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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Oscar Delgado, council member, City of Reno, and Kerry Durmick, northern Nevada regional representative, Office of US Senator Cortez Masto, take vitals on a SIM patient at Project Medical Education Nevada.

Oscar Delgado, council member, City of Reno, and Kerry Durmick, northern Nevada regional representative, Office of US Senator Cortez Masto, take vitals on a SIM patient at Project Medical Education Nevada. UNR Med photo by Brin Reynolds. For additional photos, click on "Download Press Packet," below. 

State legislators, city officials, CEOs and community leaders experienced four years of medical school in one day! From a human heart dissection, to learning how to suture, participating in medical simulation labs and research meetings, the group had a full-on immersion into a day in the life of a medical student.

The unique experience today was part of Project Medical Education, a community outreach program hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) that gives lawmakers and civic leaders a first-hand look into what it takes to train future physicians for Nevada and the nation.    

The program is in its 6th year in Nevada. 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. UNR Med has hosted 118 participants in the program since its inception.   Project Medical Education provided 14 participants a day with UNR Med faculty, researchers 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 government, business, health care and community leaders to experience our community-based education firsthand and witness the rigorous, comprehensive training of physicians and health care professionals in our state," said University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.  

Schwenk continued, "Medical education is the foundation and future of our state's and nation's health care 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."  

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 similar programs to inform elected officials, policy makers and community leaders about public medical education in the United States.  

March 25, 2019 marks the official 50 year anniversary of UNR Med. Last May, the school embarked on a year-long, community-wide celebration themed "Unrivaled history. Unlimited future." that will conclude at UNR Med's Hooding Ceremony in May 2019. UNR Med is commemorating five decades of excellence in medical education that has resulted in training more than 3,500 physicians.


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, 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.