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Dr. Wesley Burks, Dean of UNC School of Medicine, Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs, and CEO of UNC Health Care, converses with medical students outside of Bondurant Hall.

When Dr. Beat Steiner, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education at the UNC School of Medicine, welcomed students to campus this summer, he set the tone for their upcoming year of medical education. Dr. Steiner welcomed the MS1s and MS2s as “student colleagues.” He reminded them that UNC is “by and for the people of North Carolina,” and that the state’s patients and communities will be some of the future physicians’ most important teachers. These themes of collegiality and mutual learning are emblematic of how Dr. Steiner and the School of Medicine approach medical education.


UNC School of Medicine students benefit from a medical education philosophy grounded first in the training of highly competent physicians who care deeply—for their patients, their classmates, their faculty colleagues, and themselves. A learning environment that fosters deep trust between and among students, faculty, and staff is critical to this aspect of UNC School of Medicine’s vision for medical education.


Dr. Steiner points to the School’s CPR2 (Commitment to Positive Respectful Relationships) Initiative as one example of the School of Medicine’s focus on relationships and trust. Now in its third year, CPR2 focuses on creating an environment in which students, physicians, and staff can be at their best. “We learn and teach better in a safe and supportive environment,” says Dr. Steiner.


The Medical Education Building, expected to welcome students in the fall of 2023, will further transform medical education at UNC. Its design maximizes mutual learning and contributes to an environment that will foster trust and collaboration. Dr. Steiner sums it up when he says, “We are working hard to improve the learning environment in the classroom and in the clinical settings across all our campuses. The new building will further enhance these efforts and set a wonderful tone from day one of medical school. It will create an infrastructure for collaboration which will integrate nicely with many other efforts.”


For more information on how to support the UNC School of Medicine, please contact Jeanine Simmons, Interim Director of Medical Education and Alumni Development, at 919-843-0846 or

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