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Southern Nevada is home to three medical schools, with UNLV's school taking in its first class earlier this year.
Does the area have too many medical schools, or can each stand apart from the others?
Roseman University President Renee Coffman believes the latter is true -- and that the three schools aren't as competitive with each other as one might think.
“We’re looking at how do we work together to solve this problem of the huge shortage in physicians in Nevada,” Coffman said.
Roseman started as a college of pharmacy, but Coffman said as the need for more nurses arose the board of trustees approved adding a nursing school.
And now, as the need for more medical professionals has become critical, the university is working on developing its own medical school.
“As we’ve transitioned now, almost 20 years later and helping Nevada with these needs the no-brainer was we need medical professionals here. That led to the decision over five years ago to go by our board of trustees to say, ‘let’s begin laying the groundwork for a college of medicine as well," she said.
When the school purchased the Nevada Cancer Institute, along with its equipment and buildings, that sped up efforts to create the medical school, Coffman said.
Unlike UNLV's new medical school, which is getting public tax dollars, Roseman is a privately funded not-for-profit school. Coffman said while that can present challenges as far as fundraising, it does have advantages.
“Being in the private sector, the private not-for-profit sector, we can be a lot more agile in some ways I think than the public institutions where there are several layers of approvals that are needed,” she said.
She said the growth of the school wouldn't have been possible if it had been a publically funded institution.
Besides how it is funded, another thing that sets Roseman apart, according to Coffman, is its learning model. Students must get a 90 percent or higher on evaluations and assessments.
She said the school also tries to use different methods of instruction to help students really understand and absorb the material.
“We’ve developed that with an eye to trying to ensure that we are creating the best learning environment possible for our students," Coffman said.
That same model will be used for the school's medical school as well.
Renee Coffman, president, Roseman University