Fall 2009
Resident Round-Up

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Angela Weiner, M.D., and Wendy King, M.D., examines a patient.

Angela Weiner, M.D., a third-year pediatric resident, looks on as Wendy King, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, examines a young patient who is a little unhappy about being at the doctor’s office. Photo by Edgar Antonio Nunez.

Looking into Graduate Medical Education

Story by Marcie Newpher

The graduate medical education program at the School of Medicine was developed in the early 1980s to further the education of medical students in their respective disciplines.

As undergraduate medical education allows students to prepare for their initial medical degree training, the graduate medical education program provides the advanced training they need to become specialized doctors. Graduate medical education includes both residencies and fellowships.

“Graduate medical education is the next step in the process where students who already have their degrees get specialized training so they can go forward in their medical career,” said Miriam Bar-on, M.D., associate dean of graduate medical education.

About 260 physicians make up the school’s residents and fellows—181 in Las Vegas and 82 in Reno. The graduate medical education program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education as are programs which allow graduating residents to become board certified in their specialty.

Residency programs include emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics, plastic surgery, psychiatry and general surgery.

The school also has accredited fellowships in child psychiatry, geriatrics, surgical critical care, medical oncology and sports medicine.

The hospice and palliative care fellowship is applying for accreditation while the family medicine (obstetrics) fellowship and micro-vascular (hand) fellowship are both unaccredited, meaning the American Board of Medical Specialties only offers certification in these fields.

The school’s acute care surgery fellowship, the first of its kind in the nation, is accredited by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma.

The specialized disciplines differ in the amount of time required to complete training, ranging from three to six years.

Additional years are necessary for subspecialty training like pulmonology, cardiology, neonatology, trauma and minimally invasive surgery. To become board certified, residents must satisfy training requirements as assessed by faculty.

In spite of the extremely rigorous demands of residency, Bar-on sites several recent accomplishments of the programs, their directors, coordinators and the residents themselves. Multiple residencies received the maximum five-year accreditation cycle. Six residents received Arnold P. Gold Foundation teaching awards and were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Three residents were funded to complete projects through Nevada IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence.

Reno’s internal medicine physician residents won the majority of awards at the Nevada American College of Physicians meeting with their first-place clinical vignette going on to win the national competition.

Residents continue to publish their scholarly activities in medical journals, demonstrating to the ACGME review committees that they are involved in scholarship and research.