I have fantastic news. The UNLV School of Medicine achieved preliminary accreditation and may begin accepting its charter class for the 2017 school year.
||A preliminary architectural rendering of the future UNLV School of Medicine academic building
The national accreditation body for M.D. degree-granting institutions - the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) notified me today of the exciting news.
Despite what was regarded as a strong and positive site visit in July from a visitor team appointed by the LCME to review our entire program, it was a relief to receive the official word today that we had indeed met the LCME's required standards.
The entire medical school team and UNLV leadership have worked for more than two and half years to reach this momentous day. We feel a great sense of accomplishment and the renewed freedom to continue development of an outstanding medical school in Southern Nevada.
Our next big step is to accept students into our charter class. This is the moment we all have been waiting for and working toward for so long.
Now we may begin receiving applications from students who are interested in attending UNLV School of Medicine. Having earned preliminary accreditation allows us to join the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which manages a national centralized application process known as AMCAS, the American Medical College Application Service. Students must use this service to apply to any M.D. degree-granting medical school in the U.S. and Canada. AMCAS will begin sending the applications from students who are interested in attending UNLV School of Medicine to our admissions team by the end of the month.
For the past six months, the admissions team has prepared our admissions committee as well as the community and faculty interviewers about how to fairly evaluate and interview applicants, and then ultimately, to select the students for our charter class. We plan to have the first class of students selected by the end of March 2017. I cannot wait to meet this group of very special students.
Our charter class will be true pioneers
. In this spirit, they are joining an innovative new medical school team who sees the founding students as the role models who will serve to develop the school's culture and mission for years to come. As students experience our curriculum and school culture, we will rely on their experiences and personal feedback to help us improve the school for future classes. Such student feedback is invaluable for the school to be able to achieve full accreditation in the fourth year of the school's operation and future success.
A heartfelt thank you ...
I want to conclude by thanking each and every one of you for working tirelessly to enable the medical school to become a reality. There are so many to thank, and it takes a multitude of diverse interests working together to accomplish a goal as large and important as this one. Having a public allopathic medical school in Las Vegas has been a dream for many people in the community for decades - especially Nevada System of Higher Education Regents James Dean Leavitt and Mark Doubrava, MD, who originally put the idea of creating a separate medical school in Las Vegas on the NSHE board agenda, bringing it one step closer to reality. The Lincy Institute followed and provided the funding for the Brookings Institute to commission a study on the economic impact of a Las Vegas-based medical school. Their findings created a groundswell of community support behind the endeavor.
The unflagging UNLV leadership from Len Jessup, president; Diane Chase, executive vice president and provost; Nancy Rapoport, special counsel to the president and former acting-provost; Donald Snyder, past-acting president; John Valery White, NSHE interim chancellor and past executive vice president and provost; and Gerry Bomotti, vice president of finance and business and many others have played a key role in our development and accreditation.
The decisive leadership of Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada legislature, who approved our essential start-up funding in 2015, allowed the medical school to proceed with its accreditation. The UNLV School of Medicine Community Advisory Board who rallied the support needed for the medical school to receive our legislative appropriation, continues to provide excellent guidance on so many critical issues important to the development of the school.
And thanks especially to my team, who has worked tirelessly to develop a truly innovative and high quality curriculum and clinical program. They worked closely with the UNRSOM chairs and faculty and community members who spent hours of their spare time assisting us in planning our courses and curriculum, admissions process, and community service.
Finally, to all of you who read our newsletter each week, who have met with me or heard me speak in and around the community, I want to thank you all for your interest and support. We wouldn't have achieved this amazing milestone without you.
I am extremely grateful to be part of this very special community.