Las Vegas Medical Students Cast Their First Vote at the Nevada State Medical Association
By Vladislav Zhitny, UNLV School of Medicine
The 80th Annual Nevada State Medical Association (NSMA) Meeting took place this past weekend, remembering the victims of last year’s October 1st massacre at Route 91 Harvest Festival and featuring CME presentations, healthcare policy topics, and other interesting discussions. For the first time, CCMS medical student delegates could vote and deliberate on Nevada’s healthcare policies. These topics ranged from gun control and homicide prevention to protection of sex workers and the importance of sex education in K-12 in Nevada. Among the first medical student state delegates were myself, a medical student at University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Medicine, and Jason Wang, a medical student at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, representing Clark County. Representing Washoe County were Neha Agarwal and Chris Clifford, two medical students from the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Students went head to head casting decisive votes on bills including secure storage of guns in public spaces.
At this same meeting, I introduced the first student-led bill #2018-09 addressing the shortage of residencies in Nevada. With the recent opening of UNLV SoM in Las Vegas - and possible future opening of Roseman College of Medicine - there has been a much slower growth of residency and fellowships training programs. As a state, Nevada ranked 46th in total residencies and fellowships in ACGME programs per 100,000 in 2017. It has been shown across multiple studies that physicians are more likely to stay in their area of residency training upon finishing. This is due to multiple factors, including proximity to mentors, familiarity with the area, and meeting their spouses. This is why we lose Nevada trained medical students to other states.
“We haven’t had a resolution like this, addressing shortage of training programs,” said Dr. Florence Jameson, AMA Chief Delegate for the Clark County Medical Society during the NSMA meeting. She added that “this will aid in advocacy efforts for the upcoming legislature cycle.” Prior to this, individual hospitals were responsible for adding programs for the purposes of residency and fellowship. This resolution will dedicate the NSMA Board towards advocating residency and fellowship expansion in the state of Nevada, effective on September 30th, 2018.