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Making the Rounds with Founding Dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson
 Issue 151 - June 26, 2018
This month we are saying farewell to some residents and fellows, who are wrapping up their graduate medical education in Las Vegas. Different departments, including the department of surgery that we’re featuring today, are saying goodbye by holding their own graduation ceremonies. It’s easy to get sentimental after what has been an intense, demanding process. All of the long hours our residents and fellows have put in is about to pay off as they enter practice well-prepared to handle challenges that come their way. Our faculty physicians are understandably proud of the training our residents receive. I also believe training in Las Vegas gives our students a big advantage because this community is such a melting pot of cultures. Some have even called it a “petri dish” due to the 43 million visitors a year from all over the world. To all our recent graduates, I offer my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for a rewarding medical career.
Barbara signature, first name only
Dr. Charles St. Hill congratulates graduating resident Dr. Hasan Khashwji during the surgery department's celebration at Red Rock Country Club June 16, 2018.
June 16th, 2018. It was another sun-drenched Saturday for most Las Vegans, but for the UNLV School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery, it was graduation day.

Final year residents and fellows who’ve toiled through 80-hour work weeks and countless overnight shifts gathered at Red Rock Country Club to celebrate with their families, and with the faculty physicians who trained them.

“This is the 32nd graduation of the department of surgery (formerly with the University of Nevada Reno) , but the first graduation from the new UNLV School of Medicine,” said Dr. John Fildes, chair of the department. “It’s a special distinction. You are the alpha class. But at the same time, you join the 140-plus surgical graduates from our residencies and fellowships, many of whom continue to practice in Nevada.”

This year, 50% of the surgical graduates will stay in Nevada to enter practice Dr. Arturo Guzman in general surgery, and Dr. Allison McNickle and Dr. Nancy Rivera in acute care surgery. Dr. Lindsey Wenger and Dr. Hasan Khashwji are moving out of state to enter practice, while Dr. Joshua Goldman and Dr. Ethan Benning are moving on to fellowships. Dr. Steven Lorch has accepted a prestigious academic position at the University of South Florida. 

Dr. Fildes noted the “exemplary performance” of these young physicians in the aftermath of the Oct. 1, 2017 shooting on the Strip 58 people died and 851 were injured. “That event (the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history) changed all of us... forever... in a good way,” Dr. Fildes said. “It reminds us that after you’ve seen the worst in man, you will see the best in mankind…There is no other department of surgery, in any other city in the world, that can match what you did here in Las Vegas.”

Several of the graduates became emotional reminiscing about their experiences, as family members and about a dozen faculty physicians watched and listened, ready to step forward with a handshake or a hug.
New Residents for GME 2018
UNLV School of Medicine Founding Dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson , speaks to new residents at the Las Vegas VA Medical Center.
While some final year residents and fellows are moving on, the UNLV School of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Department is onboarding the newest batch of incoming residents. Ninety-five interns (first year residents) are currently going through orientation. It’s a process that includes becoming certified in advanced cardiac life support, and training to use the electronic health record system.

The residents, who will work under the supervision of faculty physicians in specialties including family medicine, pediatrics, and orthopedic surgery, begin clinical rotations in the hospitals and clinics July 1.
37,103 applicants submitted residency program choices for 33,167 positions, the most ever offered in the Main Residency Match.

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