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Left to Right: Christopher Lee, Emma Bick, Portia Nleya, Ryan Searcy, Jacob Amburn


The UNC Internal Medicine Residency Program welcomes the following chief residents who will serve during the 2024-2025 academic year. The administrative chief resident is a position of distinction, professionalism and leadership. These appointed physicians will lead and mentor residents, as they learn to recognize the needs of the department and hospital.

Inpatient Chief: Jacob Amburn, MD

Jacob Amburn grew up in a military family and moved around the country throughout his childhood. He graduated with a degree in Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and took his talents across the state of Tennessee to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis for medical school before making his way to Chapel Hill for residency. Here he has found a passion for oncology and teaching, and after his chief year, he plans to pursue a fellowship in hematology and oncology and continue on in a career in academic medicine with an emphasis on medical education. His wife is a chief resident in Emergency Medicine at Duke, and when not in the hospital they enjoy exploring all of the restaurants the Triangle has to offer, having recently enjoyed their 100th unique restaurant in the area.

Medicine-Pediatrics Chief: Emma Bick, MD

Emma Bick is a Chapel Hill native and life long Tar Heel fan. She attended Williams College where she majored in Mathematics with a minor in Public Health before returning to UNC for her MD and MPH. While at UNC she was very involved in the student run free clinic (SHAC). She decided to stay at UNC for residency, drawn to its strong Med-Peds tradition and amazing Med-Peds faculty as well as the supportive and inclusive community. She is delighted to give back to the program and follow in the footsteps of the former med peds chiefs whom she admires so much.  Following training, Emma plans to pursue a fellowship in Adult Pulmonology and Critical Care. In her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her corgi, Alis, hosting dinner parties, and taking day trips to the beach.

Outpatient Chief: Christopher Lee, MD

Christopher Lee is from Indianapolis, IN and attended Wheaton College, where he majored in both Spanish and Applied Health Science. He graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine prior to moving to North Carolina to compete his residency in Internal Medicine and now serves as the Ambulatory Chief Resident for the program. Following his chief residency year, he plans to pursue a fellowship in gastroenterology and plans to remain active in medical education and research. In his free time, he is an avid runner and enjoys other hobbies such as fly fishing, hiking, photography, cooking, and traveling.

Inpatient Chief: Portia Nleya, MD

Portia Nleya was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, but moved to the United States when she was eight. Portia has spent most of her life in North Carolina. She attended UNC for college, where she studied Biology, and later earned a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology at IU-Bloomington. Before returning to UNC for medical school, Portia worked as a public health advisor for the CDC in Richmond, Virginia, focusing on community outreach and immigrant health. Portia was excited to match at UNC for her Internal Medicine Residency, making her a triple Tar Heel. She looks forward to her role as inpatient chief, engaging in education at all levels and fostering an open environment. After her chief year, Portia plans to continue her career in academic primary care, with a focus on being a clinician-educator. In her free time, she enjoys board games, playing the guitar, videography, and is an avid film enthusiast.

WakeMed Chief: Ryan Searcy, MD

Ryan Searcy grew up in North Carolina where he later attended UNC and received his bachelor’s in biology. He loved Chapel Hill and everything the Triangle has to offer, leading him to stay at UNC for medical school, where he was inducted into the AOA Honor Society and was active in student government. He solidified his status as a tarheel “Lifer” when he decided to stay at UNC for residency, drawn to the resident-led culture and focus on quality patient care above all else. He is excited to be continuing his journey at UNC this year as the Wake Med Chief in Raleigh. During his free time, Ryan enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants around the Triangle, and watching Carolina sports (Go Heels!).