ECU’s Impact on Healthcare in NC

Did you know that one out of five doctors in North Carolina is a graduate of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University? Talk about Pirate Pride! 

This year marks 40 years since the first class of 28 fledgling doctors graduated from what was then called ECU School of Medicine. (Happy Anniversary!) It was renamed in 1999 and now admits 80 students per year. Brody offers programs in everything from anatomy and cell biology, to radiation oncology and obstetrics/gynecology, with dozens of others in between.

But enough background — here’s how the school is making an impact in North Carolina today.

How it’s Shaping North Carolina

The Brody School of Medicine is ranked as one of the top 10 institutions in the nation for preparing family doctors by the American Academy of Family Physicians. One in six family physicians in North Carolina is a Brody graduate. (Seems like those Pirates know how to command a medical ship.)

Brody alumni receive their medical instruction right in the heart of Eastern North Carolina at Vidant Medical Center. Residents in rural counties (like those in eastern North Carolina) often struggle for access to healthcare and ECU is producing doctors that are addressing this critical need. VMC, the flagship hospital of Vidant Health, is the only Level 1 trauma center in Eastern North Carolina and the largest employer in Pitt County.

ECU is also a leader in clinical trial research. ECU’s Clinical Trial Office works closely with investigators to provide services and approvals for industry-funded and oncology group trials.

Another way ECU is making an impact on the healthcare community? By using technology and treatment together. ECU is a pioneer of telemedicine (i.e. virtual house calls) and leads the N.C. Statewide Telepsychiatry Program. The program aims to improve mental health in a cost efficient way by virtually linking psychiatric professionals and patients. (Screen time that matters!)

Brody graduates may chant “Purple and gold ‘til I’m dead and old!” at football games, but they’re living proof of what ECU is doing for the healthcare community — in both Eastern North Carolina and the state at-large.

Read on for some trivia you may not know about ECU’s Brody School of Medicine.

Fun Facts about Brody

  • Brody School of Medicine is named after the Brody family of Eastern North Carolina, who have contributed more than $22 million since the 1960s. 
  • It’s nationally recognized for the number of graduates practicing primary care; approximately 42 percent. 
  • The school is considered one of the highest value medical schools in the nation. The average amount of debt for a Brody graduate is $60,000 less than other medical schools.

What’s next for ECU? Possibly a merger with Vidant Health. ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton said it would “advance the mission of delivering healthcare in rural, underserved areas” and be a step in the right direction. We’ll keep you posted on these negotiations as they move forward.

In the meantime, while healthcare access is incredibly important to both rural and suburban communities alike, it does no one any good if it’s unaffordable. Join us in fighting back against state-based mandates that drive up the cost of healthcare — for everyone.

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