The UC College of Medicine faculty, staff and students are ready for two important steps in the ongoing accreditation process: A mock site visit on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, and an actual site visit by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), Oct.16-19, 2011.
"Both are intense experiences that need to be taken very seriously,” says James Boex, PhD, in the department of medical education.
Boex, a professor of both medical education and health care administration, has been charged with overseeing the accreditation process, which included the submission of a 133-point self-study report to the LCME in June 2011. The report was a year-long endeavor undertaken by approximately 150 faculty, staff and students to identify the college’s strengths and weaknesses.
The LCME, jointly sponsored by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is recognized as the only accreditation authority for MD programs by the U.S. Department of Education. To prepare for the site visit by LCME, the college practices with a mock visit "to be as prepared as possible,” Boex says.
The mock site visit is being conducted by John Hutton, MD, dean emeritus of the College of Medicine, and Michele Pugnaire, MD, executive associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Massachusetts. The actual accreditation visit in October is conducted by a team of five representatives from the LCME, chaired by J. Kevin Dorsey, MD, PhD, dean of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
UC’s previous accreditation site visit took place in 2003. The current review comes at a time when the LCME has implemented a number of new, stringent standards and has, in recent years, actually placed a handful of medical colleges on accreditation probation.
"It’s not your father’s LCME … they are reviewing a number of considerations across the entire medical school enterprise that they want particular measures for,” he says, adding that in the past, the LCME concentrated more so on student outcomes such as National Board of Medicial Examiners (NBME) scores and residency placements whereas now not only these outcomes but he entire medical school process —from the type of curriculum to the availability of financial aid—comes under review.
All faculty, staff and students are asked to lend their support during both of the site visits whether they are directly involved in the interviews or just by picking up a piece of litter in the hall—every positive element helps in this crucial process.