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The Fully Integrated Readiness for Service Training (FIRST) is a three-year medical school curriculum to fast-track UNC School of Medicine students into UNC Family Medicine Residency, followed by three years of service in NC with ongoing support in practice.

CHAPEL HILL, NC – February 12, 2020 – The UNC School of Medicine is pleased to announce the acceptance of the fifth class of the Fully Integrated Readiness for Service Training (FIRST) Program. The FIRST Program was established in 2015 and provides participants the opportunity to complete their MD in three years and includes a conditional acceptance into a North Carolina Residency program. Following training, scholars will take part in three years of service in a rural and/or underserved area of North Carolina. They will receive ongoing support from UNC Department of Family Medicine in partnership with the NC Office of Rural Health.

The 2020 FIRST Scholars are medical students Allison Carter, Kayden Alcala-Maddox, Angela Clayborne, Audrey Faber, Kandis Fogleman, and Bailey Sanford – each selected based on their commitment to high demand specialties, Family Medicine and Psychiatry, as well as academic record, leadership qualities, and potential for success in serving the residents of North Carolina.

The Director of the FIRST Program, Catherine Coe, MD, noted, “Expansion of the FIRST Program to the branch clinical sites and specialties is aligned with UNC’s mission to care for the people of North Carolina. The FIRST trainees are committed to caring for the underserved and will help provide the workforce our state needs.”

One of the unique qualities of the FIRST curriculum is the early integration of students into the clinical setting. Students work closely with a family physician or psychiatrist while completing their coursework for real-time application of new knowledge. Other schools across the nation have used accelerated tracks to help address their states’ workforce needs, but none have included the full pipeline from medical school, to residency, to service to the underserved.

FIRST is one of a kind, showing great commitment from UNC and affiliated partners to make a difference in the health of North Carolinians who need access to care. These latest scholars will complete their medical school training in May 2022, enter residency, and begin practicing medicine in an underserved NC community as early as 2025.

Allison Carter is a Morehead-Cain Scholar originally from Loveland, Ohio. While visiting family in Sylva, Allison fell in love with North Carolina. Her uncle was a family physician, and she will follow in his footsteps to provide much needed primary care to underserved areas of the state. “I hope to fill a need for physicians who work with communities instead of for them to provide quality comprehensive care.”

Kayden Alcala-Maddox is from Fletcher, NC and has worked as a Chief Medical Scribe at Chatham hospital. Kayden is the clinic coordinator for the Gender Affirming Care clinic at the UNC student-run clinic, SHAC and takes a biopsychosocial approach to medicine. “I have always been invested in treating the whole patient, and I believe Family Medicine does this best.”

Angela Clayborne is the inaugural FIRST scholar to pursue Psychiatry. She is from Raleigh and has experience working with uninsured and underinsured populations. Her desire to help those in need is her motivation to do an accelerated track to gain clinical experience sooner than she normally would. “By becoming a psychiatrist, I want to become a trusted professional that people feel comfortable coming to for help.”

Audrey Faber is originally from Hendersonville, NC. Before medical school, Audrey pursued a degree in Comparative Literature with an emphasis on Health Humanities. This led her to realize that the stories told by patients are the key to good primary care and her enjoyment in practicing medicine. “Enjoyment is half the battle of doing something hard.”

Kandis Fogleman, is from Millers Creek North Carolina. A first-generation college student, she knew that Family Medicine was the specialty for her. Growing up in Wilkes County North Carolina, Kandis saw firsthand the lack of healthcare resources and plans to return to rural NC to practice. “I will be able to determine and understand social factors contributing to their health which can help change the community, one patient, at a time.”

Bailey Sanford, from Pineville, NC, received his Master of Divinity from Duke University and has experience as a Chaplain, teacher, and mentor. “As I see it, a committed primary care physician has a tremendous capacity to heal not just individuals, but to be part of the transformation of communities.”


For more information about the FIRST program, please contact Dawn Morriston or visit the FIRST website.