The UNC School of Medicine is pleased to announce the acceptance of the seventh class of the Fully Integrated Readiness for Service Training Program. The program is an accelerated medical degree program with direct progression into a North Carolina residency program and following training, service in a rural and/or underserved area of the state.
The UNC School of Medicine is pleased to announce the acceptance of the seventh class of the Fully Integrated Readiness for Service Training (FIRST) Program. The FIRST Program was established by the UNC Department of Family Medicine in 2015 and provides participants the opportunity to complete their medical degree in three years, instead of four, and includes direct progression into an affiliated 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.
Medical students Claire Namboodri, Dimitry Shitarev, Emma Tayloe, Harini Sridhar, Lauren Harrell, and Patrick McLane have been accepted into this year’s accelerated medical curriculum. These students were selected based on their commitment to the following specialties: Family Medicine and Psychiatry. The program expansion is supported by the American Medical Association Reimagining Residency Program.
“We are excited to continue expansion of the program to our state-wide partners,” said FIRST Program Director Catherine Coe, MD. “The students will be integrated into clinics throughout the state and are dedicated to caring for the people of North Carolina.”
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 2024, enter residency, and begin practicing medicine in an underserved NC community as early as 2027 (depending on the specialty).
Claire Namboodri (Family Medicine – Wilmington) (she/her/ella), is a graduate of Tulane University where she studied Public Health and Neuroscience. While studying at Tulane, she developed a passion for primary care and a dedication for increasing access to healthcare services. After graduating, she spent two years working as a MedServe fellow at Granville Vance Public Health and was further motivated to pursue family medicine. She is excited to stay in North Carolina following medical school and work with her patients addressing and overcoming systemic barriers to being in the best health possible.
Dimitry Shitarev (Family Medicine – Greensboro), as a first generation Russian-American, spent over four years of his life growing up on a rural farm in Russia. Now, as a National Health Service Corps Scholar, he is dedicated to pursuing rural medicine in the state of North Carolina to address barriers to healthcare access in rural communities. Dimitry’s interest in rural medicine was further developed by his undergraduate major of Health Policy and Management at the Gillings School of Public Health. As a family physician, he aims to provide patient centered preventative care.
Emma Tayloe (Family Medicine – Chapel Hill), graduated from Davidson College then worked as an interpreter (Spanish / English) and case manager through the MedServe fellowship at a clinic for people without insurance in Charlotte, NC. She is eager to serve marginalized populations as a family medicine physician and advocate for health justice.
Harini Sridhar (Psychiatry – Chapel Hill), received her Master’s in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University and her Bachelor’s in Biology from Duke University. Her work as an ABA therapist for children with autism and core organizer of We Are Saath, a South Asian mental health social justice movement, led her to find the beauty of psychiatry and of story in diagnosis and treatment. She is excited to help patients with chronic conditions as they navigate illness, embodiment, and their world.
Lauren Harrell (Family Medicine – Wilmington), is from Ahoskie, NC. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned her BS in Biology in May 2021. Growing up in eastern North Carolina, she recognized the impact of health disparities on rural communities. “As a family physician, I intend to provide comprehensive, compassionate care to all of my patients and work to improve health care access.”
Patrick McLane (Family Medicine – Chapel Hill), is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, where he majored in Economics and Mathematics. A former educator, Pat has a special interest in patient education, especially when it comes to navigating chronic health issues. He looks forward to helping his patients live their best lives by offering them a tailored, compassionate approach to their health concerns. Currently, Pat lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his husband, David, and their dog, Keynes. When not at work, the family enjoys running and hiking across North Carolina and the East Coast.
For more information about the FIRST program, visit the website https://www.med.unc.edu/md/first/.