The exterior of the Touro University Nevada building.
The exterior of the Touro University Nevada building.

Southern Nevada’s Largest Medical School Announces Increase to Class Size

Touro University Nevada was granted approval to increase its osteopathic medicine class size.
Sep 15, 2017

The American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) granted Touro University Nevada unanimous board approval on August 26 to substantially expand its class size, thus the institution will continue leading the state of Nevada as its largest medical school.

“Touro’s presentation to the COCA board to expand and welcome additional students was met with resounding approval. This change in class size will increase the medical education pipeline and will have a positive impact on providing future health care providers for the entire state,” said Dr. John Dougherty, Dean of Touro’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. “Touro’s program has longstanding success in curriculum development, community partnerships, national board scores, and residency placement which played a key role in the expansion approval from the board.”

For more than a decade Touro University Nevada had been the only medical school based in Southern Nevada, a community with more than two million residents, working to continuously address the physician shortage and quality of care. Each year the campus, located in Henderson, receives 5-6,000 applicants for its medical program, of which 3,500 are qualified under the university’s admissions standards. With only 135 positions to fill, many highly qualified applicants have been turned away.

“Touro University Nevada has been leading the way for medical education in Southern Nevada since 2004,” said Shelley Berkley, CEO & Senior Provost of Touro’s Western Division. “We went before the accrediting commission to ask for the class size increase in an effort to further our commitment to address physician shortages throughout the entire state. Having met the criteria and receiving the Commission’s unanimous approval is an extraordinary success for our campus and all Nevadans.”

Currently, the state of Nevada is ranked last in the country for primary care physicians and last for the majority of surgical specialties. Touro University Nevada’s College of Osteopathic Medicine’s request for growth of the approved class size was directly in response to this ranking and the increased demand for physicians-in-training in the community.

Established in 2004, the university is home to more than 1,400 students in a wide range of degree programs including osteopathic medicine, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, nursing, medical health sciences, occupational therapy, and education.  Many of these programs were the first of their kind in Nevada. In addition to the ground-breaking programs offered, the university is home to the Touro University Nevada Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities and the Touro Health Center.

About Touro University Nevada

Touro University Nevada (TUN) is a private, non-profit, Jewish-sponsored institution established to help address critical needs in health care and education and as a resource for community service in the state of Nevada. TUN opened its doors in 2004 and is now home to nearly 1,400 students, in a wide variety of degree programs including osteopathic medicine, physician assistant studies, education, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy. The university’s Henderson campus includes a multi-specialty health center and a multi-disciplinary Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. For more information on TUN, please visit or call 702- 777-8687.

About the American Osteopathic Association

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 129,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. The Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE). Accreditation signifies that a college of osteopathic medicine (COM) has met or exceeded the COCA standards for educational quality with respect to mission, goals, and objectives; governance, administration, and finance; facilities, equipment, and resources, faculty, student admissions, performance, and evaluation; preclinical and clinical curriculum; and research and scholarship activity. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at


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Mandi McCary


Learn More About Touro Nevada's DO Program