A Half Century
Since 1969, the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine has prepared more than 3,100 students, residents and fellows to lead the way to better health. We pride ourselves on widespread outreach with a local touch, providing patient care and clinical training in Reno and throughout our rural communities. And the research generated in our own backyard is changing and saving lives around the world.
However, none of it can make a difference without the support of our community – local physicians inviting students into their practices, patients allowing learners to observe, donors providing much needed scholarship and research funding.
Our work is influenced by a commitment to excellence, community engagement and spirit of adventure. Join us as we celebrate 50 years of better health and health care for the state of Nevada – and for each of us.
Attend An Event
On March 25, 2019 the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine turns 50. However, we're not waiting to get this party started. Our year-long celebration commenced at Hooding 2018 and will conclude at Hooding 2019.
ThursdayMay 17, 2018M.D. Hooding 2018 | View the Photo Gallery
FridayAug 17, 2018Class of 2022 White Coat Ceremony | View the Photo Gallery
WednesdaySep 12, 2018University of Nevada, Reno Foundation Banquet
MondaySep 24, 2018State of the School Address | View the Photo Gallery
FridaySep 28, 2018WIN Breakfast | View the Photo Gallery
MondayNov 05, 2018Healthy Nevada Speaker Series | Dr. Lisa Genova | View the Photo Gallery
FridayMar 15, 2019Match Day | Register Now
SaturdayMar 16, 201950th Anniversary Golden Gala | Register Now
WednesdayMay 15, 2019Class of 2019 Alumni Welcome Reception | View last years Photo Gallery
FridayMay 17, 2019Class of 2019 Hooding Ceremony | Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts
Oral History Videos
To commemorate the School of Medicine's unrivaled history, we're recording oral histories of our faculty, staff and students. We invite you to enjoy the stories we've collected so far. If you're interested in sharing your UNR Med story, contact Brin Reynolds, multimedia specialist, at (775) 682-7347.
"An opportunity you wouldn't expect"
"Chance of a lifetime"
"You forget how exciting it is"
"A good way to go through life"
"It's the community"
"A good fit"
"Nevada is deep in my heart"
"Rural health care - that's my passion"
"All of this is in our backyard"
"The importance of what we do"
"Our work has national implications"
"Zoom! It was there"
"Our people support each other"
"Our potential is unlimited"
"The best memories"
Examine Our History
Since opening our doors in 1969, UNR Med has made great strides toward achieving our vision of A Healthy Nevada. Here's a look back at some of key moments in our history.
Dr. Frederick Anderson, chairman of the University of Nevada Board of Regents and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), moves to start a medical school in Reno, Nevada.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) designates the University of Nevada, Reno campus as the most likely facility to support a new medical school.
The Nevada State Medical Association votes to support a medical school in Reno.
The second floor of Morrill Hall on the south end of the University of Nevada, Reno Quad becomes home to the medical school offices.
- The Nevada System of Higher Education's Board of Regents approves a two-year medical school, based in Reno.
- Businessman, investor, pilot and philanthropist Howard Hughes pledges $6 million in support of the new medical school.
- March: Gov. Paul Laxalt signs Assembly Bill 130, officially creating the University of Nevada School of Medicine.
- Led by Dean George Smith, M.D., 14 full time faculty members and more than 200 community physisians begin laying the groundwork for the new school from their new home base in the Mackay Science building.
August: The University of Nevada School of Medicine accepts a charter class of 32 students.
May: The first two-year class completes their classroom studies and matriculates to other institutions to finish the clinical portion of their medical degrees.
April: The Nevada Legislature passes Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 18, approving the conversion of the school from a two-year to a four-year, medical degree-granting institution
- Clinical departments are established in Reno.
- The Office of Rural Health is created.
July: The first family medicine residents begin their rotations in Reno.
May: The first four-year class of 36 students graduates with medical degrees.
- Joseph Hume, Ph.D., discovers new chloride channels in the heart and is published in the journal Science.
- The internal medicine residency program is created in Las Vegas.
An early intervention clinic for patients with HIV and AIDS opens to serve northern Nevada
The School of Medicine is selected for the Robert Wood Johnson generalist initiative award, a grant which helps modify the curriculum to a focus on primary care focus.
A statewide practice plan is created to integrate the School of Medicine's patient care clinics.
The pediatrics residency program is established.
