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Several pictures of doctors who are featured on the Local Legends web site

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Carolyn Ferree, M.D.

Picture of Carolyn Ferree
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Carolyn Ferree, M.D.

“I was raised in a small town with an unreliable doctor, despite the fact that he was need so badly, so promised myself that I could do better taking care of folks. That was when I was about five or six. I always knew what I was meant to do and never wavered. And I was right. I can't imagine a more rewarding career than taking care of cancer patients.”


Richard Burr



In today's increasingly hurried, unconnected world, Carolyn Ferree has a wonderful reputation for being "there" for her patients, always available, day or night, to talk with them by phone. She also spends many hours on their behalf writing letters to appeal insurance and HMO decisions, arranging transportation for treatment when they can't get a ride or are unable to afford cab fare, and, incredibly, making house calls. Even on weekends!

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), who nominated Ferree to be a Local Legend of Medicine, declares, "Carolyn Ferree is one of the finest doctors I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She is among the most outstanding physicians in North Carolina. Her unwavering devotion to patient care, education and the profession of medicine during her three decades in the field of radiation oncology has significantly enhanced the image of women in medicine. !

"With nearly 3,000 former patients in our community and beyond, she hardly ever leaves her home without being spotted and hugged by a grateful patient of family member. Her affection and, above all, respect for her patients is obvious to all." !

Ferree is professor of radiation oncology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Practically upon her appointment in 1974 as an instructor, after two years of internship in internal medicine followed by a two-year residency in radiation therapy, she began to garner recognition as an outstanding physician, educator and role model for medical students and residents. It was then that she also set her mark as a tireless, fervent patient advocate. !

Rising steadily through the ranks, she became a full professor in 1987 and received tenure four years later. Keenly interested in women's health issues, from cervical cancer to domestic violence, Ferree takes her responsibilities as an educator very seriously both inside and outside the university classroom. She routinely talks to patient, church and civic groups about the newest diagnostic tools and recommended treatments. !

Despite a very demanding patient and teaching schedule, Ferree devotes a great deal of time to serving on literally dozens of medical center and professional society committees and task forces. Among others, she is a member of the American Medical Association and a recent past-president of the North Carolina Medical Society, a member of the Board of Directors of Hospice, and a lifetime member of the board of the Forsyth Chapter of the ACS. !

She has been honored with fellowship in the American College of Radiology and has received Distinguished Service Awards from the North Carolina Academy of Physicians and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, the Alumni Distinguished Service Award and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the Governor Hunt Distinguished Women of North Carolina in Professions Award, and theYWCA's Woman of Vision Award, and the Patient Advocate Award of Forsyth Cancer Services. !

In addition, Ferree is listed in Who's Who of American Women and Who's Who of American Women in Healthcare, as well as Best Doctors in America, Best Doctors in the Southeast Region, and Best Doctors in North Carolina.



Appointed Assistant Professor, Radiation Therapy, Bowman Gray School of Medicine


Appointed Associate Professor, Radiation Therapy, Bowman Gray School of Medicine


Becomes Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine




Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem


Radiation Oncology


North Carolina