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 will have 30 students in 2020-21.
  • 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:

John Allen

Hi y’all! I am in the Hendersonville part of the Asheville Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum for my third year of medical school. I could not think of a better way to spend my clinical year than here! The opportunities to work directly with attending physicians while being an integral member of patient care are amazing! My preceptors have taken the time to teach me despite the demands of busy clinics by pushing me to read up on topics before clinic, perfect my physical exam skills, refine my clinical thinking, and practice hands-on procedures. The required shifts in the Emergency Room have been exciting, fast paced and full of learning. Even though this campus is known for producing great primary care doctors, I was able to scrub in on approximately 3-5 surgical cases a day during our 6-weeks of surgery. You don’t get that experience at other places! I am also a Kenan Primary Care Medical Scholar and have enjoyed this path at UNC which included a 6-week Family Medicine internship in the mountains of Western North Carolina in the summer after my first year

I grew up on the North Shore of Boston where I loved playing sports, especially soccer and wrestling. My father instilled in me a love for the Appalachian Mountains and wilds of northern New England. I climbed my first 4,000-foot mountain at age 5 and began backpacking at 12. After high school, I tried college for a year before deciding that working outside with my hands was my preference. I did stints as a farmer and landscaper before settling into carpentry. I specialized in historic houses and did everything from framing to finish work to custom cabinetry. I ran my own business for three years before deciding it was time for my next adventure. I enlisted in the US Army, eventually earning my Green Beret and spending ten years with four combat deployments to Afghanistan as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant. I was afforded the chance to work with and train medics from numerous foreign militaries. I was blessed to be mentored by some of our nation’s finest trauma surgeons as well as provide medical care to the children of remote villages in Central Asia.

My wife and three children accompanied me to Western North Carolina and we all love it here! It is such a great area to live and raise kids. We have barely scratched the surface of hikes to waterfalls or grassy balds in the area. We would love to stay in the area and grow roots. I am still leaning towards Family Medicine in a rural area and this program is perfect for that!