Nevada elected officials and community leaders are medical students for a day at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

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Project Medical Education Nevada participants

Project Medical Education provided 13 participants a day with UNR Med faculty and staff members, medical students and residents. 

In one day, 13 state legislators, city officials, CEOs and community leaders experienced a sample of four years of medical school. In the process, they received a first-hand look into what it takes to train future physicians for Nevada and the nation. The unique experience today was part of Project Medical Education, a community outreach program run by the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med). The program is designed to give community leaders insight into public medical education and the opportunities and challenges facing medical schools and teaching hospitals in the state.

Project Medical Education provided its ninth matriculation class a day with UNR Med faculty and staff members, medical students and residents. The program included an overview of the School of Medicine, the experience of being “admitted” to medical school, and various hands-on interactions in the lab and simulation center that illustrated a medical student’s pathway to becoming a fully-trained physician.

Side-by-side with students and residents, participants experienced how students and residents are taught, how they care for patients and how they learn clinical skills. The mini-curriculum also included financing medical education, the role of a state medical school and relationships with community partners in educating and training doctors, conducting research and providing patient care.

“Today was an excellent opportunity for political, business, healthcare and community leaders to experience our community-based education firsthand and witness the rigorous, comprehensive training of physicians and healthcare professionals in our state,” said University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D. “Medical education is the foundation and future of our state’s and nation’s healthcare systems. It’s important that we provide our community leaders with the opportunity to explore the complex, collaborative process managed by UNR Med for the benefit of medical students, and indirectly for the benefit of our community. This process requires substantial intellectual and financial resources, and tremendous commitment and expertise on the part of our faculty and staff.”

Participants included Alice Allen, chief nursing officer, Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital; Ivan Correa, chief of staff, VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System; Jennifer Crowe, northern Nevada director, Office of Senator Catherine Cortez Masto; Amber Donnelli, dean, health science human services, Great Basin College and board member, Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital; John Dooley, physician, Nevada ENT and Hearing; Kris Layman, realtor, RE/Max Realty Affiliates; Siobhan McAndrew, Reno Gazette Journal, Mary Ann McCauley, executive director, Washoe County Medical Society; Tim McFarling, associate vice president, human resources, University of Nevada, Reno; Jason Morris, attorney, Woodburn and Wedge; Felicia O’Carroll, partner, Eide Bailly LLP and Michelle Sanchez-Bickley, vice president human resources, Renown Health.

Project Medical Education Nevada is adapted from an Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) program. Approximately 80 medical schools from across the country host programs to provide elected officials, policy makers and community leaders a firsthand look at public medical education in the United States. 


Media Contacts

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 50 years. The state's first public medical school, UNR Med fosters a healthy Nevada through excellence in medical education, medical care, research and community engagement, within a culture of respect, compassion and inclusion. Through targeted growth and investment in research, clinical services, education and outreach, UNR Med is improving the future of health care. For more information, visit our 50th anniversary website.

Released: Friday February 16, 2018 @ 1:00 PM