University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine 2017 State of the School Address

Annual Report on Institution, Medical Education, Finances and Research

Thomas Schwenk delivering the State of the School Address

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., dean of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, delivers UNR Med's 2017 State of the School Address, "Our Future is Now," Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 at Basin Street Stadium Club at Mackay Stadium. Photo by Kevin Murphy. Download a high resolution version of the photo.

RENO, Nev. - (Sept. 13, 2017) - Nevada's first public medical school, with a nearly 50-year history of recruiting and training the next generation of health professionals and physicians, is on a trajectory of growth and expansion as it approaches its milestone anniversary in 2019.

This was the message that Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., dean of the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine, delivered at UNR Med's State of the School Address last night. A crowd of 275 attended the annual event at Basin Street Stadium Club at Mackay Stadium at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The theme of the address was "Our Future is Now," which Dr. Schwenk referred to as a new era in medical education. As of July 1, 2017, UNR Med became a northern Nevada-based medical school that is statewide-focused.

"We boast nearly 50 years of medical education tradition and history, yet we are growing, adding new faculty members, developing new leaders, and creating new partnerships and programs," said Dr. Schwenk. "Our history of success predicts our future of success rooted in our passion, our excellence and our commitment."

Dr. Schwenk reported developments in the following areas:

  • UNR Med ranks No. 13 in the nation's most affordable medical schools, according to a study released by USA Today.
  • UNR Med alumni represent a quarter of all physicians practicing in northern Nevada helping to bridge the gap in available physicians and healthcare services.
  • Approximately 40 percent of medical students who attend UNR Med end up practicing in northern Nevada; students from out-of-state who complete their residency here have a 60 percent likelihood of staying to practice. If a physician completes both medical school and residency training in Nevada, there's an 80 percent chance the physician will stay to practice.
  • UNR Med's Class of 2021 will complete all of their third and fourth-year clerkships in northern Nevada at local hospital partner locations, rotating through neurology, internal medicine, family medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, OB/GYN and surgery.
  • UNR Med has surpassed its goal of increasing clinical community faculty members from 636 in 2016 to 775 in 2019 by welcoming its 1,000th clinical community faculty member in August 2017. Clinical community faculty are pivotal in UNR Med students' education as they provide practical knowledge, skills and abilities in a wide variety of practice environments.
  • In 2016, UNR Med spent $37.4 million in state funds to support teaching and medical research with a total economic contribution of $153.3 million to northern Nevada, including employing 1,188 northern Nevadans, according to the 2017 UNR Med Health Policy Brief.
  • UNR Med's debt from its statewide practice plan came in slightly under $10 million, less than the projected $13 million as reported to the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents at its Sept. 8 meeting.
  • UNR Med has expanded scholarships to cover more than 40 percent of its students' tuition—an increase from 35 percent in 2016.
  • UNR Med's endowments, which are designated to support medical student scholarships and faculty teaching and research, are currently valued at nearly $43 million and increasing.
  • UNR Med is the leading biomedical research institution in Nevada with its scientists generating more than $235 million in research funding over the past decade, supporting research that is enhancing the quality of life and further fueling the northern Nevada economy. UNR Med's Department of Physiology and Cell Biology is ranked No.4 in the U.S. for research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.
  • Diversity and inclusion continues to remain at the forefront of UNR Med's faculty, staff, student and resident recruitment and retention. Dr. Nicole Jacobs, newly named associate dean of diversity and inclusion, is creating initiatives, policies and programs to promote a diverse and inclusive climate at the School of Medicine. Additionally, current admission, outreach and inclusion efforts continue to diversify UNR Med's incoming classes.

A digital news release, video and photography of UNR Med's 2017 State of the School Address is available at: Download UNR Med's 2017-2018 At-A-Glance


Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision that has served Nevada for nearly 50 years as its first public medical school. UNR Med’s vision is a healthy Nevada, supported by our mission: establishing excellence in medical education, medical care, research and community engagement, while committing to a culture of respect, compassion and inclusion. Through targeted growth and investment in research, clinical services, education and outreach, UNR Med is a resource for improving healthcare regionally and across the country. For more information, visit: