The Office of Special Programs offers these main programs and initiatives specifically targeted toward minorities and under represented students who are interested in health and allied health professions.

Each summer, our Medical Education Development (MED) program provides an opportunity for students from underrepresented backgrounds to experience the rigors of the medical school curriculum while shadowing physicians, developing clinical skills through patient simulation, and participating in professional development seminars designed to enhance the student’s appreciation for and deepen their understanding of the medical professions.


Recruitment

The Office of Special Programs actively recruits throughout the state and the country at various recruitment fairs and presentations to pre-health clubs to recruit for the medical and dental schools at UNC and the MED program. In addition, our office hosts visiting school groups from the K-12th grade level leading educational workshops to expose students to various aspects of the health professions and provide student and administrative information panels for college groups who wish to visit our campus. We also host an open house each fall for students interested in attending medical or dental school and/or the MED program. Staff is also available to meet individually with students regarding their journey to medicine/dentistry.

See dates that our office will be recruiting:

Important Dates

Pre-Health Advising

In addition to recruitment, our office also provides pre-health advising and resources to any student. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our staff to discuss your application to medical or dental school or your current journey toward a health professional school, please see our contact page for more details. We also have a resources page (will soon be expanded) for parents and students with interests in a health profession.


SNMA (Student National Medical Association)

Our office supports one of the largest Student National Medical Association chapters in the country. A diverse group of energetic and committed leaders, our SNMA supports and impacts the local community through health education fairs, community outreach through the Share-Your-Christmas Drive, HIV Awareness Campaign, and helps staff a local soup kitchen. In addition, SNMA also provides mentorship, education, and inspiration to elementary and high school students interested in medicine through pipeline programs. These programs allow students from surrounding communities to learn about the sciences and careers in the medical field on the campus of UNC School of Medicine.


LMSA (Latino Medical Student Association)

Our office supports one of newest Latino Medical Student Association Chapters, established in the Fall of 2013. The LMSA UNC Chapter’s primary goal is to gather students of all backgrounds at the undergraduate and graduate levels alongside physicians, to work together on improving the health of the Latino community.


Hispanic Health Initiative

The Hispanic Health Initiative focuses on the unique opportunities present throughout our state to empower Hispanic youth to navigate the educational path to medicine. Our initiative is student-driven by a dynamic and energized group of medical students who engage with the local and state-wide communities in efforts to promote health careers awareness and opportunities for Hispanic youth, in addition to helping underserved Latino communities.

History

Summary

The Office of Special Programs (OSP) is a division of the Office of Medical Education (OME) of the School of Medicine.
One of the core programs of OSP is the Medical Education Development (MED) program. The MED Program was established in 1974 to increase opportunities in the health professions for underrepresented minority (URM) students. These students demonstrate educational promise and commitment to a health career but have lacked the opportunity in the past in moving toward their professional goals.


Timeline

1951

First African-American student enrolls at the UNC School of Medicine.

1965

First minority dental students enroll at the UNC School of Dentistry.

1974

Medical Education Development (MED) Program is established.

1981

The Lawrence Zollicoffer Lecture is established by members of the UNC chapter of the Student National Medical Association with the support of the dean of the School of Medicine.

Dr. Lawrence Zollicoffer

1985

Mr. Larry Keith joins the UNC School of Medicine as the Associate Director of the Medical Education Development (MED) Program.

1992

Mr. Larry Keith becomes the director of the Office of Special Programs.

2004

The Merrimon Family joins in providing support to the Dr. Zollicoffer lecture.

2011

Cedric M. Bright, MD, FACP becomes the director of the Office of Special Programs.