There are four medical schools in North Carolina, and if you are looking to study medicine at one of them, some knowledge of the data for each school will be your best asset.

How to prepare for medical school application is a complex process which requires a lot of thought. Without proper data and information, this would be almost impossible. Even with the information, it’s difficult to know what to do, so medical school application help should also consist of more than raw data.

This article will provide you with not only raw data, but careful analyses of these data and expert tips for how to enter a medical school in North Carolina.

Disclaimer: Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa. 

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Article Contents
9 min read

List of Medical Schools in North Carolina (with data) Data Analysis Preferred Candidates Preferred Academics Preferred Pre-med Experiences and Extracurriculars What Kind of Doctor Can You Become in North Carolina? Match Rate Curricula Interview Differences Conclusion FAQs

List of Medical Schools in North Carolina (with data)

Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (Brody)

Duke University School of Medicine (Duke)

Want to learn why so many applicants get rejected by medical schools? Watch this video:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine (UNC)

Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Wake Forest)

Data Analysis

Statistics can often swim around in front of our eyes, so taking a closer look might help you sort through all those numbers and figure out how to choose a medical school.

UNC has, far and away, the highest acceptance rate for in-state students, followed by Brody. If you are out-of-state, however, Wake Forest is at the top, albeit with 1.33%. Keep in mind that percentages can vary from year-to-year, so Duke could easily slip over Wake Forest for out-of-state students.

So, should you apply to the schools with the highest chance based on acceptance rate? Maybe, but only if other factors are neutral. If you are perfect for a given school, you should apply there unless your chances are nil (Brody takes no out-of-state students). An acceptance rate is the proportion of those who got in among total applicants, but this does not tell you the “why.” If you have the best application, you’ll be part of that group, however small. This is why every minute devoted to your application is worth it.

Preferred Candidates

Most people think of requirements or preferences of medical schools in terms of academics – medical school prerequisites – and forget that applicants’ backgrounds and experiences are important, too.

Local Candidates

Brody technically allows out-of-state applications. however, they point out that “The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University is a state-supported medical school, with a legislatively-mandated mission to provide physicians to serve the people of North Carolina.” It has been over 25 years since an out-of-state candidate has been admitted. It probably isn’t worth a non-North Carolinian even applying.

While other medical schools in North Carolina prefer in-state applicants, they do have records of accepting out-of-state applicants.

Duke will consider Canadian applicants and international applicants with two years in an accredited US university or an international university. They also consider DACA applicants.

UNC accepts out-of-state applicants and includes Canadian, international, and DACA students as part of the out-of-state pool. They do not indicate a preference between those categories.

Wake Forest takes out-of-state, and if a Canadian student is a US citizen or permanent resident, they can also be considered. DACA and international students cannot apply.

What if I’m from out-of-state?

While you might be from out-of-state and face an uphill battle, consider cozying up to North Carolina in your application by indicating any connections at all with the state. Do you have family roots or connections in North Carolina? Mentioning this in your essays might help. Furthermore, if you want to work as a physician in North Carolina, making this clear in your application – in a “why this schoolmedical school secondary essay, for example – might make the application committee prefer you to someone else. After all, the point is to train physicians to serve North Carolina. If you will do that, moving into the state and serving as a physician there, that goal is accomplished.

Want to know how to stand out on your application to medical school? Check out this infographic:


All four schools have a higher rate of acceptance for female applicants than for male applicants. The greatest disparity between the two groups was at UNC and Wake Forest.

Diverse Students

Brody had a class profile with a 45% Caucasian and 55% non-Caucasian breakdown in a recent year.

Duke had 30% of their matriculating students come from underrepresented minority backgrounds.

UNC makes a specific point of mentioning that they have goals to increase diversity and inclusion from underrepresented groups at their school.

Wake Forest had 43 of their 145 matriculants in a recent year come from underrepresented groups. Wake Forest also has several programs to benefit underrepresented applicants. The PRIME program focuses on aiding in the “recruitment, retention, and development of more underrepresented minority clinical scientists by immersing PRIME scholars, their WFU mentors, and undergraduates in the MARC U*STAR and MBRS RISE programs at WSSU in a rich collaborative learning environment.”

