University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine granted full accreditation

Programs, faculty, resources and partnerships meet and exceed medical education standards

In the world of medical schools, accreditation is the gold standard for communicating the quality and performance of medical education programs. The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) was recently granted full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) through 2026. This achievement confirms that UNR Med's programs, faculty, resources and partnerships are meeting or exceeding national standards for medical education.

Accreditation benefits UNR Med and enhances its degree programs. As a fully accredited institution, UNR Med is eligible to receive federal grants and its students are eligible to apply to accredited residency programs in the United States. The top ranked residency programs in the country require their applicants to graduate from an LCME-accredited medical school, as do most state boards for medical licensure.

"This outcome is the result of the extraordinary dedication and expertise of all UNR Med faculty and staff members, students and community partners. By its very nature, the LCME self-study is a team effort and that was certainly the case here, with unprecedented involvement by every member and unit of the school in our reaccreditation process," said University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine Dean, Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D. "The collaboration forged throughout the LCME process will continue to resonate through our regular working relationships; it will have long-lasting impact on our culture of excellence in medical education."

The process for medical school accreditation is a comprehensive and inclusive one. UNR Med spent more than a year of extensive data collection, analysis and self-study, including the submission of hundreds of pages of information and a three-day LCME site visit in October 2017. UNR Med held dozens of meetings with students, faculty and community partners to examine the five key areas for accreditation:

  1. Institutional setting: UNR Med's missions, leadership and the administrative tools needed for success;
  2. Educational program: UNR Med's curriculum and how the School measures its performance in training the next generation of physicians;
  3. Medical students: the selection and support services for medical students;
  4. Faculty: UNR Med's faculty and how they are prepared to teach and overall faculty career success;
  5. Educational resources: the finances, buildings and equipment the School needs to deliver an outstanding medical education program, and the strong partnerships UNR Med has with northern Nevada hospitals and healthcare providers.

UNR Med's accreditation team included Melissa Piasecki, M.D., executive associate dean, faculty accreditation lead; Krystle Oates, Ph.D., accreditation coordinator, and Amy Smith, Ph.D., director of institutional assessment.

"The accreditation process was highly collaborative involving nearly 100 individuals who participated over the course of an intensive self-study so we could provide detailed data and reports to the LCME. The LCME accreditation committee reviewed the extensive data about our student successes, faculty accomplishments, facilities, finances and leadership. It was reaffirming to hear from them what we know so well - that the quality and commitment of our students and faculty are major strengths of our medical school," said Dr. Piasecki.

As is standard for LCME accreditations, schools of medicine are required to report on progress in key areas. While being granted full accreditation is the ultimate goal for any medical school, UNR Med will continue to improve its performance in key areas such as sufficiency of faculty, diversity and pipeline programs and career advising for medical students, and submit routine progress reports. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the authority for the accreditation of medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree in the United States and Canada. 

View UNR Med's listing on LCME's Accredited M.D. Programs in the United States

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The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Released: Friday March 2, 2018 @ 7:00 AM