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The UNC MD-PhD Program is more than just your MD and PhD curriculum. It is a world of networks and opportunities that allow you to develop friendships with your fellow MD-PhD colleagues and make new contacts within the scientific community. The UNC MD-PhD Program Leadership plans events throughout the year to enrich the program community and build these networks and opportunities.

Annual Retreat

Every year, all participants in the MD-PhD Program gather in Wrightsville Beach, NC for a weekend of work and play. The primary goal of the retreat is to welcome the incoming students and integrate them into the program, but it is also an opportunity to discuss “business” items, participate in peer advising and team building activities, and plan for the new school year. Perhaps the best part of the retreat is the time allocated for much-needed rest and relaxation before we all dive back into the work of the new semester.

Click here to see photos from past retreats.


Monday Night Dinner Seminars

The program holds Monday Night Dinner seminars twice per month during the academic year. These seminars cover clinical and biomedical research topics and are given by local scientists and physicians invited by the program to discuss their cutting-edge research. Most speakers come from UNC, Duke, or other nearby research centers. Monday Night Dinners are excellent opportunities for students to meet faculty members with whom they might consider research rotations and for senior students to review topics outside of their field of expertise.

Click here to see photos from past Monday Night Dinner Seminars.


Distinguished Medical Scientist Lecture

It the MD-PhD Program’s pleasure to host a nationally-recognized physician-scientist each year for our Distinguished Medical Scientist Lecture. This individual gives a lecture to the general medical school community and also spends extended time with our MD-PhD students.

Past Distinguished Medical Scientist Lecturers include: Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, Editor of JAMA; Dr. Peter Agre, Nobel Laureate from Johns Hopkins; Dr. Alan Schwartz, Chairman of Pediatrics at Washington University; Dr. Christine Seidman of Harvard University; Dr. Brian Drucker of Oregon Health Sciences; and Dr. Phil Zeitler of the University of Colorado.


Alumni Lecture

As often as possible, the Program invites back one of its own to share their perspective on life after graduation from the University of North Carolina. This individual spends extended time with our MD-PhD students, gives a lecture, and joins us for a meal.

Past speakers have included: Larry Jameson, Dean of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Geoffrey Schoenbaum, Senior Investigator for the National Institute on Drug Abuse; Daniel Wessell, Diagnostic Radiologist for the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL; Jonathan Berg, Assistant Professor at UNC Chapel Hill; Douglas Graham, Associate Professor at UC Denver; Josh Knowles, Instructor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford; Juliet Klasing Knowles, Pediatric Neurology Resident at Stanford; and Cara Geary, Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch.


Meet-and-Greets with Distinguished Individuals

Throughout the year, a number of distinguished individuals visit the UNC School of Medicine. The MD-PhD program staff arranges MD-PhD-only events whenever possible. Some of the distinguished individuals our students have been able to meet and learn from include:Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, editor of JAMA; Dr. Victoria Frazier, Washington University, St Louis; Dr. Griffin Rodgers, Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK); Dr. Steven Korn, Program Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS); Dr. Helen Hobbs, HHMI Investigator and Chair, Center for Human Growth and Development, Internal Medicine, and Molecular Genetics; Dr. Tom Insel, Director, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); Eva Mozes Kor, Holocaust Survivor; Larry Jameson, Executive VP, University of Pennsylvania Health System and Dean of Penn’s School of Medicine; and Dr. Terry Dermody, Chair of Pediatrics and Scientific Director, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.


Bell Leadership Day


The MD/PhD Program and the Smith Leadership Initiative have designed a program intended to further expand leadership development, and also offer a rewarding and fun experience. The event has been designed to complement students’ classes, but not overlap.  It is also planned to be as interactive as possible. By the end of the day, students can expect to have had the opportunity to further develop the following skills: Self-awareness, Communication, Conflict management, Influence, Team effectiveness, and Change management.