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Clark Denniston, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and ACGME Designated Institutional Official, will step down from this role effective January 1, 2021.

Denniston has served as Designated Institutional Official for Graduate Medical Education since 2011. In 2018, he assumed the title of Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education to demonstrate cooperation between the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health in aligning and enhancing educational programs for both medical students and residents.

In these roles Denniston has managed and overseen accreditation and essential administrative services for graduate medical education and residency training programs. As a leader, mentor, and teacher, he has played a pivotal role in the careers of countless residents over many years.

“What an amazing honor and privilege it has been to serve our GME community for the past 9 years.  I am forever indebted to the residency and fellowship program directors who have entrusted me to lead them through many transitions, challenges, and new accreditation requirements,” said Denniston. “Together we are strengthened by each other, we are better whole than we are as individuals, and we proudly practice the ‘UNC Way’ of taking care of each other. Thank you for believing in me!”

This year, as COVID-19 has drastically altered the residency recruitment process, UNC’s Office of Graduate Medical Education has created a video message to help potential residents get a feel for the outstanding training opportunities and welcoming culture present in Chapel Hill and fostered under Denniston’s leadership. Watch the video here.

“Clark Denniston is an outstanding educator who has influenced the careers of thousands of physicians,” said Julie Byerley, MD, MPH, UNC School of Medicine’s Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. “For more than two decades he has served UNC by leading first the Family Medicine residency then the entire GME community.  The number of physicians and patients he has influenced is tremendous.  I especially appreciate his expertise, commitment to equity, and authenticity.  Our residency programs are much stronger thanks to his leadership.”

UNC Hospitals is home to nearly 800 resident physicians across 25 programs, many of which are ranked among the nation’s very best. Prior to his current role overseeing Graduate Medical Education across UNC, Denniston served as Residency Program Director in the Department of Family Medicine for 14 years.

“It is so difficult to encapsulate the significant contributions Clark has made over the past nine years to both the GME community and the broader medical center. He has instilled a true sense of community among our GME programs, which is undoubtedly a key factor in making UNC one of the most popular sites for graduating medical students to seek their training,” said Tom Ivester, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President for Medical Affairs at UNC Hospitals. “Clark has steadily worked to integrate our trainees into the fabric of the medical center, promoting an unwavering commitment to our patients, coworkers, community, and state, which has been a vital piece of our success.”


Details regarding an internal search to fill the position of Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Designated Institutional Officer will be announced in the weeks ahead.