The Externship Program

A Summertime Experience in
Family Medicine

The NCAFP Family Medicine Externship Program is a 4-week summer learning experience that exposes rising second-year medical students to the daily activities of family physicians. Since its inception in 1992, hundreds of medical students have participated in externships across North Carolina. The program is designed to offer participating North Carolina medical students a first-hand understanding of what family medicine encompasses and how family physicians deliver health care and practice medicine. Each student 'extern' receives a stipend for participating in the program and is offered a chance to work alongside a practicing physician in their independent or group practice. Students may also have the opportunity to shadow physicians in hospitals, nursing homes or other community clinics.

Complete Application Today!

Application packet must be received no later than 11:59pm EST, January 15, 2016. This program available for current 1st-year medical students (Class of 2019) enrolled in any of the five NC medical schools. Students must be NCAFP members for applications to be considered. --

Complete Online Application Here

The At-Home Learning Experience -

Based entirely in-state, the program is great for medical students preferring to stay close to home, but who desire to learn about family medicine and primary care during summer break. In most cases, students participate within commuting distance of where they live or within the geographic area of their choice. This makes the program convenient and allows students to simulate a close 'living-and-working' scenario.

How it Works-

Interested first-year medical students enrolled in any North Carolina medical school may apply to be a Family Medicine Extern. Applications are submitted electronically to Tracie Hazelett at the NCAFP offices and are reviewed by a committee composed of family medicine physician leaders. The number of externships offered varies according to funding. Participation offers are typically extended in early March.

Once selected, the matching process will begin. NCAFP Foundation staff will work with each student in order to pair them with a family medicine preceptor. Students may choose to locate a family physician preceptor by utilizing their existing contacts. However, this is not required, and we will attempt to locate a preceptor on the student's behalf with preferred experiences, interests and geography in mind. A focus of this program is to expose students to physicians outside of the university community so preference is given to family physicians whose clinical time is community-based.

Once a preceptor has been assigned, the student and physician will arrange a mutually-convenient four-week schedule to complete the program. Learning experiences are typically four-weeks in length (although they do not have to be consecutive weeks) and must be completed prior to the start of the student's 2nd academic year. Each student is required to complete both a pre- and post-program survey, stipends are awarded on completion of these requirements.

The daily activities of the program are directed by the physician preceptor. By custom, the program includes daily shadowing of the physician as they interact with patients and deliver care. Each family physician preceptor provides a unique experience.

Why Apply

Past Participant: “This experience provided very practical, hands-on learning that helped me “connect-the-dots” between classroom learning and on-the-ground experience.” “Great opportunity to practice interviewing & physical exam skills…it helped me become more comfortable with this skill.” “I loved the change from treating a six-month old baby for a well check, to a 52 yo man with high cholesterol. The ongoing patient relationships helped me understand how to better counsel patients and ultimately manage their health issues.”

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for the program, please click the link above and submit electronically.

For questions regarding the Family Medicine Externship Program, please contact Tracie Hazelett at NCAFP offices at or via telephone at (919) 833-2110 x-120