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Application Phase Site Assignment Events and Timeline

Thank you for visiting this page. Please read on for key events, information, timelines, and FAQs related to the site assignment process for current MS1 students who will enter Application Phase in the spring of 2024. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, please reach out to Mary Hauser (mary_hauser@med.unc.edu) and Valerie Glassman (valerie_glassman@med.unc.edu).

UNC School of Medicine: One School, Six Application Phase Sites

UNC School of Medicine is made up of six sites: Asheville, Central Cross-Regional, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Wilmington where students engage in clinical learning across Application and Individualization Phases (3rd and 4th years). Capacity at each of the six sites is maximized to ensure that students get the clinical experiences they need to progress in their training.

Capacity for Application Phase 2024-25 is as follows:

  • Asheville—35 students
  • Central Cross Regional—80 students
  • Charlotte—9 students
  • Greensboro—12 students
  • Raleigh—27 students
  • Wilmington—27 students

Site Representatives Visit Class Meetings

Representatives from the sites will visit MS1 Class Meetings throughout Fall 2022 to share information about their campuses with students. Visits will take place on the following dates:

  • September 28—Charlotte
  • October 19—Raleigh and Central Cross-Regional
  • November 9—Asheville, Greensboro, and Wilmington

Site representatives will be available to meet with students to answer individual questions for the half hour before and after the Class Meeting (12:00 – 12:30 PM and 1:30 – 2:00 PM). This is a good opportunity to ask about things like housing , research options, etc. at particular sites. Please drop by the second floor lobby of MBRB to meet with site representatives.

Open Houses

Each site will hold an Open House in the fall/winter of 2022-23 to give students a chance to visit campuses in person and learn more about the unique aspects of Application Phase experiences in different locations. Open House dates are all scheduled during curriculum-free times:

  • Raleigh—October 21 (half day)
  • Central Cross-Regional—November 14 (lunch hour)
  • Wilmington—December 2 (full day)
  • Asheville—December 9 (full day)
  • Greensboro—January 20 (half day)
  • Charlotte—January 27 (full day)

The Offices of Medical Student Education have arranged for a bus to take students to the Wilmington, Asheville, and Charlotte Open Houses (56 seats available). Please stay tuned in class meetings for more information about how to sign up for Open Houses and bus seats. Students are not required to ride the bus—you are welcome to drive yourself, but please sign up for the Open House either way. There will be a large number of “slots” available for Open Houses (~80 per campus).

Student Government Campus Representatives

Another great way to learn more about each site is to talk with the Student Government Curriculum Representative. This year’s representatives for each site are:

Campus Assignment Process Details

Survey

In mid-February, you will receive a Qualtrics survey designed to collect your preferences for the assignment process. Below, you will find a step-by-step description of the survey. Please note that students applying to the assignment process as a pod (see below) need only submit one survey.

After submitting your name, the survey will ask you the following questions:

  • Are you a member of one of the School of Medicine’s special programs?
    • MD/PhD
    • FIRST
    • Kenan Scholars
  • Do you have an exemption that requires you to be a certain campus? Exemptions include:
    • Primary and substantive responsibilities for the care of another person who is unable to live independently (brief description of caregiving responsibilities required)
    • A health matter that requires frequent in-person health care at an established provider (attestation from provider required at the time of form completion)

Next, you will be asked if you would like to enter the lottery as a “pod.” A pod is a group of up to three students who apply to the lottery as a single unit. The purpose of pods is to offer students the opportunity to maintain community formed during the Foundation Phase (e.g., friends, roommates, academic support systems). If you wish to “pod,” you will submit the names of your group members and an attestation that you all agree to your campus rank list. Please note that a pod submits a single preference list and receives a single lottery number through the random number generator. Students in special programs (FIRST, etc.) and those who have exemptions may not participate in a pod.

You will then be asked how you rank the six sites. Each student/pod will rank the six sites (Asheville, Central Cross-Regional, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Wilmington) in order of preference.

Lottery

Students in the aforementioned special programs and students with approved exemptions will be assigned to campuses. Remaining students/pods will then be assigned a lottery number through a random number generator. Sites will be filled starting with the lowest lottery number (lottery number 1) with the students’/pods’ first choices until those are full. We will then move to second choices and so forth. Site assignments will be announced via email in the first week of April. Students with immediate concerns should first contact their advisors and then Dr. Glassman (Valerie_Glassman@med.unc.edu) and Dr. Alice Chuang (Alice_Chuang@med.unc.edu).

Appeals

Life happens! If your circumstances change and you need to appeal your assignment, you may do so during the Neurology block of your MS2 year (September 2023). Students who have had a change in their medical needs or other change in life circumstances that requires them to reconsider site assignment may submit an appeal to the Student Support Committee via Dr. Glassman (Valerie_Glassman@med.unc.edu). Appeals may be made on the grounds of: 1) A change in health status that requires an individual to be placed at a particular location to maintain care with a provider (attestation required) 2) A change in personal circumstances that would make it significantly preferable for a student’s well-being to be placed at a particular site (e.g., illness of a loved one).

