Inaugural class at UNLV School of Medicine celebrates milestone

Two UNLV School of Medicine students from the inaugural class at FOX5 on Jan. 4, 2018. (Mike Doria/FOX5)

The inaugural class of students at the UNLV School of Medicine is celebrating its first milestone with much more to go. The first half of the first year is now in the history books.

The UNLV School of Medicine was formed, in part, to help solve the doctor shortage in Southern Nevada. The school seeks out students with roots in Nevada as it’s more likely those students will stick around after graduation. The inaugural class is also not the typical class as each student got a full ride scholarship for all four years thanks to generous donors. For some students, they are the first in their family to attend a college or university. Colby Shreve spent the past six years playing minor league baseball before making the switch to medical school. “It was always something I wanted to do. And when they kind of kicked me out the door, I immediately signed up for classes,” said Shreve.

The first semester wasn’t the easiest, but not the hardest either for Diana Pena. She is the first in her family to attend college and be accepted to medical school. “This is where you kind of figure things out and see what works for you in terms of studying and your daily routine, says Pena.”

The UNLV School of Medicine is taking some of the “tough” out of the program. For example, many of our students take part in weekly yoga sessions to clear their minds. And, instead of fewer big exams, the students are tested more frequently with less riding on the outcome of each test. Students are also provided with breakfasts before each exam to make sure nutrition is optimized.

Students of UNLV’s School of Medicine do part of their learning through virtual anatomy labs which allow them to study every layer and corner of the human body through interactive screens. And while most medical schools don’t teach about death and dying, the UNLV School of Medicine has incorporated this into its program.

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