Nevada suffers from a doctor shortage. In fact, the Silver State ranks 49 out of 50 states, with the fewest physicians per capita according to WalletHub. To help improve those numbers, the University of Nevada, Reno just announced the launch of their new department of surgery. 

With this new department, there's a greater chance medical students taught here, will stay local to practice. 

This department launch comes as an effort to keep up with the growing demand of interest in surgical careers from their medical students. All medical students are required to complete surgical training during their third year. 

Previously, UNR's 280 medical students had to attend that training in the Las Vegas area. Now, it will be available to them right here in town. 

Cameron Berg, a first-year medical student at UNR, says he's excited for this department. "Try and separate ourselves from Vegas...It might open up more clinical research, which will make our program more competitive."

The new department has been about two years in the making. With the school's community based mission, local surgeons and practitioners will now get to actively teach these students. 

Melissa Piasecki, Executive Associate Dean for the School of Medicine, says, "It's almost as if everyone was just kind of waiting for this to happen, there's a lot of pent up energy."

Medical students will now experience training from community partners like Renown and the local VA and surgeons' offices throughout Reno. This also brings in two new department co-chairs, Dr. James Harris and Dr. Lori Rawson.

The university says establishing this department will help with retention; teaching Nevadans who will stay in Nevada and help Nevadans. Berg explains, "The majority of people locate 25 miles within their residency, so if we're trying to make sure that we train doctors here and we keep doctors here, that we establish strong competitive residency programs."

This launch marks the accomplishment of a step from UNR School of Medicine's strategic plan, which includes expanding its 4-year curriculum as a northern Nevada based medical school.

If you'd like to learn more about the program, click here.