The Brody School of Medicine admits to each entering class 80 students, almost all of whom are North Carolina residents. The selection process emphasizes qualities which will serve a prospective physician well in primary care love of learning, commitment to service, concern for people. The relatively small class size, diverse curriculum and dedicated faculty contribute to a learning experience intended to produce physicians who are both competent and caring.
The medical school has been a leader in developing a curriculum that integrates training in clinical medicine throughout the four years of instruction. Much of this clinical experience occurs in settings away from the medical center, in doctors' offices situated in the state's smaller communities. This approach permits students to develop a deeper understanding of the value and rewards of small-town generalist practice. And while real world experience is essential, ECU is also a national leader in the application of objective methods to clinical skills training and assessment in a controlled setting. This is the "laboratory" where students sharpen their interviewing and diagnostic skills while working with simulated patients.
The school offers nine residency programs for the specialized training of graduate physicians. The largest is family medicine, with 12 positions in each of the three years of training. Others are emergency medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, pathology and laboratory medicine, psychiatric medicine, surgery, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Combined programs are offered in internal medicine and pediatrics and in internal medicine and psychiatry. The hallmark of these programs is their emphasis on close, collegial relationships among faculty and residents in a challenging and diverse clinical environment.
The school also supports programs leading to the doctor of philosophy degree in six disciplines -- anatomy and cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology and immunology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology. The Ph.D. programs are intended to foster scholarship, critical analysis and creative research, and graduates compete successfully for top post-doctoral positions throughout the country.
Education is not limited to students, of course; physicians must be students for life. The School of Medicine, in close cooperation with the Eastern Area Health Education Center, serves as a continuing education lifeline for thousands of practicing physicians and other health professionals in eastern North Carolina.