TEC Curriculum

Translational Education at Carolina (TEC)

Starting in the Fall of 2014

Translational Education at Carolina will transform the way medical students learn the art and science of medicine through integrated basic science and clinical skills blocks, longitudinal patient care experiences, and flexible clinical experiences that give them opportunities in specialty fields well before they apply to residency programs. The redesigned curriculum will reflect the needs of future physicians, the desire for early differentiation and exploration, and the realities of adult learners today.

TEC Calendar Outline 2014-01-30.jpg                TEC Outline (coils) 2014-01-30.jpg

(Click on images to enlarge)



Click on the image for an overview of the Translational Education at Carolina (TEC) narrated by Julie Story Byerley, MD, MPH

TEC Overview


Foundation Phase (August 2014 – June 2015 and August 2015 – December 2015)

This 16-month foundational education replaces the traditional curriculum often seen in the first two years of medical school. The foundational blocks will integrate normal and abnormal human conditions, teach the basics through cases and clinical experiences, and rely extensively on active learning techniques.


Application Phase (March 2016 – February 2017)

The redesigned clinical experience begins six months earlier than it does in traditional four-year medical schools. These experiences will be designed around the needs of patients in specific settings rather than being organized according departments and specialties. For instance, the Reproductive and Early Life Care block reorganizes the traditional Obstetrics/Gynecology and Pediatric clerkships into an experience that reflects the continuum of care from prenatal care through adolescent medicine.

Students interested in pursuing an MPH, PhD, MBA, focused research experience, or other leave from the MD curriculum can do so before, during, or after the Application Phase. As many as 30 percent of our students pursue these opportunities—the most popular of which is the one-year MPH program at UNC’s top-ranked School of Public Health.


Individualization Phase (summer 2015; March 2017-May 2018)

An earlier start into what is traditionally the fourth year of medical school will allow students to have more time to take clinical electives, which will in turn help them to choose their future specialties. Students will develop an individualized learning plan with their advisors and mentors to personalize their learning experience. The Individualization Phase includes optional tracks that focus on medical education, global health, rural/community medicine, and other student personal interests.


Each Phase of the TEC Curriculum will have a committee that manages current planning and future development.


Guiding Principles:

Our UNC School of Medicine curriculum will…

    1. be student-centered and patient based, while being population, public health, and globally inspired
    2. facilitate translation and integration of basic, clinical, and population science to enhance human health and well-being
    3. provide a strong foundation for entry into graduate medical education within the broad opportunities of medicine, while being flexible and individualized
    4. be responsive to the changing healthcare environment
    5. focus on promoting, supporting and maintaining health, not just treating disease
    6. incorporate strengths of the university including opportunities for inter-professional and cross-disciplinary education
    7. provide longitudinal engagement with faculty and robust mentorship
    8. incorporate multiple modes of student learning
    9. instill intellectual curiosity, developing an aptitude for critical thinking and lifelong learning
    10. promote the development of leadership skills, professionalism, ethics, humanism, and service to others