Frequently Asked Questions about the LCME
Here are a handful of frequently asked questions, and their answers, about the LCME process.
What is the LCME?
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree in the U.S. and Canada. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association (AMA) are jointly represented on the LCME. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the LCME as the accrediting body for programs of medical education in the U.S.
Why is LCME accreditation important?
LCME accreditation is a peer-reviewed process of quality assurance that determines
whether the medical education program meets established standards. To achieve and
maintain accreditation, a medical education program leading to the MD degree in the
United States and Canada must meet the LCME accreditation standards contained in the
LCME document Functions and Structure of a Medical School. Programs are required to demonstrate that their graduates exhibit the general professional
competencies appropriate for entry to the next stage of their professional training
and as lifelong learners in the delivery of proficient medical care. Accreditation
by the LCME establishes eligibility for certain federal grants and programs, including
Title VII funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The pathway to physician
licensure is facilitated by being a student or graduate of an LCME-accredited medical
school through connections with the United States Medical Licensing Examination and
the Federation of State Medical Boards.
Who at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences is on the LCME Task Force?
- Joshua Wynne, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., Dean of the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences
- Judy Solberg, Ph.D., M.P.A., Chief of Staff
- Stephen Tinguely, M.D., Chief Accreditation Officer
- Sheila Bosh, R.N., Accreditation Manager
- Marc Basson, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., Senior Associate Dean of Medicine & Research
- Ken Ruit, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Education & Faculty Affairs
- Jim Porter, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Admissions
- Pat Carr, Ph. D., Associate Dean for Medical Curriculum
- Rick Van Eck, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Teaching & Learning
- Susan Zelewski, M.D., Assistant Dean Northeast Campus
- Ryan Norris, MS3
How many medical schools in the U.S. and Canada maintain accredited status?
Around 151. Established medical education programs typically undergo the self-study
process and a full survey visit every eight years. Schools are expected to have an
ongoing process of continuous quality improvement throughout the eight years. They
are expected to show that they have the financial and physical resources, appropriately
trained leadership and faculty, learning environment, and clinical placement sites
to promote medical student learning. They are expected to have a thoughtful curriculum
that permits the demonstration of the competencies needed to progress into residency
and the supervised practice of medicine. As the world changes, medical schools are
expected to demonstrate that they have plans to adjust and still maintain the central
goal of medical student education.
When is UND’s next full accreditation visit?
UND was last accredited by the LCME in 2014 and is expecting a virtual visit from the LCME April 24-27, 2022.
What are the components of accreditation?
Schools are required to meet 12 standards consisting of 93 individual elements. These 12 standards span the entire medical educational program, covering the following areas:
- Mission, Planning, Organization and Integrity
- Leadership and Administration
- Academic and Learning Environments
- Faculty Preparation, Productivity, Preparation and Policies
- Educational Resources and Infrastructure
- Competencies, Curricular Objectives and Curricular Design
- Curricular Content
- Curricular Management, Evaluation and Enhancement
- Teaching Supervision, Assessment, and Student and Patient Safety
- Medical Student Selection, Assignment and Progress
- Medical Student Academic Support, Career Advising and Educational Records
- Medical Student Health Services, Personal Counseling and Financial Aid Services
Frequently used terms and acronyms
- Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)
- Undergraduate Medical Education Committee (UMEC)
- Data Collection Instrument (DCI)
- Independent Student Analysis (ISA)
- Self Study Task Force (SSTF)
- Graduate Questionnaire (GQ)
- Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
- American Medical Association (AMA)
- United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
What steps are involved in accreditation process?
The accreditation process has two general and related goals: to promote institutional self-evaluation and continuous quality improvement, and to determine whether a medical education program meets the requirements and expectations determined by the LCME. The task force and subcommittees identify institutional strengths and areas of concern so that strategies may be enacted to either maintain, enhance, or bring about change.
Step 1: Completion of a Data Collection Instrument that contains the school’s response to meeting 12 standards and 93 elements.
Step 2: Student body completes an Independent Student Analysis (ISA).
Step 3: The Institutional Self-Study Steering Committee, consisting of several sub-committees, receives the DCI and ISA to write self-study reports and a summary report.
Step 4: Three-day in-person or virtual visit by a group of Faculty Members/Deans from other medical schools who review the school’s submitted documents and interview faculty, students, and residents.