Rural Medicine

UNC has a specific office for Rural Initiatives. This office is dedicated to “recruiting, training, and retaining physicians who will be practicing medicine in rural areas in North Carolina.” If you are interested in this, be sure to include it in your application so you’ll stand out. Highlight any skills you have that are pertinent to rural areas, or any background you have in rural areas.

Duke has a Rural Training Track specifically for rural physician training as well. Residents transition to training at a rural facility for their second and third years.

Brody has a Rural Family Residency to prepare physicians for the kind of country doctor training that an aspiring rural physician will need.

Preferred Academics

Most medical schools have preferred academic medical school requirements that you will need to have taken before you can be accepted. Some only have recommended courses.

Even if courses are only recommended, take those recommendations really seriously. The more of these courses you have covered, the more appealing your transcript.

Whenever you must make a decision about optional courses, take courses that appeal to your sensibilities. By taking courses you are passionate about, you stack the deck, so to speak, and your passion and enthusiasm will yield higher grades and a more impressive transcript – typically, anyway.




Wake Forest

Preferred Premed Experiences and Extracurriculars

Overall, all four North Carolina schools seem to value research and lab experiences as well as shadowing. Military backgrounds are not particularly common.


Brody is the only school out of the four in North Carolina that requires shadowing. All others merely recommend it. With that said, only 87% of accepted students had shadowing in their premedical experiences, which suggests that an applicant might not need shadowing. However, you would need an irresistible application in all other aspects and have an extremely good excuse as to why you could not shadow a physician. If at all possible, we recommend that you do everything in your power to fulfill this requirement. Virtual shadowing of a physician is one way you could fulfill this requirement, even if you can’t physically get to a hospital.

Around 86% of matriculating students in a recent year had community service and experience with research or laboratories.

Medical/clinical volunteer positions were also found at around 86% but dipped in previous years to around 73%. Also notable is that paid medical and clinical positions rose steadily over the past few years to 72%. This is significant, as an upward trend should suggest that you might want to pay closer attention to paid experiences in those areas.

Only 2% of matriculants had military experiences.


Duke clearly values scientists, with 99% of students having premedical experiences in research or lab positions.

Next most common was shadowing, with 94%. This also directly relates to medicine, so Duke likes direct experience.

Indeed, medical/clinical volunteer experiences were held by 90% of matriculating students, while paid positions were only held by 40%.

Community service was performed by 87% of students.

Military backgrounds were held by only 1%.


UNC students most often had research or lab experience – 93% of them – which is similar to Duke.

Shadowing and community service were both around 88%.

Paid clinical or medical experiences have held steady at 60% in recent years, but medical/clinical experiences for volunteers have declined from 91% to 82%. Either will be valuable at UNC.

Military backgrounds were only held by 2%.

Wake Forest

Like other North Carolina schools, Wake Forest has the highest research and lab experience at 91%.

This is followed by a cluster: community service, physician shadowing, and medical/clinical volunteer experiences are all around 87%, give or take a percentage point.

Paid experience in medicine or clinics was only held by 55%.

Wake Forest had the most military experience but still only 3%, and even that has declined from 5% in recent years. Still, this is the highest of the four, and if you want to be a military doctor, Wake Forest is your best option in North Carolina.

What Kind of Doctor Can You Become in North Carolina?

Unique Combination Degrees

Duke offers a wide array of combination degrees, including some unique offerings. While MD-PhD programs are fairly common, MD-JD (Juris Doctor) programs are harder to come by. You could also combine your MD degree with a master’s in Engineering, Biomedical and Health Informatics, Library Studies, Bioethics and Science Policy, Business Administration, Health Science in Clinic Research, Management in Clinical Informatics, Science in Information Science, Public Health, or Public Policy.

If you have unique career aspirations and find yourself wanting to be the kind of physician who studies health ethics or contributes to laws pertaining to medicine, Duke has enough special degrees to turn your head and give you the experience and training for a very off-beat career path.

Match Rate

Neither Brody nor Duke provide specialty training data.


