The School of Medicine of East Carolina University provides a carefully developed environment especially conducive to the study of medicine, one that emphasizes individual and continuing learning to prepare students for a lifetime of personal service. Many elements make up the ECU approach, but the most important are small class sizes, an outstanding and concerned faculty, and exceptional facilities.
Students at East Carolina University find that there is great opportunity for personal interaction and individual instruction, whether in the classroom, the office of a faculty member or at the bedside of a patient. Because faculty members are able and willing to spend more time with students, they are better prepared to contribute to the growth and development of each student, not only as a physician but as a person with unique needs, interests and goals.
More than 300 physicians and research scientists comprise our faculty and provide this professional and personal guidance to students as they proceed through their training. Complementing and assisting the faculty are nearly 200 practicing physicians in Greenville and throughout the state who contribute their expertise to the educational experience in the school’s classrooms, affiliated hospitals and community practice settings.
The faculty of the School of Medicine is the greatest strength of the educational program. By precept and example, the faculty upholds the standards of excellence which enable graduates to fulfill their professional duties throughout a lifetime of service, whether in primary care, specialty practice, or teaching and research. The faculty at ECU have a reputation for being innovative.
The school was among the first in the country to use simulated patients in the teaching program, a common practice today. ECU faculty have also helped pioneer standardized clinical practice examinations.
Supporting the faculty in its mission are the excellent facilities of the medical school and Pitt County Memorial Hospital, the primary affiliated teaching hospital of the school. These modern educational and clinical facilities were carefully designed to meet the needs of students--from the Health Sciences Library with its private study areas and computing resources to master classrooms equipped with multimedia, computer and teleconferencing technology. These resources contribute to an educational atmosphere that encourages mature study, intellectual curiosity, and the formal and informal exchange of ideas and knowledge.
But not all student learning takes place at the medical center. Clinical rotations throughout the region and state allow students to experience the practice of medicine in carefully selected hospitals, physician offices and rural health clinics. In many of these settings, medical students learn within an interdisciplinary framework that includes students from other health care disciplines.
Patient care activities conducted by faculty physicians in schools, health departments and outlying hospitals also enhance the study of medicine while helping to meet health care needs in the region. And many ECU medical students choose to pursue part of their training in foreign countries, adding to their appreciation of different cultures. This variety of clinical settings provides a solid foundation for residency training in primary care or other specialty area.
The emphasis of the School of Medicine, however, is on primary care. When North Carolina legislators were planning the establishment of a medical school at East Carolina University, they carefully assessed the health care needs of the state and specified that the school should direct special attention to three important goals: educating primary care physicians, making medical care more readily available to the people of eastern North Carolina, and providing opportunities to minority and disadvantaged students. This challenging mandate is reflected in daily activities in the classrooms, research laboratories and outreach programs of the school.
Recently, the school has increased its commitment to the primary care philosophy through its Generalist Physician Program. Supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the GPP is a broad-based effort to enhance generalist practice in eastern North Carolina.
The fundamental responsibility of the school is the education of competent and compassionate physicians who will provide quality care to their patients and leadership in their communities. The School of Medicine also recognizes the vital commitment physicians must make to professional growth throughout their careers as the mysteries of medicine are unraveled and science provides new ways of healing and caring. In many ways, a medical education is just a start. The East Carolina University School of Medicine is dedicated to making it an excellent beginning.