Clinical community faculty recognized for enhancing student learning experiences and success of UNR Med

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UNR Med students present gifts to colunteer community faculty at community facutly appreciation breakfast.

UNR Med students presented gifts to volunteer community faculty to express their gratitude for making differences in their lives as well as the lives of patients and in our communities during an appreciation breakfast held Friday, April 27, hosted by the Office for Community Faculty.

As a community-engaged medical school, clinical community faculty-local healthcare leaders who volunteer their time to train undergraduate and graduate medical learners- contribute significantly to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine's success (UNR Med).

UNR Med's community-based medical education model incorporates clinical training in a community setting, exposing students to real patients in need of various medical specialties and subspecialties. Local healthcare professionals accept UNR Med students into their medical practices, professional networks and local community, while taking on the role of a preceptor for much of the curricula. Statewide, more than 1,200 clinical community faculty members illustrate their commitment to educating future physicians through their passion for teaching and sharing their time, talents and experience.  

The Office for Community Faculty hosted a community faculty appreciation breakfast, Friday, April 27, at the Grove in Reno. The event was held to express gratitude to volunteer community faculty for making differences in the lives of medical students, patients and in our communities.  

Inside the Grove, with tables featuring various history of medicine book centerpieces, Office for Community Faculty Director April Heiselt, Ph.D., opened the program by sharing anecdotes of how community faculty influence students and how their teaching and positive impact goes well beyond medical education.   

UNR Med Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., also shared remarks regarding the importance of UNR Med's invaluable community faculty. He reminisced over his most poignant memories being a medical student and resident while studying under his preceptor and mentor, Dr. Hartman. Schwenk explained the lasting impact of learning first-hand from Dr. Hartman. "The compassion he had for every patient, his skillful and effective patient interaction abilities and his expertise as a problem-solving physician and master of medicine provided some of the most meaningful, influential and powerful lessons," said Schwenk.  

Michael Young, second-year medical student and Sam Dugan, fourth-year medical student shared their own personal stories of the meaningfulness of community faculty for medical students. Each expressed their own accounts of how they've adopted the values and attitudes of their clinician preceptors and mentors as they seek to not only practice medicine but emulate and become the doctors they admire. The students explained how community faculty are a page in their books and presented gifts, including bookmarks, to the community faculty for their appreciation.  

The goal of the UNR Med Office for Community Faculty is to build meaningful relationships between community faculty and the School of Medicine. The consensus among veteran volunteer community faculty is that any time spent with students is a rewarding experience. There are a number of opportunities for local healthcare professionals to teach and model exceptional healthcare service to medical students and enjoy the many benefits of partnering with the first public medical school in Nevada.  

Opportunities for healthcare professionals to get involved with UNR Med and teaching students include a variety of activities, outreach and programs. More information is available on the OCF website.  

Community faculty members qualify for adjunct/clinical faculty status at UNR Med. This status allows community faculty to obtain many of the same benefits as a School of Medicine faculty member, in addition to other educator and health care provider discounts. For more information on community faculty opportunities and benefits, contact the Office for Community Faculty at (775) 682-8390 or  

The UNR Med community faculty appreciation breakfast was part of National Volunteer Month in April, National Healthcare Volunteer Week, April 15-21, and National Volunteer Day, which was observed on April 20.  

Media Contacts

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

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

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.