Skip to main content


Overview and Application Process

~~~ Not currently accepting new students in 2021 ~~~

The program will be a four-year longitudinal elective track with structured didactic sessions throughout the pre-clinical years and independent clinical experiences throughout the students’ core clerkships and elective rotations. Didactic sessions will include a number of guest lectures, journal clubs, and small group experiences. All participants will be encouraged to obtain the following reference guide for the program: Fenway Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Health, 2nd Edition. With sufficient financial support, we can provide all students with a copy of this reference text for use throughout the program.

We plan to enroll 3-5 first year medical students into the first iteration of this elective program in Fall 2018 with a plan to start program activities Spring 2019. The size of each subsequent cohort is expected to increase with each new year of the program.

Program Structure and Highlights

ALL PHASES (once accepted into the program)

UNC Safe Zone Training, and UNC HAVEN Training are to be completed during the foundation phase. Throughout the four years in the program, students will work to complete at least 20 hours of volunteer service within appropriate LGBTQ+ and DSD-related medical and community health organizations. However, demonstrated completion of these tasks is only required by the end of the program. Potential volunteer opportunities are listed in Appendix B. Any other volunteer opportunities identified by students will have to be approved by the program directors before they can be considered for volunteer hours.

Foundation Phase

Didactic sessions will occur during the foundation phase of the medical school curriculum. These sessions will include guest lectures, journal clubs, and small group experiences. The date, time, and location of each of these sessions will be determined once the first iteration of the program has been approved. However, we plan to hold guest lectures and journal clubs once monthly with small group experiences 1-2 times each month.

Application Phase

Students will continue to work on their scholarly projects throughout the application phase. In addition, they will be encouraged to attend pre-clinical year didactic sessions but this is not a requirement. They will have access to all program resources through the program Sakai site for independent study throughout the application phase. As more iterations of the program occur, we will work to incorporate additional didactic instruction, clinical opportunities, and program resources to students in the application phase of the curriculum.

Individualization Phase

Students will devote their individualization phase to completing their scholarly concentration project prior to graduation. This program requirement will be further described below. In addition, students will have to successfully complete a follow-up OSCE to assess for clinical competence and growth.

All of the following requirements need to be met for successful completion of the elective program:

1. Attendance of at least 85% of program activities throughout the foundation phase. This will be tracked at each didactic session. Program students who do not wish to be marked absent will need to formally submit an excused absence to the program directors with sufficient notice. The absence policy will be further developed once this proposal has been approved.

2. Successful completion of an expository essay on a health-related topic of the student’s choice, preferably an extension of a topic discussed or introduced during the course. A clear rubric detailing the expectations for this submission will be provided to program students well in advance of the due date. Students will need to have completed this requirement before entering the application phase.

3. Satisfactory completion of the UNC Safe Zone Training program offered by the UNC LGBTQ+ Center. Program students will be required to report training completion to the program directors in a timely manner.

4. Satisfactory completion of the UNC Helping Advocates for Violence Ending Now (HAVEN) Training program offered by the Equal Opportunity & Compliance Office, Carolina Women’s Center, Office of the Dean of Students, and Student Wellness at UNC. Program students will be required to report training completion to the program directors in a timely manner.

5. Satisfactory completion of two observed structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) with LGBTQ+ and DSD standardized patient encounters. The case scenarios will be developed from existing medical education literature and formal instruction will be given to the program students in preparation for these examinations. The first OSCE will occur near the end of the foundation phase. The second OSCE will occur near the end of the individualization phase to ensure maintenance and growth in clinical competence.

6. Satisfactory completion of a faculty-mentored scholarly research project related to a theme discussed during the MESSAGE program. This project must fulfill the requirements needed to receive the designation of scholarly concentration in Social Medicine as defined by the UNC Social Medicine Scholarly Concentration Program. This project will be due near the end of the individualization phase.

7. Performing at least 20 hours of volunteer service within identified LGBTQ+ and/or DSD medical and community organizations. Program students will be required to report and prove all hours to the program directors in a timely manner.