What Makes Us Distinctive

The doctor of medicine (MD) program is rooted in relationships, between faculty and students, physicians and patients, school and community. The basic mission is simple, to educate physicians who will improve the health of Nevadans. On a deeper level, this means recruiting a diverse and talented student body that reflects the community it will one day serve.

  • Community-based service learning in all four years
  • A core clerkship model of clinical education supplemented by selective rotations
  • Virtual anatomy education with both virtual and cadaveric, hands-on dissection
  • Principles of bioethics, integrative medicine, well-being, nutrition, and pain management woven through the curriculum
  • Immersive emergency response skills training at the start of the program

Learn about our Continuous Improvement (CI) Process

School of Medicine 3rd Annual Pre-Medicine Conference
Applicant interview sign in front of the School of Medicine offices at the Shadow Lane Campus
Students taking their oath and receiving their first white coat and stethoscope in the White Coat Ceremony
Medical students at the Shadow Lane Campus
Class of 2023 medical student celebrating Match Day
Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine Class of 2022 graduate students

Curriculum Overview

Phase I – Foundations

Factual knowledge is necessary but not sufficient for competent medical practice today. A solid curriculum is one that provides students the opportunity and impetus to learn how to think, how to act, and how to embark on lifelong learning in a self-directed manner. One component of the first curricular phase is problem-based learning (PBL), where students undertake intensive exploration of patient cases that simulate the real-life processes of being a practicing physician. Basic science instruction is also presented through other methodologies, such as team-based learning (TBL). Active engagement is crucial.

Students also take on the equally important tasks of developing new roots in the community through service learning. Students learn the basic practical skills of being a doctor, and hone analytic skills in hands-on sessions in the simulation center. A scholarly project is initiated during this phase, which provides students a first-hand experience with the scientific method under faculty guidance.

Phase II – Clerkships

The Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV’s clinical curriculum covers the core disciplines: family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. In addition, students have six weeks of “selectives,” where they can explore other specialities of interest. Upon completion of each core discipline, students take the summative subject examination. At the end of the year, students have command of an enormous fund of knowledge, which positions them for exceptional performance on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 2 clinical knowledge (CK) exam. Students have extensive exposure to different areas of medicine to formulate a career choice.

Phase III – Career Exploration

When graduation appears on the horizon, medical students become focused on three essential goals: (1) settling on a specialty of choice, (2) assembling a competitive application for the residency match, and (3) preparing to take on a new level of responsibility as newly minted physicians.

The final phase of the curriculum balances core educational needs with the flexibility that students need at this stage. Students are required to take: a sub-internship in a specialty of their choice or a rotation in the intensive care unit. Additionally, students are required to complete Nevada community medicine rotation and Capstone. The remainder of the year consists of electives, with ample unscheduled time to permit residency interviews, research, additional educational experiences, and perhaps some well-earned time-off.