SOM - Asheville

The Asheville Regional Campus provides clinical education for third- and fourth-year medical students at MAHEC, Mission Hospitals, and other regional hospitals and outpatient practices in WNC. The campus utilizes an innovative patient-centered curriculum, the longitudinal integrated clerkships (LIC), which is now being replicated across the state.

UNC School of Medicine Asheville began with its first class of 4 students in July 2009 with the support of UNC School of Medicine, Mission Health, and MAHEC.  The foundation of this program, the LIC, and its innovative curriculum is similar to the longitudinal “Cambridge Model.” The fourth year curriculum reverts to block schedules and presents opportunities to participate in rotations in rural WNC, as well as Chapel Hill or across the state, nation, or internationally. Currently 20 medical students are enrolled in each year of the Asheville campus, working closely with practicing physicians as their primary teachers and mentors.
 

Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum:
In 2004, Harvard restructured the third year clerkships to place a cohort of students in outpatient settings for the majority of their curriculum, which allows students to follow “their patients” in all health care settings. The Asheville community is well suited to this type of curriculum with its diverse specialty practices and robust primary care services (Latessa R, Beaty N, Royal K, Colvin G, Pathman DE, Heck J. Academic Outcomes of a Community-Based Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships Program. Med Teach. 2015:1-6. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2015.1009020 [doi].).

Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) have the following core principles:

  • Continuity of Ps:
    • Preceptors
    • Patients
    • Place
    • Peers
  • Authentic roles with patients
  • Flexibility of unscheduled half days for self-directed learning

The longitudinal integrated curriculum utilizes a smaller number of dedicated teachers and a greater reliance on outpatient teaching.  Students have more exposure to experienced practicing physicians and a much greater likelihood of seeing the same patients over an extended period of time and through the continuum of care.

Admissions Process:
The ideal student for this program:

  • Demonstrates flexibility, self-reliance, and internal motivation
  • Has a strong academic record
  • Brings life experiences in self-directed learning and/or work

Also taken into consideration, but not required:

  • Has connections to  Western North Carolina
  • Expressed interest in primary care, surgery, psychiatry and/or rural practice goals

Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum at Asheville:
The third year academic calendar at Asheville is comprised of two types of clinical experiences –inpatient and longitudinal outpatient. The inpatient experience is a 12-week block and includes the surgery clerkship, inpatient medicine, pediatrics, neurology, and OB.

Students participate in the longitudinal portion for the remainder of the year. Each student is assigned to a community practice for the core specialties (internal medicine, OB, pediatrics, family medicine, neurology, and psychiatry), where they see a panel of their “own” continuity patients or work-ins.  Students work one-on-one with their attending physician, who reviews each case and care plan with them. If their patients are admitted or referred to another provider, the student will see their patients in the hospital or accompany them to that visit as well.

To learn more feel free to contact one of us:

Robyn Latessa, MD - Director and Assistant Dean – robyn.latessa@mahec.net
Sandra Whitlock, MD - Assistant Director – sandra.whitlock@msj.org  
Gaye Colvin, MLIS - Director of Student Affairs – gaye.colvin@mahec.net
Jessica Poston - Director of Curriculum – jessica.poston@mahec.net
Terri Ippolito - Program and Fiscal Coordinator – terri.ippolito@mahec.net

For detailed curriculum information, please vist: http://www.med.unc.edu/md/asheville