On Monday, March 7, UNC School of Medicine’s Wilmington Campus will officially open with three students beginning a year of training in the Port City. The initial class of three students will be based at New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC).
“Our great relationship with NHRMC and Wilmington-area physicians set the groundwork for a medical school campus that will foster successful learning experiences for our students,” said Julie Byerley, MD, MPH, vice dean for education, UNC School of Medicine.
Byerley added that students have been doing clinical rotations in Wilmington for years, but this represents an expansion of the relationship between UNC and New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Students in Wilmington will be trained in the full range of clinical clerkships, including internal medicine, surgery, family medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, neurology, psychiatry, and other specialties.
Joseph Pino, MD, will serve as the program’s director.
“Joe has been a superb leader and long-time champion for this program,” Byerley said. “The faculty members in Wilmington are fabulous, and I’m excited our students will have the opportunity to learn from them.”
Like the existing satellite campuses in Asheville and Charlotte, students will spend their third year of medical school in Wilmington and will have the option of spending their fourth year there as well.
“We think that students function best when they have the time to really get to know the community and patient population, as well as the faculty physicians and health system where they are learning,” Byerley said.
In addition to the clinical training, students will have the opportunity to complete a Physicians Leadership Certificate Program through the Cameron School of Business at UNC-Wilmington.
Matthew Braswell, a Wilmington native, is one of the three students who will be training at the new campus.
“Wilmington and Southeastern North Carolina is a special place,” Braswell said. “The opportunity to take care of people in the community that shaped me is something I’m excited about.”
In the coming years, Byerley said the number of students in Wilmington will increase from 3 to 12.
With the opening of the Wilmington campus, the UNC School of Medicine’s footprint now extends across the state, from the mountains to the coast. Byerley emphasizes that students will be equipped to go into primary care, as well as surgery and specialty medicine, all of which will help meet the state’s full spectrum of health needs.
“As the state’s largest public medical school, we have a mission to train our students to care for this state’s diverse population,” Byerley said. “The hope is that the unique experiences provided both in Chapel Hill and at all of our satellite campuses will inspire our students to remain in the state to practice.”