Fall 2012
Dean's Perspective

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Exciting initiatives underway

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

The management literature is full of metaphors for how organizations like the University of Nevada School of Medicine function. Comparisons to a symphony orchestra are common, with each member of the organization playing a critical part.

A jig saw puzzle is another common comparison, with each staff and faculty member contributing a critical piece to the overall picture. The children's game, Whack-a-Mole, sometimes feels right, with the organization trying repeatedly to knock down recurring problems and issues.

At the moment, the best metaphor for the University of Nevada School of Medicine would be a juggler trying to keep as many balls in the air as possible. We are trying to take advantage of so many exciting and important opportunities. The biggest decision is figuring out how many important tasks and ventures we can handle at the same time. You can read about many of these in this issue of Synapse.

We have welcomed an expanded class of 69 first-year medical students with a new curriculum, to great fanfare and excitement -and relief!

We just submitted a major grant application to support clinical and translational (C&T) research development, and have made a commitment to invest heavily in C&T research staff and infrastructure in both Reno and Las Vegas, thanks to some very generous donors.

The faculty clinical practice has selected a full health information technology and electronic medical record system, to be implemented over the next year.

We are exploring new residency and fellowship programs in both Reno and Las Vegas by recruiting a large number of new faculty members in many specialties, including an expanded Division of Neurology and Neurosciences in collaboration with the Renown Regional Medical Center. We are restructuring the Dean's office and leadership structure with new faces with new energy and expertise, investing in new basic science research programs, and celebrating the announcement that the School of Medicine and the University of Nevada, Reno together hold three Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence grants.

As the new academic year begins, it is an exciting time at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, with many balls in the air, and more to come!

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.
Dean, University of Nevada School of Medicine
Vice President, University of Nevada, Reno Division of Health Sciences