About Leadership College

NCMS Leadership College Overview


The Leadership College combines the elements of mentoring, organizational education, skills training, and guided experiences covering the three "P's" of leadership: philosophy, principles, and practice. Based on the highly successful American Academy of Ophthalmology model, the North Carolina Medical Society Leadership College is a leadership development course designed to orient and train NCMS members for future leadership positions at county, state, and potentially national levels. A select group of 15-18 "scholars" are selected to attend annually.

The Leadership Scholar Year

As a Leadership College scholar, participants commit to attending five sessions throughout the year and completing a project.

  • In October, scholars attend the NCMS Annual Meeting. At this time, scholars come together for the first time for an orientation session, and they will be recognized individually at the opening session of the NCMS House of Delegates.
  • In January, scholars attend an interactive, one-day workshop to introduce them to the principles and philosophies of leadership.
  • In May, scholars attend a comprehensive, four-day meeting during which they continue with leadership principles, review personal commitment needed to hold a leadership position, learn about delegation and teamwork, develop communications and advocacy strategies, and review the fundamentals of administering a non-profit association.
  • Scholars meet again in the summer for an advocacy day in Raleigh, which includes meeting the Medical Society staff, a legislative briefing from the Government Affairs Department, a visit to the NC General Assembly, and meetings with individual legislators as time permits.
  • Scholars complete their leadership year at the NCMS annual meeting, present their projects, and graduate at the opening session of the NCMS House of Delegates. At this time they receive their leadership pins to recognize their work and commitment.

Scholar Projects

In addition to the educational sessions, scholars commit to developing a project to benefit their local society, community and/or the NCMS. Project abstracts are published and presented at the conclusion of their scholar year during the fall sessions. Ideally, each scholar will be teamed with a veteran NCMS member who will serve as a mentor throughout the Leadership College year.

Nomination and Selection

A selection committee reviews and selects participants in mid-July of each year. It is the intent of the Selection Committee to get a broad representation of specialty and geographic area in each class, so in general, only one candidate from each county or specialty will be selected each year. Nominees must:

  • submit a completed application;
  • have the endorsement of their county medical society, specialty society, or the NCMS;
  • be a member in good standing of the NCMS;
  • must commit to attending all sessions for their scholar year.

Financial Investment

A component of the Leadership College is the financial investment of the nominating organization, the scholar, and the NCMS Foundation. While minimal for the scholar and the nominating organization, this cost sharing symbolizes a commitment of all parties to the leadership development process.

  • The NCMS Foundation provides educational materials, books, meeting preparation, faculty expenses, social events, and meals at the sessions;
  • The nominating organization generally pays travel expenses and lodging for the January and May sessions;
  • The scholar is responsible for travel and lodging expenses for all other sessions.

Note: The nominating organization may choose to make different financial commitments with the individual participant. The nominee should discuss this with their nominating organization prior to accepting a position in the class. The NCMS Foundation does not reimburse parties for expenses.


The Leadership College is a collaborative project of the NCMS and the NCMS Foundation. Partial funding is provided by the Past Presidents and Leadership Endowment and the Joseph Ward Hooper Memorial Lectures Trust. In addition, we rely on the generous support from NCMS members and loyal corporate partners. For more information on contributing or becoming a Leadership College sponsor, click here.

Class of 2014 Nominations

Nominations for the Class of 2013 will be accepted through August 10, 2012. Apply today! (PDF)

For More Information

Pam Highsmith
Director of Development
North Carolina Medical Society
PO Box 27167
Raleigh, NC 27601
1-800-722-1350 ext. 122
919-833-2023 fax