Campus Assignment Process Timeline

  • February 15—Site Assignment Form opens
  • February 22—Site Assignment Form closes
  • Week of April 1—Site assignments shared via email
  • September 2023—Fall Appeals Period (students may submit an appeal regarding their site assignment)

Frequently Asked Questions

What does “Central Cross-Regional” mean? If I am assigned to the Central Cross-Regional site, how far will I have to drive to my placements?
Central Cross-Regional students are placed at clinics across the Triangle and Triad area—from east of Raleigh to Greensboro. While many placements are close to Chapel Hill, others may be up to an hour away. AHEC housing may be available to Central Cross-Regional students doing a short-term rotation at a clinic in Greensboro. Please be prepared for the need to commute across the region (up to an hour) during Application Phase.
Will I get my fifth or sixth choice of site preference?
Because it is a true lottery system, students with lower numbers are more likely to be assigned their first or second choice site. However, it is possible that some students may be assigned a fourth, fifth, or sixth choice site.

Student preferences vary from year to year, and therefore previous lotteries may not provide accurate insight into the current year’s. However, when the Class of 2025 completed the lottery in Spring 2022, of 186 students who completed the form, only 8 students – less than 5% of the class – were assigned their fourth or fifth choice for campus assignment. No student was assigned their sixth choice.

What additional expenses should be considered when considering a year or more at a branch campus?

When considering a branch campus, keep in mind changes to rent or other housing costs, the cost of moving and the cost of returning to Chapel Hill. If you complete Application Phase at a branch site, you will have the option of staying there for Individualization Phase, thus eliminating the cost of a second move. There are additional considerations at each site. Contact the Financial Aid office for more information and/or reach out to branch campus directors for more site-specific information.

Financial Aid: Sheila_graham@med.unc.edu

Site Directors:

  • Asheville—Jessica Poston (Jessica.Poston@mahec.net)
  • Charlotte—Celeste Colcord (CColcord@novanthealth.org)
  • Greensboro—Wanda Price (wanda.price@conehealth.org)
  • Wilmington—Meredith Hughes (Meredith.hughes@seahec.net)
How can I learn more about housing options at the sites?
Housing options are unique to each site and always evolving. The best contacts for detailed information are the site directors and students who are currently at a site or have recently been there. The following people are a good first point of contact for site-specific housing questions.

  • Asheville—Jessica Poston (Jessica.Poston@mahec.net)
  • Charlotte—Celeste Colcord (CColcord@novanthealth.org)
  • Greensboro—Tonya Baldwin (tonya.baldwin@conehealth.org)
  • Wilmington—Meredith Hughes (Meredith.hughes@seahec.net)
Do I need a car for Application Phase?
Yes. Regardless of which site you are assigned, you will need a car for Application Phase. For some placements, you may not need to travel far, or you may be able to rely on public transportation, but you are very likely to need to drive to an assigned clinic at some point during your Application Phase year.
If I received an exemption for Central Cross-Regional during the campus assignment process, doesn’t that mean that I will only be placed in Chapel Hill during Application Phase?
No. If you have an approved exemption (medical or primary caregiver) during the campus assignment process and are assigned to Central Cross-Regional, this exemption will carry over to your clinical placements. Course coordinators will make every effort to schedule your rotations in Chapel Hill. However, this does not mean that you will only be assigned to clinics in Chapel Hill for CBLC. There are not enough clinics located within Chapel Hill to place all of our CBLC students. Please expect to have a 20–50-minute commute for at least one of your clinic placements during Application Phase.
If I attend an Open House, am I committing to a campus? Does attending an Open House give me preference for being placed at a site?
No, attending an Open House is only for your information. Your attendance at these events will not play a role in the assignment process.
I sometimes hear the Application Phase sites referred to as “branch campuses.” What is the difference between a “campus” and a “site”?
The campus and site distinction has to do with the LCME accreditation process and the level of approval a location goes through in order to become a part of UNC SOM. Both campuses and sites must offer a comparable educational experience, meaning that they must address all of the UNC SOM competencies in Application and Individualization Phases and use the same assessments. Some sites may become campuses in the future. In case you are curious, Asheville, Charlotte, and Wilmington are branch campuses, while Greensboro and Raleigh are sites.
Once I get my campus assignment, when will I know the calendar for my whole Application Phase year?
The Application Phase calendar is typically developed over the summer and released in the fall. The Curricular Affairs team aims to finalize and release the calendar as soon as possible so that students can make plans. In 2022, the calendar was finalized and released in early September. The Asheville Campus calendar is released shortly thereafter. Please note that while the overall Application Phase calendar dates are firm, clinic placements and schedules are subject to change. As preceptor schedules and commitments shift, student schedules need to be adjusted, all with the goal of ensuring each student a productive rotation experience.