The FIRST program consists of two parts: a three-year accelerated and enhanced medical school curriculum to fast-track into a NC Family Medicine Residency, followed by three years of service in North Carolina with ongoing support in practice. Read below for details of the two program components.

Medical School: Three-Year MD Curriculum


A More Detailed Look at the FIRST (Fully Integrated Readiness for Service Track) Curriculum

  • Curricular Time: 130 weeks (similar to other students)
  • Vacation: 1st year winter break: 2 weeks; 2nd Year winter break: 2 weeks: other vacation 4 weeks
  • Shelf study time: 6 weeks
  • Campus: Application Phase options at Chapel Hill, Asheville, Charlotte, or Wilmington


Residency: Three Years of Family Medicine Residency

FIRST Scholars have the highest priority in the match for UNC and affiliated North Carolina Family Medicine Residency Programs, including residency in the #2 nationally ranked UNC Family Medicine Residency Program. The UNC Family Medicine Residency Program has been training family physicians since 1973 and is committed to training physician leaders to provide full-scope care and advocacy to meet the needs of North Carolina and beyond. UNC Family Medicine is leading the nation in innovations in medical education, research, and new models of clinical care.

Curriculum highlights of the residency program include:

  • FIRST students will participate in either the underserved training track, or pursue an area of concentration in underserved care. During residency, FIRST graduates will also serve as mentors to the future classes of the FIRST program.Options for Underserved Track or Area of Concentration in Care of the Underserved.
  • Ultrasound training
  • Care of underserved populations including migrant farmworkers and prison population
  • Special curriculum in procedural training
  • Comprehensive outpatient training
  • Family Medicine Inpatient and Maternal Child Health services
  • Leadership, quality improvement, and population health training
For more information about the UNC Family Medicine Residency Program visit


Service: Three Years of service to North Carolina

Doctor and PatientDuring the final year of medical school, FIRST students will be matched with loan repayment programs linked to service in a rural or underserved setting.

UNC Family Medicine, with support from key statewide leaders, will provide ongoing support, mentoring, and opportunities for continuing medical education throughout the three years of service after residency.


For more information about FIRST, check out these pages:

    • Criteria for Selection and How to Apply
    • Learn More About Family Medicine
    • FIRST Brochure