NSights Blog

A new name. The same outstanding school.

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine unveils a new name, and still remains committed to improving the health and healthcare of Nevadans.

The School of Medicine has a new name: We now are the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.  The Health Sciences Committee of the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents on June 10 approved a proposal from the school for the new name to be effective July 1, 2016. 

This name change can be viewed in a range of ways. It is, on one hand, a minor change, a one-word addition of "Reno" to our long-held name of "University of Nevada School of Medicine" that simply reflects our increasing engagement with the University of Nevada, Reno, the Reno/Sparks metropolitan area and northern Nevada. On the other hand, it signals the stunning and positive changes that are taking place as we build a full clinical and research campus in Reno in collaboration with Renown Health, the Sierra Nevada VA Health System, community physicians and other partners.

The School of Medicine's name change and the associated logo change and new branding concepts that are coming very soon are the result of the hard work and commitment of KPS3,  a local branding and marketing agency and our partner in this endeavor.  They interviewed or surveyed more than 2,000 members of the School of Medicine community, including patients, students, residents, alumni, current and former faculty members, physicians and community leaders.

We recognize that, as with any renaming of any school, this change may not be universally popular.   There is a strong attachment to the concept of a single public medical school serving the entire state, which is what the former name reflected. 

A second public medical school based at UNLV is being created and hopes to be open in 2017.  The future reality of a UNLV School of Medicine requires that our new name be more aligned with our sponsoring institution and our primary community. The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine name reflects the community from which our resources derive and our partnerships grow. Our new name reflects the strong commitment we have to community engagement and service, even as we maintain selective teaching relationships across the state, both rural and urban.

I believe our new name represents all those goals and aspirations.

I could not be prouder to be part of this exciting time in the continued growth and development of the School of Medicine. As we take our 47 years of serving Nevada into a future both exciting and challenging, we can celebrate all that we have accomplished in training thousands of physicians, scientists and medical professionals. Our new name marks, more than anything, a rededication to our purpose of serving our community in partnership with the University, hospitals, healthcare agencies, physicians and many others.

Whatever we are called, we always will be committed to improving the health and healthcare of Nevadans.


Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D, is Professor of Family Medicine and Dean, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and Vice President, Division of Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno.

Thomas Schwenk

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