Highest matches were in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine, which were both represented by over 10% of matches from UNC.

These two were followed by ObGyn, Family Medicine, General Surgery, and Psychiatry, which had between 5 and 10% each.

Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Neurology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Diagnostic Radiology were less popular, with 1 or 2% a piece.

Finally, Plastic Surgery was not represented at all.

Wake Forest

Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, and Internal Medicine all held 10% or more of the matched students from Wake Forest.

Meanwhile, Pediatrics and Psychiatry were the only other two disciplines to be represented above 5%.

Below 5% were Dermatology, Neurology, Orthopedic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, and Diagnostic Radiology.

Otolaryngology, Pathology, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation all only gathered 1% apiece.



Brody starts with a 17-month Foundational Phase, which is discipline-based.

The foundational phase also includes a clinical skills course and a foundations of medicine course focused on clinical problem-solving.

Clerkship Phase:


The Primary Care Leadership Track (PCLT) trains students to become primary care leaders. It is focused on community engagement and how to best service their local communities.


Primary care is very important at UNC, which received a first place ranking from US News and World Report.

Wake Forest

Wake Forest emphasizes self-inquiry, collaboration, curiosity, and leadership. This school is focused on compassionate care and collaboration and highlights their approach as being dedicated to life-long learning, discovery, and socially responsible health care.

Educational goals are:

Foundations: 18-month semester-based system

Immersion: 12-month calendar cycle

Individualization: 13 months of required electives, like Acting Internships and Critical Care, plus additional electives.

From the very first week, Wake Forest students start on clinical skills with real patients.

Wake Forest allows for individualization of the education experience. Students can select “tutelage of community practice pediatricians, or to gain exposure to end-of-life care.” and Wake Forest will allow this and other experiences, like tertiary care in Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, trauma care in Level 1 Trauma Centers, or experiences in the Comprehensive Stroke Center of Excellence. Wake Forest gives students the opportunity to focus and direct their own education.

Interview Differences


Two interviews are held by committee members. These are blind interviews, so make sure you are prepared to answer lots of questions about yourself personally and make a great impression on the interviewers.

Duke and Wake Forest

Interviews at Duke and Wake Forest are MMI (multiple mini-interviews) and are held virtually. Make sure your equipment works adequately so you won’t have any technical glitches. Test your equipment the day before your interview. The MMI format is a series of short stations, so be prepared for a variety of different questions.


UNC indicates that they also conduct virtual interviews and that these will be both MMI and group interviews.


With four great options, it might be hard to decide where you will be taking your journey through medical school, but you can navigate how to go from high school to medical school with well-informed confidence now that you have perused this article, its information, and expert advice.


1. Should I prepare differently for the different interview types?

Somewhat, yes, but you should always make sure you are prepared with a base knowledge of medical material and understanding in your field. You should also do a mock medical school interview suited to your school’s interview type.

2. How many medical schools should I apply to?

We recommend between 6–8 schools – not so many you’re overwhelmed, but enough to cast a reasonably wide net.

3. Are there fees with application to medical school?

Yes, although they tend to be small. There is a small fee for secondary applications and a fee for taking the MCAT.

4. How many times can I take the MCAT?

Three times in one year, four times in two, and seven in a lifetime. Rule of thumb: take the MCAT as infrequently as possible.

5. What’s the best major to take?

There isn’t one. As long as you have the prerequisites, medical schools value all majors equally.

6. Should I take a gap year?

The value of taking a gap year before medical school depends on what you fill it with. If you study, take advanced courses, or gain experience – great! Your gap year shows off your qualities as a student. If you didn’t accomplish much, it’s a point against you.

7. Should I go to a well-ranked medical school?

Rankings aren’t terribly useful for your purposes. You’re best off finding a school that will be the perfect learning environment for you. Then you will become the best physician you can.

8. Should I apply to all four medical schools in North Carolina?

You should apply based on your own criteria. This is a personal decision. If you are from North Carolina and want to study locally, absolutely! But if geography is arbitrary, select based on your ability to thrive at a given institution. Location might be a factor, but it won’t be the only one.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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