Mitchell Forman, DO, is the current director of the rheumatology fellowship program at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV. A rheumatologist for more than 40 years, including four years of directing a rheumatology clinical practice until 2022, at UNLV Health. Dr. Forman was the founding dean of Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in Henderson for 12 years and ran a clinical rheumatology practice there as well.

What brought you to start practicing medicine in Las Vegas?

Prior to relocating to Nevada, I was a Rheumatology clinician at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas. I also had the honor of being Associate Dean of Student Services for the entire institution & subsequently the Vice President for Student Services. I was offered the opportunity to be the Founding Dean of Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine and relocated to Nevada for that purpose in early 2004. I subsequently became licensed to practice medicine/Rheumatology at Touro & established a multipurpose patient care clinic on site

What are some of the biggest challenges you face and what do you most enjoy about your job?

Although I have had the honor and privilege of serving in many non-clinical/administrative positions at a variety of academic centers, I still measure myself as a clinician. During my brief retirement, I have sorely missed seeing patients and interacting with my colleagues, medical and allied health professional students and residents and serving as a clinical mentor. I was formally the President of CCMS in 2010 and subsequently President of NSMA. The challenge is for me to familiarize myself with the changes that have obviously taken place in CCMS, meet the key players in the organization and to clearly identify the expectations of the “new and improved” CCMS. I must also carry out and balance my position in the context of my UNLV SOM responsibilities. What has made me less apprehensive about the CCMS Presidency is having an Executive Director who is very capable, and knowledgeable, and has offered to mentor me as I become more familiar with the organization and its members. 

What does leadership in the Southern Nevada medical community look like to you?

In the short time that I had interacted with the former President of CCMS, Dr. Fiore. He has provided an overview of his responsibilities, successes and the trials and tribulations of the community based organization and assisted me in my transition and identified the CCMS staff and members who will be most helpful in moving forward. I see “connecting to the community”, developing strategies to increase membership, strengthening the educational (CME) programs and identifying more community partners, both medical and corporate to strengthen what has already been a very successful venture.  A major task is to oversee the activity of our interaction with the Legislature in addressing potential legislation that can impact physician’s practices and quality healthcare in our community and Nevada. 

What is your perspective on the future of medicine in Southern Nevada?

As Southern Nevada has grown, the healthcare needs of its citizens have also increased. This includes all specialties. During my tenure as the Founding Dean of Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine, I have sought to increase the number of Residency Programs since most residents will remain in the locations where they train. This is the principle of “training & retaining” the graduates of our local residency programs. These are partnerships with local hospitals.

Expanding the collaborative relationship between physicians and allied health professionals, i.e., PAs & NPs, is another mechanism for expanding quality healthcare in our communities. Addressing legislation that impacts the quality of health care and an environment that attracts physicians to our community is one of my principle objectives.

How did you first get involved with Clark County Medical Society?

As the Founding Dean of Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine, I saw the CCMS as a potential resource for connecting to the medical community. One of my most important faculty members was Don Havins, M.D., and he served as a mentor to me and urged me to become a member of CCMS. 

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

Since relocating to Nevada, my wife, Pearl, and I have established in partnership with UNLV Performing Art Center a Classical Guitar Series and we remain proud sponsors of the venture. In college, I was the captain of our baseball team, a catcher, and was “briefly” scouted by a scout from a professional baseball team. Despite my being a fantastic catcher and having a .333 batting average, I was forced to follow “Plan B” and become a physician. 

What are the benefits of participating in CCMS? Why did you become a member? 

Membership in CCMS provided me with an opportunity to have an impact on the quality of health care in our community, work collaboratively with CCMS members, develop educational and CME opportunities to the public and our membership and develop strategies to increase our membership by exploring all the benefits that CCMS provides to its members.   

Who would play you in a movie about your life?

George Clooney. 

Last thoughts: Favorite hobbies?  Favorite junk food? Favorite quote you would like to share? Last book you read?

I am both honored and grateful for the chance to become the 2nd person to take on the CCMS Presidency and look forward to continuing the exceptional work of its active membership. I enjoy listening to music and attending concerts at UNLV, the Smith Center and other local venues. The last book that I read was “The Beauty of Dusk” by Frank Bruni. I love Italian food. One of my favorite quotes is by Charles Dickens from a Tale of Two Cities. ” It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done. ” It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”