SLU School of Medicine Takes Immediate Action to Address Accreditation Issue

Saint Louis University School of Medicine has launched a plan of action to correct deficiencies identified by the accrediting body for medical education in the United States.   

The medical school remains fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), but has been placed on probation. It has 24 months to address the areas of concern and to have the probation status lifted.  The LCME’s action follows an accreditation site visit in October 2016.

“I apologize for the deficiencies found by the LCME. We must own them and we must fix them. And we will,” said Kevin Behrns, M.D., who joined SLU as dean of the medical school in January. “These accreditation findings are unacceptable, and we will address them in the shortest possible time.”

The report identified deficiencies in documentation, missed opportunities for self-directed learning, curricular management issues and a lack of central oversight. The findings deal strictly with medical education and are not related to patient care and SLU’s physician medical practice.

Upon learning of the findings from the LCME, Behrns immediately put together a plan to correct the problems. He has pledged to work closely with the LCME, conduct a top-to-bottom review of the entire school to solve accreditation deficiencies, and identify opportunities for novel educational approaches.  

“Our primary goal is to prepare our students to be outstanding clinicians, researchers, community leaders and life-long learners,” Behrns said. “I promise that we will seize this moment to improve on our medical education program and the processes within the School of Medicine. We will be a stronger School of Medicine when our work is completed.”

Work groups that include School of Medicine faculty, students and alumni, as well as external experts, will address in detail each of the non-compliant elements cited. Their goal is to ensure the school meets or exceeds standards in the LCME guidelines and is of world-class status.

“Our faculty provide an excellent medical education to our students, our graduates are placed in great medical centers around the world, and our alumni provide outstanding care for patients and conduct ground-breaking research,” Behrns said. “Moving forward, we will create a culture of discipline and teamwork with accreditation and documentation of our processes, and will become a metric-driven organization.”

SLU has notified current and prospective medical students, faculty, staff and alumni of the LCME findings and has created a website to provide information and updates about remediation efforts.

SLU University President Fred Pestello, Ph.D., expressed the utmost confidence in Behrns’ ability to lead the corrective action.

“We could have no better leader at the School of Medicine at this critical time,” Pestello said.  “Since his arrival in January, I have been very impressed with Dr. Behrns’ leadership. We are fortunate to have a leader with his skills, insight and determination to lead our medical school and the remediation effort. He has my full confidence.”