UNLV moves forward with medical school development plans

LAS VEGAS-- UNLV announced that it is moving forward with its plans for a new medical school.  University regents, which are UNLV's governing board, just approved the $27 million budget for the new facility.

"The medical school is a vehicle to bring a higher quality of life to all Nevadans and I think it's an economic driver for the entire state," Dan Klaich, Chancellor of Nevada System of Higher Education said.

Regents haven't determined a location just yet, but they said the schools first class will start in just a few years-- 2017.  Educators hope by building a new UNLV med school, it will help address the serious doctor shortage throughout the valley.

"We'll be recruiting faculty and that's probably the first thing that's going to help increase the number of specialists. We'll need about a 120 faculty in the next two years," Barbara Atkinson, Planning Dean of UNLV School of Medicine said.

While it's difficult to get an appointment with a general practitioner, Atkinson said it's equally hard to get an appointment with a specialist.  This issue has left thousands of valley patients having to seek medical care out of state.

Atkinson said the medical school will draw in several dozen specialists who can help patients alongside their teaching responsibilities.

 "We're hoping that they'll set up practices and they'll be seeing patients immediately," she said.

 UNLV President Don Snyder said the new medical school will partner with University Medical Center (UMC) and Veterans Affairs to continue new doctors' training after graduation.

 "It will help us keep doctors here and we need that," Don Snyder, UNLV President said.


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