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UNC School of Medicine students, circa 1978.

About the Project

What was it like to be a Black medical student at UNC School of Medicine in the 1960s and 1970s?

This collection of oral histories takes one step – of many possible – to address this question. The 1960s and 1970s were pivotal decades during which the number of underrepresented minority medical students increased significantly from about 1% to about 16% in 1976, mirroring national trends, through recruitment efforts and the support students received from their families, fellow students, and faculty – including at North Carolina’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

We are grateful to the Black alumni who have shared their personal recollections of that era, which have been compiled and collected here at the behest of leaders of the UNC chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). The alumni presented in this collection have encouraged and inspired younger generations of students in medicine, by breaking significant professional barriers within specialties, hospitals, and even the state. With the Black Alumni Experience Project, these individuals will continue to inspire through their stories.

Interview Library

While we have been able to connect with several 1960s and 1970s alums in their homes and virtually, we would still welcome the chance to speak to some we have not been able to reach, or their descendants. If you can put us in touch, please write to Dr. Raúl Necochea López at We appreciate you for helping us grow this site!

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