First Class of Medical Students Begins Under Novant Health Partnership with NHRMC

March 04, 2021
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On March 1, New Hanover Regional Medical Center welcomed 16 medical students to the UNC School of Medicine Wilmington Campus, the first group since NHRMC became a part of Novant Health on February 1.

While the Wilmington cohort has been growing steadily since the UNC School of Medicine Wilmington Campus opened in 2016 with the inaugural three students, the partnership with Novant Health will allow that growth to accelerate in the coming years, with projected enrollment of 30 medical students by 2026.

Pictured: Dr. Fred Eckhauser (right), general surgery specialists, teaches third year UNC surgical medical student Austin Allen how to tie a knot used in surgical procedures.

“This is important,” said Dr. Joseph Pino, Associate Dean and Campus Director for the Wilmington Campus, “because if we are able to recruit North Carolina students to our residency programs, there’s a higher likelihood of keeping them in the region and in our state.”

The new class of third-year students will be in Wilmington for at least the next 12 months, getting their medical education and clinical training from physicians in our region. Two of these students are Kenan Rural Scholars, who return to Wilmington following a six-week summer rural experience here in 2020.

In addition to expanding the medical care available in our region, the increase in medical students will lead to more opportunities for instructors and more jobs to support the growth.

Dr. Pino said NHRMC and Novant Health are also working with the UNC School of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry and exploring how a relationship could benefit those students and the community.

“This is truly an exciting time,” Dr. Pino said. “Our partnership with Novant Health is enabling us to serve our region better. This is an awesome opportunity.”

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Third year UNC medical students Christina Williams (left) and Sahil Dadoo participate in a virtual lecture during their psychiatry rotation at the NHRMC Behavioral Health Hospital.

On their first day, students were presented with their Wilmington Campus white coats. Throughout their Application Phase year, the Wilmington Campus Medical Students will rotate through Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Psychiatry, and Outpatient Community Practices as part of their coursework.

White Coat Photos ILM Campus 2021