We are in the final countdown to receiving the accreditation decision from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) - the national accreditation authority for medical schools. The LCME will meet October 18 and 19 - only two weeks from now.
Intensive preparation has been underway to activate the Admissions process when preliminary accreditation is granted. As soon as we know we achieved preliminary accreditation s
tudents can apply to UNLV School of Medicine through the American Medical College Application Service (
All of us are patients, and we all have certain expectations of our doctors, such as having expert knowledge and skills and to be caring and compassionate. Today's physicians also must be team players and able to function within highly integrated systems of care. As a society, we expect physicians to embrace altruism and to put their patients' interests above their own. This is a tall order but these values guided our decisions when developing our admissions process.
At the UNLV School of Medicine, Senior Associate Dean Sam Parrish led groups of community members, Las Vegas physicians, and Las Vegas-based faculty members through many discussions to identify the characteristics we want in our students, based on the characteristics we want in our doctors. He also led the team that designed the policies and procedures for medical student selection. One policy that everyone agreed upon was that all applicants must have a meaningful connection to Nevada.
Demonstrating excellence in science through performance in courses such as Biology and the Medical Collage Admission Test is clearly important to academic success in medical school. The accreditation standard for medical schools describes, "a broad undergraduate education that includes the study of humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences..." The prerequisite coursework an applicant needs to be considered for admission to the UNLV School of Medicine can be found
. We allow for applicants to come from a wide variety of majors and backgrounds that will serve to enhance the class.
While academic success is necessary for success in medical school, it is not the only criteria. In addition, medical students need to be caring, compassionate and altruistic. The applicant's personal attributes and experiences, and especially their commitment to service all have equal weight in the UNLV School of Medicine admissions and interview process.
Our process for reviewing student applications, inviting candidates to interview on campus, and the final decision-making process will be transparent and open.
We plan to interview about 350 students, of which 60 will be selected for our charter class. Each applicant will have two interviews, one with a faculty member and one with a community volunteer. The interviewers will use a standardized interview format with prescribed questions. The 60 interviewers already have participated in a two-hour intensive training session on how to conduct structured interviews. This structured interview process will give applicants a consistent, fair and balanced experience in comparison to the typical unscripted interview format. In addition, all invited applicants will be given access to the bank of questions they might be asked during the interview.
The Admissions Committee has the final authority for making all admissions decisions. Consistent with the community focus of the UNLV School of Medicine, the admissions committee has members from both the medical school faculty as well as the community.