Reflections from the Dean

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As the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine celebrates its 50th Anniversary of serving Nevada as the state's first medical school, increasing access to quality health care remains a priority for UNR Med, including those in our rural and underserved communities. I am extremely pleased, and immensely proud that UNR Med is another step closer to providing more health care resources and options to the residents of Elko through the much-anticipated grand opening of our Elko Family Medicine Residency Program.                                                   

By training resident physicians under the supervision of experienced UNR Med faculty, the program aims to increase the primary care physician workforce in Elko and surrounding areas and provide greater health care access to rural Nevadans.

Nevada's ranking near the bottom of all states in physicians per capita is attributed largely to the critical shortage of graduate medical education positions in the state. The Elko residency program is an example of a new and expanded training program made possible by a $1.4 million grant from Governor Brian Sandoval's Task Force on Graduate Medical Education, approved during the 2015 legislative session to address this physician deficit.

We are pleased to team with Nevada Health Centers to extend our medical training and clinical care reach to Elko and surrounding communities, and we thank Governor Sandoval and the Graduate Medical Education Task Force for their support in expanding these critically important resident programs.

Based within a newly renovated section of the Elko Family Medical and Dental Center at 762 14th Street in Elko, resident physicians and UNR Med faculty physicians have been seeing patients since July 2018. Nevada Health Centers manages the daily clinic operations.

There are four residents in the program currently, with plans to expand to six in July 2019 to accommodate the health care needs of approximately 6,000 Elko patients.

Dr. Daniel Spogen, M.D., chair of UNR Med family and community medicine, and Dr. Richard Williams, M.D., UNR Med residency program director, oversee the Elko Family Medicine Residency Program medical staff, which includes UNR Med clinical faculty Steve Lore, M.D., and Jacqueline Huynh, M.D.

The Elko Family Medicine Residency Program benefits rural Nevadans through comprehensive family medicine outpatient care services. Family medicine is a specialty that is devoted to comprehensive health care for people of all ages, and provides continuity of care for all ages, genders and diseases. It emphasizes disease prevention and health promotion for the entire family. Often, family physicians are the first contact for many patients.

Graduate medical education programs such as this play a critical role in training future doctors and are key to addressing Nevada's physician shortage. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, data shows a 77 percent likelihood that a medical student who completes medical school and rural residency training in Nevada will remain in the area to practice.

The Elko Family Medicine Residency Program is a prime example of UNR Med's commitment to expanding health care access to rural Nevada and providing exceptional care for rural residents, and I extend my deepest gratitude to all who supported, and continue to support, this important program.

For information or to make an appointment at the Elko Family Medicine Residency Program, call 775-738-5850 or 800-787-2568. The program is located at the Elko Family Medical and Dental Center at 762 14th Street Elko, Nevada. Hours are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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.

Released: Monday September 17, 2018 @ 10:00 AM