The UNLV School of Medicine is one step closer to accepting its first class of students. The national accrediting body for allopathic medical education confirmed that planning documents the school submitted in December have earned it a site visit this summer.
“This is fantastic news,” said Founding Dean Barbara Atkinson, M.D., who received the call from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) secretaries. “As much as you believe in your innovative, exciting program, it’s gratifying to receive the validation from the LCME that we’re on the right path to accreditation.”
The medical school’s accreditation status now moves from “applicant status” to “candidate status”, and stays on track to begin recruiting students this fall for an anticipated first class in July 2017.
The UNLV School of Medicine submitted its accreditation documents to the LCME on Dec. 1, 2015. The nearly 475-page document outlined the entire plan for the medical school – its curriculum, faculty, facilities, research ventures, partnerships, bylaws and finances.
Atkinson credits a team of committed professionals for its work on the self-study and preliminary Data Collection Instrument (DCI) documents, including UNLV and UNLV School of Medicine faculty, PricewaterhouseCoopers consultants, University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM) faculty and academic, physician, and business members of the community. “I really believe the concerted effort made for an excellent application,” said Dr. Atkinson.
“It was just more than two years ago that the Board of Regents approved a plan to create an allopathic medical school in Las Vegas, and we’re now another step closer to welcoming our first class,” says James Dean Leavitt, J.D., chair of the Board of Regents Health Sciences System Committee.
Regent Mark Doubrava, M.D., vice chair of the Board of Regents Health Sciences System Committee added, “I am delighted to hear that the LCME has approved UNLV School of Medicine for candidate status. Many individuals have worked hard to get us to this point. I applaud the collaborative effort of the Board of Regents, the Nevada legislature, Gov. Brian Sandoval, elected officials and community partners statewide. "
The UNLV School of Medicine was formally established in August 2014 when the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents approved and submitted a budget for legislative approval. Legislative funding was approved in June 2015, and since then the school has added faculty and staff, forged ahead on community and clinical partnerships, and secured full scholarships for the entire entering class in 2017.
The school has also identified learning spaces for its first class at UNLV’s Shadow Lane Campus and the VA System’s North Las Vegas medical facility, and is closer to securing a location for its first academic building.
“This is an important milestone for the UNLV School of Medicine and it continues the program’s remarkable momentum,” said UNLV President Len Jessup. “We appreciate the hard work of Barbara and her team to build innovative academic and clinical programs that will place UNLV at the forefront of medical education.”