationally.

What students say about the program:

Reese Willingham
Hello! My name is Reese, and I am an MS3 here at the UNCSOM – Asheville campus! I grew up in Hendersonville, NC and attended UNC-Asheville for undergrad. At UNC-Asheville I majored in psychology and minored in neuroscience. Throughout my undergraduate education, I did the MAHEC summer internship and made so many wonderful connections to the MAHEC and Blue Ridge Community Health Services systems here in WNC. It was always my dream to go to UNC-Chapel Hill for medical school and MAHEC helped me make that happen. I wanted to come back to Asheville because this has always been my home and I have had the strong desire to serve this area since I was a kid. The longitudinal curriculum has given me the chance to follow my patients and take ownership of their care, which is my favorite part of medicine.
In my spare time I love spending time outside. I am usually dragging my mom around on all my adventures (or she’s dragging me… depends on who you ask). We’re usually hiking, backpacking, paddling, or rock climbing. If I’m not climbing a mountain somewhere, you can find me at the Riveter. Asheville is the perfect place to explore, and it is so conveniently located near some of the most beautiful places in the world. I love seeing the Blue Ridge Mountains when I drive around WNC, and I am so fortunate that I am able to continue my education here at home.


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