The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services State Health Division transfers the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory to the School of Medicine.
- Medical students establishes the Student Outreach Clinic to provide medical care for indigent patients.
- The School of Medicine's trauma unit at University Medical Center in Las Vegas is designated as a Level I unit.
- A psychiatry residency program is established in Reno.
- May: The Pennington Medical Education Building opens, named for philanthropists William N. and Myriam Pennington.
- July: A psychiatry residency program is created in Las Vegas.
- The family medicine clinic opens in Reno.
- A plastic surgery residency program is created in Las Vegas.
Child psychiatry fellowship is established in Reno.
- Emergency medicine and sports medicine residency programs are established in Las Vegas.
- A geriatrics fellowship program is established in Reno
- May: The department of surgery creates the first acute care surgery fellowship program in the U.S.
- July: A sports medicine fellowship program is established in Reno.
- Spring: The clinical simulation center celebrates its grand opening in Reno.
- August: The opening of the Center for Molecular Medicine heralds a new era of research for Nevada.
The University of New Mexico's Project ECHO, which uses videoconferencing to conduct virtual clinics with community providers, is adopted by the University of Nevada School of Medicine in an effort to reduce health care disparities in rural Nevada.
The NSHE Board of Regents approves a detailed plan for public medical education in Nevada. The long-term strategy includes the development of a four-year medical school at UNLV.
- Fall: The Sanford Center for Aging Geriatric Specialty Clinic opens.
- December: The Office for Community Faculty opens inside Renown Regional Medical Center.
- April: The joint role of University of Nevada School of Medicine Nell J. Redfield Chair of Pediatrics and Renown Children's Hospital pediatrician-in-chief is established.
- May: An OB/GYN clerkship is established in Reno.
- June 2016: The University of Nevada School of Medicine is renamed as the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, adding "Reno" to more closely align the medical school with its parent university.
- February: UNR Med launches a Reno-based department of surgery.
- March: The Mick Hitchcock, Ph.D. Endowed Chair in Medical Biochemistry is established.
- May: UNR Med names an associate dean of diversity and inclusion.
- July: Las Vegas-based residencies and clinical practices transition ownership to newly established UNLV School of Medicine, allowing the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine to focus on northern and rural Nevada.
- The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine ranks 13 on list of nation's top 20 most affordable medical schools.
- The State of Nevada allocates funding to create a Reno-based OB/GYN department Reno.
- September: The Office for Community Faculty welcomes its 1,000th clinical community faculty member.
- The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) invites UNR Med and eight other Pathway Leaders to participate in a Patient Safety Collaborative.
- October 2017: The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) conducts a full site visit of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine to assess the institution for accreditation renewal.
- March: UNR Med is granted full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) through 2026. The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is Nevada's only public medical school accredited by the LCME.
- April: The new Physician Assistant Studies Program is awarded provisional accreditation.
- July: The Physician Assistant Studies Program welcomes an inaugural class of 24 students.
March 25, 2019: The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine celebrates its 50th Anniversary
There is no shortage of incredible stories at UNR Med. After all, we're a complex, living organism made of faculty and staff members, students, community faculty members and leaders, hospital partners, alumni and donors.
With each student we recruit, each class that graduates, each new community faculty physician and each partnership negotiated. With each paper that's published, each grant that's funded, each discovery made. With each patient who benefits from our care, each family who is supported and consoled. We're getting better all the time.
RENO, Nev. - (Sept. 24, 2018)
Nevada's first medical school, with a 50-year history of producing the next generation of physicians and health care professionals, is expanding with new departments, programs, partnerships and investments as a result of its transition to a fully northern Nevada-based medical school.
This was the message that Dr. Thomas L. Schwenk, dean of the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine, delivered at UNR Med's State of the School Address. A crowd of 245 attended the annual event at Basin Street Stadium Club at Mackay Stadium at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The theme for the annual address was "Unrivaled history. Unlimited future," consistent with the theme of the school's 50 Anniversary, a year-long, community-wide celebration that leads up to UNR Med's milestone anniversary on March 25, 2019.
We pride ourselves on widespread outreach with a local touch, providing patient care and clinical training in Reno and throughout our rural communities.
And the research generated in our own backyard is changing and saving lives around the world. However, none of it can make a difference without the support of our community-local physicians inviting students into their practices, patients allowing learners to observe, donors providing much needed scholarship and research funding.