Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the LCME?

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit medical schools in the United States and Canada. It has joint oversight by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) but is an independent organization.

Getting Ready for LCME Review

What happens during an LCME review?
The medical school must conduct a thorough self-study and submit a large database of information. The medical school students conduct an independent student analysis of the School of Medicine and provide their results to the LCME.  An LCME Site Survey Team then visits the school for four days to question faculty, administrators, staff, and students about all aspects of the medical school program, resources, and facilities. Additionally, they will meet with students privately and tour the school's facilities.

When will the LCME Team visit the School?
October 19-22, 2014.

When is the Mock site visit?
June 1-4, 2014

What takes place during the mock and actually site visits?
To better understand that, please go to our  Site Visit Schedule. Both the mock visit and real site visit will follow this schedule.

When do we learn the LCME’s decision?
At the end of the site visit, the team will report its major findings to the Dean and President Sullivan. Within the following few weeks they will submit their full report to the LCME Committee. In February of 2015, the LCME Committee will discuss the report and reach a decision about the type and length of accreditation to give the School of Medicine.

Our Preparations

Who is heading our accreditation preparation?
Randolph Canterbury, MD, the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, is chair of the Steering Committee; Barnett Nathan, MD, is chair of the Self Study; and Lesley Thomas, JD, the Assistant Dean for Medical Education, is the Faculty Accreditation Lead.

How long will it take to prepare?
It takes approximately one year of planning and two years of concentrated effort to prepare for the visit. Three big components of the preparation process that are completed during that time are the LCME Medical Education Database, the Institutional Self-Study, and the Independent Student Analysis.

When will we conduct our Self-Study?
The Institutional Self-Study will begin in June 2013 and will be completed by March 15, 2014, culminating in a summary report prepared by the Executive Task Force Committee.  The Student Independent Analysis—designed and completed wholly by students—will be conducted simultaneously.

Who will conduct the Self-Study?
Approximately 150 faculty, staff, and students will serve on the Institutional Self-Study Subcommittees and create the final Self-Study Report. The Institutional Self-Study Executive Task Force will also include University leaders and deans, faculty from across Grounds, and School of Medicine alumni.

When are our documents due at the LCME?
All of our required documents will be due July 1, 2014.

Why Accreditation Matters

Why does accreditation matter?
Accreditation allows a medical school to award MD degrees and establishes eligibility for federal funds (including Title VII funding). It also allows students to participate in the AAMC’s application process, to take the USMLE, and to apply to ACGME residencies.

Accreditation Decisions

What is the term of full accreditation for a medical school?
Eight years, although schools with serious accreditation deficiencies may be accredited for shorter terms. The School of Medicine received a full eight-year accreditation after its 2006 review.

Who makes accreditation decisions?
The 19-member LCME Committee makes the decision. The members, who are chosen by the AAMC and the AMA, are medical educators and administrators, practicing physicians, students, and public members. The operations of the LCME are carried out by two secretariats, one at the AAMC and the other at the AMA.

What types of decisions does the LCME make?

  • Award full accreditation for eight years
  • Award accreditation for an indeterminate period (requiring further review and visits)
  • Continue accreditation but issue a warning (the warning is not made public)
  • Continue accreditation but place the program on probation (announced publicly)
  • Withdraw accreditation

Does the LCME really put schools on probation?
Yes. In 2012-13, there are 137 accredited medical education schools in the United States and 17 in Canada. Four of the U.S. schools are on probation. No Canadian schools are on probation.