The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredits medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree in the United States and Canada. To be accredited, programs must meet the national Standards and Elements described in the LCME publication, Functions and Structure of a Medical School. Further information may be found at www.lcme.org
Accreditation signifies that national standards for structure, function and performance are met by a medical school’s educational program leading to the M.D. degree. Students enrolled in and graduates of LCME-accredited medical schools are eligible to take United States Medical Licensing Examinations. These graduates also are eligible to enter residencies approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Graduation from an LCME-accredited U.S. medical school and successful completion of national licensing examinations are accepted as prerequisites for medical licensure in most states.
Every eight years schools prepare a report that answers questions and collects detailed information for submission to the LCME. A team of faculty and leaders from other medical schools read the detailed information, conduct a three-day site visit and then submit a report of their findings about the school to the LCME.
A committee of the LCME reviews the detailed information and the report of the site visit and then issues a determination. All schools have deficiencies that will require correction. The categories are:
- Accredited with progress reports regarding elements needing monitoring.
- Accredited, Warning about correction of unsatisfactory elements.
- Accredited, on Probation, with two years to correct unsatisfactory elements.
It was determined that we are fully accredited but because of the number and type of unsatisfactory elements, we are accredited with probation and have been given two years to correct deficiencies.
Since we remain fully accredited, the probationary status will not impact the ability of currently enrolled students to take the national board examinations or to obtain a residency position.
Broadly categorized, the LCME identified problems with the curriculum, lack of central oversight and some documentation errors.
We will develop a continuous quality improvement process that evaluates our medical education program on an annual basis. This process with be governed by a steering committee with an external advisory board.
We will correct all of the issues identified in less than 24 months. The School of Medicine will not lose its accreditation. This matter has the full attention of the leadership of the School of Medicine and the University.
We understand your concern. We remain fully accredited, with all of the rights and privileges that come with full accreditation. We will correct all of the issues cited by the LCME and have the probation lifted.
Because we remain fully accredited, this status will not impact our graduates’ ability to be placed in prestigious graduate medical programs across the country. The School of Medicine leadership stands ready to answer questions of our prospective students. You can email us at email@example.com.
We are keenly aware that this news is disconcerting to our School of Medicine alumni. Every one of our graduates has received an excellent medical education, and this does not change that. It is undeniable that our alumni are providing compassionate care and conducting groundbreaking medical research around the world.
We understand that this news will affect perceptions our medical school in the short term, but we intend to correct the issues and set up structure to ensure this never happens again. We also intend to include some medical school alumni in the remediation process. Their insights will be invaluable. While it may be of little consolation, several other prominent medical schools have successfully come off of probation in recent years.
- Our primary goal is to prepare our students to be outstanding clinicians, researchers, community leaders and lifelong learners.
- We will review our medical student education program from top to bottom to ensure compliance and to seek opportunities for novel educational approaches.
- We will address in detail the cited deficiencies, but every element of every standard in the LCME guidelines will be reviewed to ensure that we meet or exceed their standards.
- We will create a culture of discipline and teamwork with accreditation and documentation of our processes.
- We will work closely with the LCME and other extramural medical education experts to seek input related to redesign our educational programs to make them world-class.
Absolutely not. The accreditation decision relates only to our medical education program, not our clinical practice, SLUCare. We have the finest physicians and medical staff in the region. They are leaders in their fields and will continue to provide the very best medical care anywhere.