Fall 2015
Dean's Perspective

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Change Offers the Opportunity to Expand and Enhance

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.Change is inevitable in academic medicine. We are continually responding to new developments in science, technology, health care delivery, socio-demographic trends, state needs and teaching models. But the pace of these changes at the University of Nevada School of Medicine is about to accelerate in ways that could not be imagined just a few months ago.

The governor and the state legislature have made a profound and far-reaching decision to support the expansion of our medical school to a full, four-year campus based in Reno with selective medical student and residency affiliations in Las Vegas, and the launch of a new public medical school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

This decision is easily the most important event in the history of public medical education in Nevada except (possibly) for the original creation of the University of Nevada School of Medicine. It will transform medical education in the state and lead to uncountable opportunities to expand, enhance and improve the training of new physicians and health care professionals in Nevada, new clinical research programs and the delivery of health care.

This issue of Synapse highlights many examples of how rapidly and positively this medical school is already changing, with stories about a new partnership that will transform the Department of Pathology, new relationships with top private physicians in the Reno community who have committed to major medical student teaching missions, the launch of new clinical services for older adults seeking both wellness and complex specialty care, and several major moves of clinical and academic programs to new facilities in both Reno and Las Vegas (including new mental health services in Reno and new child health care services in Las Vegas).

We also highlight another round of awards to outstanding faculty teachers who are representative of the high level of teaching that takes place every day at the School of Medicine.

Finally, we mourn the great loss of two extraordinary academic leaders, Drs. William Zamboni and Gregory Pari, the chairs, respectively, of the surgery and microbiology and immunology departments. We all benefited from their expertise and leadership and we celebrate their careers with pride and sadness.

As always, we look forward to sharing with you all the many exciting developments at the School of Medicine and hearing from you about what is happening in your lives and careers.

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.
Professor, Family and Community Medicine
Dean, University of Nevada School of Medicine
Vice President, Division of Health Sciences