Unique Features

Community Medicine

During their second and third years, residents work on a community project, which is considered their main scholarly activity. They collaborate with local organizations and have an impact on their community.  

Examples of prior projects:

  • Creating an online database of community resources
  • Managing a chronic-pain group
  • Building a community garden in a low-income area
  • Installing additional sinks in the hospital to reduce C.diff infections
  • Creating a mobile migrant clinic
  • Supervising Epinephrine trainings at local camps
  • Developing pre-natal cards
  • Improving bicycle safety and education
  • Improving diabetic care with an information kiosk at a grocery store

Rural Extension Project

Our program has been developing full-spectrum rural physicians for over two decades, and have been very successful in placing our graduates in Western North Carolina.  As Hendersonville has grown, however, we have seen a rising challenge of continuing to develop rural physicians in a town that has become more vibrant and less rural.  Thanks to our clinical organization, Blue Ridge Health, we have the opportunity to have residents in established, rural clinics in beautiful mountains towns outside Henderson County.  Residents spend 1-2 days per month at these smaller clinics to develop their own patient panel and a more autonomous contribution to their continuity clinic.

The Ultrasound Revolution

We are currently developing an ultrasound curriculum that will aim to train residents to use ultrasound at the point of care.  Ultrasound didactics and hands-on training will be incorporated into our procedural skills rotation, as well as into our clinics.  This mobile curriculum will be available anywhere via a multi-modal platform.  In collaboration with I3, a multi-residency affiliation, we are combining forces to establish the Southeastern USA as a hotbed of ultrasound education in Family Medicine.

Commitment to Full Spectrum Training

Our program has remained committed to full-spectrum training despite the national reduction in scope of practice in family medicine.  Our goal is not to train doctors based on the current needs of our specific community, but rather to train a generation of physicians who are comfortable with the full scope of family medicine, ready to practice anywhere in the world and tackle whatever community needs they encounter.  We are actively involved in lobbying our local health systems to expand the scope of practice of family doctors to make Western North Carolina a haven for full spectrum physicians across the country.

Flexible Curriculum

Our residents are a diverse group of learners with a diverse number of interests, and our curriculum can be individualized for residents based on their anticipated needs. With maximal elective time built into the curriculum, and two away months without clinic at all, our residents have the opportunity to shape their own experiences to match their interests. Some residents have spent this time to gain expertise in alternative medicine, medical Spanish, curriculum development, innovative practice models, surgical obstetrics and much more. Our small size allows us the flexibility to accommodate your particular interests and to mold your personalized curriculum around those goals.

The Black Bag

Our residents and faculty have combined to develop content for medical education and innovation, which we call the Black Bag.  This is a youtube channel, twitter page, and facebook page that allows for collaboration in innovation for rural primary care physicians.  By continually developing scholarly activity for residents and faculty, with the goal of taking powerpoints out of the lecture hall, in order to make our didactic time more interactive and meaningful.  Our goal is that our residents will have their medical education tools available to them at the point of care in the clinic.

Check out our digital curriculum here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz2ccBgo4FIJf3sxSfnwvkw

Location, Location, Location

Surrounded by majestic mountains, Hendersonville is known as “The City of Four Seasons” and is nestled atop a 2,200-foot scenic mountain plateau between the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is just a short distance down the Blue Ridge Parkway from Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. Nearby Dupont, Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests attract hikers and bikers to miles of mountain trails. Area streams and rivers, such as the Green and Nantahala, offer many activities, from trout fishing to whitewater rafting and kayaking.  While still retaining its small town charm, Hendersonville conveniently is located near larger cities, such as Asheville, Charlotte and Greenville, SC. With a mean temperature of 71 degrees in the summer and 41 degrees in the winter, the climate is conducive to year-round activity.