Along with launching our educational program in July 2017, UNLV School of Medicine will launch its clinical operation (UNLV Medicine). Schools of Medicine create "clinical practice plans" as part of the school to be able to infuse the teaching and research element within a real life clinical environment for their students. This involves creating a faculty practice plan structure, developing short- and long-term business plans and establishing the elements needed to provide high quality care to patients in an efficient and compassionate manner.
Last week, the Community Advisory Board Clinical Task Force discussed the current status of our clinical practice operation. This group of local physicians and health care advisors has been providing critical guidance for the development of our clinical enterprise for the past year. We also are working with consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), who have completed the preliminary work for the faculty practice plan. Our lawyers are developing the infrastructure to bring the infrastructure into formal existence very soon.
To date, we have set up a Nevada corporation with a 501(c)(3) structure to hold and manage the money earned when the faculty physicians see patients while teaching students and residents. This structure is referred to as the
practice plan and the revenue generated in the practice plan provides the funds to pay the majority of the faculty physician salaries. Various other sources - such as student tuition, state funding, and federal money for teaching residents - cover the extra time, or teaching component, each doctor spends with a patient because he/she is teaching a medical student or a resident.
Our clinical practice, formally named UNLV Medicine, will commence July 2017, when the Las Vegas-based clinical faculty employed by the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNRSOM) and other newly recruited faculty become employees of the UNLV School of Medicine. We will have new bylaws, faculty administration and a revised compensation structure for the faculty.
In the first two years, we will use many of the existing clinical sites currently used by UNRSOM today. However, by the charter class' third year - their clerkship year - we plan to be in a newly designed multi-specialty group practice clinic to better reflect the School's curriculum and vision for practicing medicine.
We are also planning the facilities, educational model and business plan for our Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship. We have developed a preliminary plan that outlines a need for 87,000 net square feet to educate medical students and residents in this new clinic. In addition, the space will house 60 physicians to supervise the medical students and residents as they see their patients. We continue to refine and develop these exciting plans.
Students will kickoff their clerkship year with a five-week orientation that will include both simulation lab and inpatient experiences. During this time, students will learn how to participate in surgical procedures, assist in deliveries, and how to talk to psychiatric patients in the hospital and outpatient setting.
Then, our students will work in an outpatient setting in which they will experience caring for patients in a multidisciplinary practice that includes all the required specialties over an entire year.
Student rotation will consist of six teams that each has 10 students with a set of faculty and staff that generally will remain the same throughout the clerkship year. The students in each team will have the same schedule each week (e.g., pediatrics on Monday mornings, psychiatry Tuesday afternoons) and each student will have his/her own panel of patients of various types. This will expose each student to all of the kinds of patients that a student needs to see during his/her training. This approach to medicine also benefits the patients coming to the clinic, as our students will carry the same patient panel the entire year for a variety of maladies the family may encounter.
Using this clerkship model, students will learn these specialties: internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, psychiatry, and neurology. At the same time, the UNLV Medicine will be expanding access to care for all residents of Southern Nevada.
We have been working on these plans for more than a year. It's exciting to see all the planning take shape and will soon become a reality in southern Nevada.