Last week, the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents meeting took place over two days in Reno. I attended to address agenda items related to recent School of Medicine activities.
One significant item was approval of the "transition agreement" between the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNRSOM) and UNLV School of Medicine by the Health Sciences System Committee. After months of work between the two universities and NSHE, all sides reached an agreement allowing the UNRSOM faculty members, resident and fellowship programs based in Las Vegas to transfer to UNLV School of Medicine by July 1, 2017.
What does transition to UNLV Medicine mean?
For many years, UNRSOM sent its third and fourth year students to Las Vegas to receive required clinical training. UNRSOM's faculty practice includes about six departments and provided instruction to these students. UNRSOM also sponsored residency and fellowship programs.
With the establishment of the UNLV School of Medicine in Las Vegas, UNRSOM will move its program to Reno. Las Vegas-based physicians that were part of UNRSOM will join UNLV Medicine's clinical practice in July 2017 - concurrent to the date we are planning to welcome our charter class of students. All of the UNRSOM resident and fellowship programs also will move to UNLV Medicine. We are planning to grow the number of educational and clinical departments from six to 24.
In addition, some of the current UNRSOM third and fourth year students will continue their education in Las Vegas for two more years.
As part of our planning, we will begin to streamline clinical services to better serve patients according to the UNLV Medicine mission. We believe it is important for patients to receive as many services as possible in one setting, and UNLV Medicine's faculty practice will function more like a multi-specialty group that can refer their patients to other doctors within the practice network - making it easier for patients to access care.
Another big change UNLV Medicine will introduce is a patient-friendly call center to support its clinical practice. Patients will have a single phone number to call to make a doctor appointment with any doctor at UNLV Medicine's multi-specialty clinic(s). This will make it easier for patients to schedule appointments. We also are applying hospitality in health care principles across the entire UNLV Medicine enterprise to ensure a positive patient experience. Common high pressure experiences like appointment scheduling, check-in/out and even the doctor visit itself will now become a point of care and ease. Our goal is to create a clinical environment that assists physicians and residents to provide the best care possible, while ensuring patients have an excellent experience.
Over the next six months, we look forward to introducing our curriculum, teaching methods, clinical practice, and innovations to our new faculty members, residents and staff. We are developing an educational orientation plan that outlines our vision, mission, values, educational and clinical philosophies, and more. The Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, a position we are currently recruiting, will lead this important effort.
Our core values are essential to this process and will serve as the central guideposts for the medical school's education, clinical, research and community service missions. The school's core values are these:
- Strive for Excellence
- Drive Innovation
- Serve with Compassion and Humility
- Demonstrate Inclusion
- Act with Integrity
As we recruit new faculty we look for these attributes. I look forward to seeing how our faculty and staff build a culture that embodies our values. I believe UNLV School of Medicine must aspire for excellence in all of its endeavors that enable us to provide the best and most innovative education, patient care, research and community service available.