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Cedric Bright, MD, delivers the 2018 Whitehead Lecture
Cedric Bright, MD, delivers the 2018 Whitehead Lecture

Cedric M. Bright, Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence at the UNC School of Medicine, has been named Associate Dean for Admissions at East Carolina’s Brody School of Medicine.

Bright, a graduate of the UNC School of Medicine, has served on the UNC School of Medicine faculty since 2011. In that time, he has served as Assistant Dean for Admissions, Director of the Office of Special Programs, and Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence.

As he transitions into his new role at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, Bright is excited about the opportunity to continue his work building the state’s physician pipeline.

“I look forward to continuing and growing the work aimed at meeting our state’s health care needs,” Bright said. “I also hope to build a collaborative bridge between ECU and Carolina that will benefit our state. There is a lot of good work we can do together.”

Bright, a beloved teacher and mentor to students at the UNC School of Medicine, was selected unanimously by the student body to deliver the 2018 Whitehead Lecture and has also served as a “hooder” for students at commencement exercises through the years.

As Director of the Office of Special Programs and Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, Bright has been a champion for efforts meant to diversify the UNC School of Medicine student body, and as a result of this work the School has increased its admission of students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in medicine.

“One of the lessons I’ve learned during my time at UNC is to really pay attention and understand the whole journey of our students,” Bright said. “Many times, numbers and test scores only tell you a little bit of their story. I learned that from Dr. Bashford. Through Dr. Byerley and Dr. Dent I also learned how to support students and how to provide them with the resources they need to be successful during the very stressful time of medical school.”

Bright has also led UNC’s Medical Education Development (MED) program. The nine-week summer program brings students from underrepresented backgrounds to Chapel Hill for summer training, better preparing them to succeed in medical or dental school. The program has achieved great results, increasing the number of minority physicians and dentists across North Carolina.

“We will miss Dr. Bright and are thankful for his many accomplishments,” said William L. Roper, MD, MPH, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine and CEO of UNC Health care. “His work identifying and supporting talented students from underrepresented backgrounds has benefitted our institution and will pay dividends for the people of North Carolina for many years to come. We wish him well in his new role at East Carolina and look forward to finding opportunities to collaborate on ways to help our state meet its health care workforce needs.”

Through the Office of Special Programs, Bright has supported a variety of groups including the Student National Medical Association, the Latino Medical Student Association and the Queer Straight Alliance, and he served as a mentor and advisor to countless students during his time at UNC.

“I’m excited about maintaining the relationships I have with students and colleagues at UNC while also building new relationships at Brody and the Greenville community,” Bright said.

Bright is a national leader in medical education and organized medicine; he previously serving as the 112th president of the National Medical Association and is active with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) as well as a board member for the National Medical Fellowships Inc. He was featured in the AAMC report from 2015 “Altering the course: Black Males in Medicine” and participated at a forum to address the dearth of black males in medicine by the National Academy of Science. He has also led workshops on workforce diversity in a variety of settings including this year’s AAMC national meeting.

Details on a farewell celebration for Dr. Bright will be forthcoming. The entire UNC School of Medicine community will be invited to this event.