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UNLV School of Medicine Earns Preliminary Accreditation; Prepares to Accept Charter Class

The first allopathic medical school in the Las Vegas Valley was noted for its innovative curriculum, experienced leadership team, and comprehensive faculty development plan.
Campus News  |  Oct 18, 2016  |  By Pam Udall
Media Contact: Pam Udall (702) 895-0719; cell (512) 413-6807
School of Medicine academic building rendering

A preliminary architectural rendering of the future UNLV School of Medicine academic building, to be located in the heart of the city's medical district near the UNLV Shadow Lane Campus and University Medical Center.

Today the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Medicine was officially granted preliminary accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and may begin accepting students for its 2017 charter class.

“I am absolutely thrilled by today’s news,” said Barbara Atkinson, MD, founding dean of UNLV’s new medical school. “Having been through many accreditation processes throughout my career and feeling very confident about the quality of work produced by this team, it was still very gratifying to receive the positive call. This is a very rigorous process. Today is one the highlights of my professional career.”

The granting of preliminary accreditation means the UNLV School of Medicine met all 12 standards used by the LCME, the national accrediting body that reviews MD-granting institutions in the U.S. and Canada. The standards include the medical school’s leadership, planning, finances, curriculum, faculty, facilities, and student support.

While the school’s preliminary accreditation was not guaranteed, a site visit in July from a team appointed by the LCME did portend today’s good news. The survey site team’s report highlighted several strengths in the UNLV School of Medicine’s program, including an experienced and skilled senior leadership team, a thoughtful and innovative curriculum, and a comprehensive approach to faculty development.

Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Regents James Dean Leavitt and Mark Doubrava, MD, who were integral to the medical school’s creation, said they have been waiting for this day since 2013. “It’s exciting to see a dream of many years become a reality,” said Leavitt, chair of the NSHE’s Health Sciences System Committee.

Doubrava, vice chair of the Health Sciences System Committee, added, "It’s quite an achievement and the result of the support and hard work from the entire community — Southern Nevada should be very proud today. The new medical school is an important step toward improving the Las Vegas Valley’s stressed health care system.”

UNLV President Len Jessup says the accreditation announcement caps off a number of major milestones for the university this week from hosting the presidential debate, to the approval of a new stadium for use by the UNLV football team and Oakland Raiders, to launching the medical school’s first clinic — UNLV Medicine Ackerman Autism Center.

“UNLV is undergoing a renaissance in so many areas, and the School of Medicine is an important part of UNLV’s role and relevance in the community and beyond. It’s been an exciting week for the university, its leadership, and the entire community and state.”

For more information about UNLV School of Medicine and its student admissions’ policy go to or call (702) 895-4573.

About UNLV School of Medicine

The UNLV School of Medicine is creating a world-class center for medical education, patient care, and research that prepares Nevada’s physicians with the most innovative and technologically advanced forms of medical training while serving the health care needs of a diverse population through community partnerships. UNLV School of Medicine will be the first public allopathic medical school in Southern Nevada.  For more information about UNLV School of Medicine visit

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