Medical Schools in North Carolina

Medical Students Training with a Doctor

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North Carolina is home to 183 colleges and universities, but only four of those institutions have a medical school where you can earn a Doctor of Medicine degree. Two of the medical schools in North Carolina rank among the top 25 in the nation.

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Duke University School of Medicine

Davison Hall at the Duke University School of Medicine
Davison Hall at the Duke University School of Medicine.

Allen Grove 

Located in Durham, Duke University School of Medicine ranks among the top medical schools in the United States. According to U.S. News & World Report, the school ranks #13 in the country for research and #31 for primary care. Eight specialties rank among the top ten: anesthesiology, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, radiology, and surgery. The school is home to over 2,500 doctors and researchers, and the extensive Duke Health system gives students a wide range of options for their clinical rotations, including Duke University Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Home and Hospice, and Duke Regional Hospital.

The Duke curriculum accelerates the study of core sciences so that students can devote their third year to conducting a scholarly research project. Students begin caring for patients in their second year, a year earlier than most medical schools. The school is home to 24 clinical and science departments as well as many centers and institutes including the Marcus Center for Cellular Cures, Duke Cancer Institute, and the Center for Genomic & Computation Biology.

The bar for admission is high. In 2019, the entering class of 121 students had a median undergraduate GPA of 3.83 (3.86 in the sciences) and a median MCAT score of 519.

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East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine

East Carolina University
East Carolina University.

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For primary care, the Brody School of Medicine ranked #31 in U.S. News & World Report. In fact, central to the school's mission is its effort to increase the number of primary care physicians who serve North Carolina. Brody ranks first in the state and second in the country for the percentage of graduates who go into family medicine. The school also takes pride in the number of graduates who practice medicine in rural and underserved areas.

Located in Greenville, the Brody School of Medicine sits adjacent to the Vidant Medical Center, a large medical facility that serves as the primary teaching hospital where students conduct their clinical rotations. Vidant Health has over 1,400 beds across eight hospitals. The main campus of East Carolina State University is a couple miles to the east of the medical campus.

Motivated Brody students can pursue a "Distinction Track" in an area of interest over the four years of medical schools. Students who choose this option work with a mentor in one of four areas: Medical Education & Teaching, Research, Service Learning, or Health System Transformation and Leadership. The program culminates in a capstone portfolio.

While not as limiting as Duke or UNC, East Carolina University's School of Medicine is still highly selective. In recent years, the average undergraduate GPA for matriculated students has been a 3.6, and the average MCAT score has been 507.

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University of North Carolina School of Medicine

UNC Chapel Hill Hospitals
UNC Chapel Hill Hospitals.

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The University of North Carolina School of Medicine is one of the best in the country. U.S. News & World report ranked the school #23 for research and #1 for primary care. The family medicine specialty ranked #4, and obstetrics and gynecology ranked #11.

The School of Medicine sits just south of the historic main campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, one of the nation's top public universities. The UNC School of Medicine is home to 20 clinical and eight basic science departments. Like many medical schools, the school revamped its curriculum to introduce students to clinical study earlier and to better integrate basic science and clinical skills. The school emphasizes research, and seven out of ten students participate in research during their time in medical school.

You'll need good grades and test scores to be admitted to the UNC School of Medicine. Matriculated students had an undergraduate GPA of 3.59 in the sciences and 3.76 in all other subjects. The average score on the MCAT was a 512.

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Wake Forest School of Medicine

Reynolda Hall at Wake Forest
Reynolda Hall at Wake Forest. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

The Wake Forest University School of Medicine is located in downtown Winston-Salem. The main campus of Wake Forest University is about three miles away. In U.S. News & World Report, the School of Medicine ranked #50 for research and #64 for primary care.

Much of the instruction for the M.D. program recently moved to the new Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education. The facility features a tiered classroom, state-of-the-art simulation center, clinical skills lab, and anatomy lab. Non-academic features include a cafe and common rooms. The school has six primary research areas supported by over $223 million in annual funding: cancer, neurology/neurosciences, aging/Alzheimer's, diabetes/obesity/metabolism, cardiovascular disease, and regenerative medicine. The school's many research centers provide clinical opportunities for students to gain experience in these fields.

Admission to Wake Forest University School of Medicine is selective. For the class of 2023, students had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.67 and an average MCAT score of 513. A total of 10,703 students applied, 504 interviewed, 326 were accepted, and 145 medical students matriculated.

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Grove, Allen. "Medical Schools in North Carolina." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2020, Grove, Allen. (2020, August 29). Medical Schools in North Carolina. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "Medical Schools in North Carolina." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 27, 2023).