Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List
HomeEmerita Councilor - Mary Hall


Emerita Councilor - Mary Hall

After medical school at Cornell University Mary Hall trained in Family Medicine at the residency of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, graduating in 1986. The Carolinas never let her leave. She became a faculty member right away at UNC in Charlotte, eventually serving as program director of Family Medicine for ten years and Chair of the department for eight. At the time of this writing she shares her home in Charlotte with husband David, a Family Physician, daughter Katherine, a senior at Wake Forest University, and son Andrew, a sophomore at Duke University.

Mary credits her Balint work as an important source of strength throughout her influential career. “Balint work has been central to my life and to my career.  It has been food for my soul.” It began during residency, when she was “extremely fortunate to experience Balint as a second and third year resident under Clive Brock.” She went on to lead groups for second and third year residents throughout a multi-role tenure in Family Medicine. For years she was the standard answer to the question at intensives about whether it could work to have a program director lead Balint groups: well, it’s not easy, but Mary does it.

Meanwhile she held roles with the ABS, e.g. serving as the first Secretary of the Council when that job was split from Treasurer, setting up the monthly conference calls that allow the governance of the Society to continue, becoming Council President, serving as inaugural Chair of the Weekends Committee, hosting multiple Council business retreats, chairing the Credentialing Committee.  “Laurel Milberg was my mentor in the organization. I learned a lot from her and from others on the Council… [that] I have carried...with me to my other national work and in my home location.”

Her current leadership roles in what’s now called Carolinas Healthcare System involve being in charge of the regional branch campus of the UNC School of Medicine, including 23 residencies and fellowships. And the influence of her Balint work continues in this “complex corporate environment rich with political intrigue.  I attribute my success to skills honed and sharpened in the Balint community.  Complex interactions with colleagues are not unlike those experienced with our patients.  It is not unusual for me to slip into a Balint leader state of mind when working with a group of colleagues on a gritty issue.”

Mary is simply reporting the truth when she says, “It is vital to me to do the work I am passionate about,” and as part of that she still leads Balint groups. The experience is as rich as ever: “The groups allow me to touch the vulnerable parts of the lives of residents and help me to empathize with their struggles.  This helped me to be a better Residency Director, Chair and now Director of Medical Education.”

She describes “the pervasive influence of [her] Balint colleagues who root [her] in the meaning of medicine” with gratitude. All who have been touched by her exemplary leadership, by her integrity, energy and heart, are grateful in return.  – Approved by ABS Council December, 2012.

 "Restoring the Core of Clinical Practice: What is a Balint group and how does it help?" by Laurel Milberg, PhD and Katherine Knowlton, PhD. Available in paperback or ebook Order Now

The American Balint Society
, is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the therapeutic relationships between healing professionals and their clients/patients. The American Balint  Society is a member society of the International Balint Federation