The New UNC Medical Education Building: Building on a tradition of excellence

Set to open in 2022, UNC School of Medicine’s new medical education building will grow the school’s statewide impact on the physician workforce and enhance the delivery of its cutting-edge curriculum to help Carolina reach its goal of being the nation’s leading public medical school.

UNC School of Medicine’s new medical education building will grow the school’s statewide impact on the physician workforce and enhance the delivery of its cutting-edge curriculum to help Carolina reach its goal of being the nation’s leading public medical school. 

Set to open in 2022, the building will be on the historic Berryhill Hall site. The eight floors will include a 400-seat Active Learning Theater, two floors dedicated to clinical skills and simulated learning, and flexible labs, classroom, study and collaboration spaces. UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health Care leadership administration will move into the building together, reflecting the integration of the health care system and medical school.

“Thanks to the support of the people of North Carolina, we will construct a new medical education building to teach future UNC physicians to adapt to the changing needs of delivering health care for all,” said William Roper, MD, MPH, Dean of UNC School of Medicine and CEO of UNC Health Care.

Generations of dedicated physicians have trained in Berryhill Hall since it opened nearly 50 years ago, yet the space remains largely unchanged, despite class size increasing to 190 and innovations that have transformed teaching, technology and patient care. 

Today, with the Translational Education at Carolina (TEC) curriculum, UNC School of Medicine students learn the art and science of medicine by integrating basic sciences and clinical skills, actively learning and working in teams, utilizing advanced simulation and technology, and training with innovative faculty to deliver longitudinal patient care.

The school’s public mission strengthens UNC’s medical education curriculum by driving service in rural and global health communities, advancing path-changing research and training interprofessional health teams. The new building will house and facilitate these programs and provide a crossroads for UNC Health Affairs students and faculty.

While UNC’s education is nationally recognized, many peer medical schools have built new facilities in recent years, including Duke, Wake Forest, Yale, Columbia, UPenn, the University of Virginia, Emory, Michigan, UCLA and Florida. The building will be critical to UNC’s recruitment efforts for students, residents and faculty.

“This modern facility will help us attract the best applicants, inspire them in an environment that encourages discovery, and train them with teammates who help them prepare for modern health care success,” said Julie Byerley, MD, MPH, UNC School of Medicine’s Vice Dean for Education.

Earlier this year, UNC’s Board of Trustees approved the project, which is expected to exceed $100 million. The people of North Carolina laid the cornerstone through the approval of the $68 million Connect NC Bond in 2016. The remaining investment will come from loyal alumni and friends of the University and UNC School of Medicine.

Designed by Flad Architects and SLAM Collaborative, the 172,000 square foot building will house eight carefully planned floors to support academic and clinical excellence, active learning, wellness and a holistic student experience. The building will be flexible and functional for immediate needs while also remaining adaptable to future changes in medical education and technology.

The new building design will enhance medical education and UNC School of Medicine’s statewide impact in a number of ways:

  • Class size has the potential to grow incrementally from 190 to 240 students, helping UNC meet the increasing demand for physicians in North Carolina.
  • Collaborative, high-tech open spaces will align with the TEC curriculum, foster innovative teaching, and build community.
  • The building will facilitate longitudinal learning and integrated core clinical rotations for students training in Chapel Hill and across the state at our campuses in Asheville, Charlotte and Wilmington and education centers in Greensboro and Raleigh.
  • Experiential learning design will allow for innovative models of teaching and learning where students can collaborate closely with faculty and each other.

Construction of the facility will begin in 2019 and be completed in January 2022. The School of Medicine will relocate the programs and classes currently in Berryhill Hall.

Throughout Berryhill Hall’s final months, there will be opportunities for alumni, faculty and friends to gather and revisit a space that has been critical to educating UNC physicians serving across the state and beyond for so many years. While the name of the new building has yet to be secured, available through a $30 million contribution, Dean Berryhill’s indelible legacy and name will be honored within the new building.

To learn more, visit http://uncmedicine.org/priorities/education/.

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