Medical Student Handbook

The primary goal of the school is to develop caring, responsible, skillful, and knowledgeable physicians capable of delivering high quality health care. Students are taught to be sensitive to the needs of their patients, their patients' families, and to their own needs as individuals and as physicians. The curriculum emphasizes interpersonal skills development that will heighten this sensitivity. We encourage students to develop self-directed learning skills of critical thinking, problem solving, self-assessment, information appraisal, and to prepare for lifelong learning as a physician. It is expected that School of Medicine graduates will feel a responsibility not only to treat the ill but also to become leaders in the effort to promote and maintain health in the community in which they practice.

Annual curriculum modification is the prerogative of the medical school based on changing requirements of accrediting authorities and the new developments in medical education delivery. The course and exam schedules are developed by the Medical Education Committees with input from the students. The goal is to meet educational objectives through integration and thoughtful planning. Every effort is made to ensure adequate and appropriate timing of exams to allow for mastery of course content.

The full information for the M.D. degree program is contained within the University of Nevada, Reno's Course Catalog. The current four year curriculum plans can be viewed at the Office of Medical Education Curriculum site.

Third-Year Clerkships and Fourth Year Electives for Medical Students

It is the policy of the University of Nevada School of Medicine that all students complete their third year, six (6) week Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship and at least nine (9) weeks of the surgery clerkship in Las Vegas. The remainder of the clerkships will be assigned based on availability of location.

In the fourth year, electives are chosen by the student with guidance from their clinical advisor, to develop depth and breadth in their clinical training. These choices are based on student interest, potential strengths and desire to enhance clinical skills. The fourth year student must complete at least 32 weeks of electives plus a required four week Advanced Clinical Experience in Rural Health Care (rural rotation - MED 608), totaling 36 weeks. Up to 12 weeks of electives may be scheduled out-of-state, and, in some cases, out of the country. As it is the goal of the University of Nevada School of Medicine is to provide a diverse and well-rounded clinical experience throughout the medical education curriculum, fourth year elective schedules submitted for approval must be well balanced. The Clinical career Advisors are available to help achieve this goal. The clinical Career Advisors and the Associate Dean for Medical Education reserve the right to deny approval of unbalanced or otherwise inappropriate schedules.

NOTE: To enable the Admissions and Student Affairs Office to provide services to third and fourth year students, please check in with our Las Vegas office before beginning a clerkship or elective in that area - 1701 W. Charleston, Ste. 130, Las Vegas, NV 89102; telephone (702) 671-2202; fax (702) 671-6414.

Basic information concerning the fourth year electives are included in the Elective Course Catalog. It is the intent of the School of Medicine that the majority of elective courses are taken during the fourth year of medical school. Fourth year electives may be taken in any medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Other elective experiences may be arranged with the Associate Dean for Medical Education. Students must have written departmental approval for an elective from the University of Nevada School of Medicine; specifically, approval from the department elective director and department administrator for that specialty. The elective schedule must be approved by the Associate Dean for Medical Education prior to beginning elective rotations.

Although evaluations are distributed by the Office of Medical Education, it is the student's responsibility to confirm that he or she has been evaluated appropriately and in a timely fashion for the student to receive credit towards graduation. Evaluation forms are generated through the ONE45 system and distributed via e-mail.

Out-of-Country Electives

The Office of Medical Education maintains a list of resources and must approve in writing and be included in the coordination of all out-of-country electives. Students must provide information on housing, curriculum, evaluation, supervision and local contacts for the elective.

Many countries have specific immunization requirements. All students traveling out-of-country should be alert to other health and safety risks to which they may be exposed. It is School of Medicine policy that students obtain appropriate immunizations and advice on prophylaxis for other problems such as travelers' diarrhea or malaria from an expert in Travel Medicine. This information can be obtained at the Washoe County Health Department located at 101 E. 9th Street, or you may call them at (775) 328-2400. Students on rotation out of the country are not covered by the School of Medicine's liability insurance policy. Students must obtain travel insurance that includes emergency evacuation services.

Military Electives

On occasion, some students request authorization to take senior electives in medical facilities in other states, including those operated by the armed forces. At times students are required to do so as part of their military obligation. The prohibition against receiving payment for training is waived in the case of students on military scholarships.

Other Educational Experiences

There are other educational opportunities for students, including summer preceptorships in clinical, community, and research settings. Summer preceptorships are coordinated through the Office of Medical Education. Students are discouraged from arranging clinical experiences with physicians on their own, due to a potential risk of liability. The School of Medicine's liability insurance covers students only when they are engaged in clinical activities that have documented approval from the Office of Medical Education.

Special Programs

To ensure the successful completion of medical school and special programs by students at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, the Student Eligibility for Special Programs Policy has been established to outline the policy and guidelines of learning options for medical students relating to dual degree and scholarly concentration programs.

Student Research

Research opportunities are available with a number of faculty members. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this added dimension of medical education. Nevada students often have the opportunity to coauthor a paper with faculty members with whom they have worked. A number of students have presented research findings at regional and national meetings. Records of all research activities are included in the student file. A list of student research activities for the past five years is posted at the Office of Medical Research. For more information, contact that office at (775) 784-4908.

Scholarly Concentrations Program

A Scholarly Concentration is an academic distinction. These programs, coordinated by the Office of Medical Education, provide students with the opportunity to gain expertise in a chosen field of study. Only students in good standing are eligible to participate. Specific academic objectives are identified for each program and a minimum of eight weeks of effort is required over the course of the four years. At the close of the program, students will submit or present a scholarly product. Upon successful completion of the program requirements, the student is awarded the distinction of Scholarly Concentration. This will be a part of the student's permanent record and he/she will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony. For more information, contact the Office of Medical Education at (775) 682-7733.

Dual Degree Programs

The School of Medicine has several dual degree programs available to students post-matriculation: MJ.D.-Ph.D., M.D.-M.P.H. and M.D.-M.B.A. The earliest a student may apply to a dual degree program is following the successful completion of his/her first semester of medical school. See the Office of Medical Education Dual Degree website for additional information.

Brady Janes
Director, Curriculum Development and Assessment
University of Nevada School of Medicine
1664 N. Virginia St./0342
Reno, NV 89557
(775) 682-7733
Fax: (775) 784-6194