For Debra Bynum, MD, her position as director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at UNC School of Medicine is deeply personal.
Originally hailing from Jacksonville, North Carolina, and being the first in her family to finish high school, lifelong learning became Bynum’s top value. She entered UNC School of Medicine and instantly fell in love, staying for her residency and beyond.
“I loved my time in medical school, but I really loved my residency training,” Bynum said. “It’s a challenging time learning how to care for patients in the real world, and it’s also a time where you make friends for life – I’m still very close with my co-residents after all these years.”
Bynum sees working with trainees during a unique and transitional period in their lives as paying it forward after her own experience.
“I look back on my residency as the time that truly shaped me – taking care of patients and the people of North Carolina. Residency is where I learned how to be the person I am now, and it means a lot to me to give back to the place that opened up so many opportunities for me.”
Bynum’s giving back has not stopped at her leadership of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Bynum made lead gifts to create the Internal Medicine Resident Professional Development Fund and the Resident Wellness Fund – two initiatives that have quickly become an important source of support for residents in everyday clinical activities as well as beyond the hospital walls.
Read more from the UNC Health Foundation.