The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) has granted a full eight-year re-accreditation to the LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine. Campus leadership received the good news last week.
“This is a day for our medical community to celebrate,” said Chancellor Robert A. Barish, MD, MBA.
“To put this in context, full LCME accreditation for us is like crossing the finish line after a grueling race,” said John V. Marymont, MD MBA, Interim Dean of the School of Medicine. “In preparation for the re-accreditation process, our academic leadership spent 18 months reviewing and analyzing our programs and policies. We want to make sure they meet the needs of our medical students and prepare them adequately for the future.”
“No one is guaranteed reaccreditation, and some of the best medical schools in the nation have not been able to achieve what our school has just accomplished.”
Formed in 1942 by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association, LCME accredits 158 institutions in the U.S. and Canada. To achieve and maintain accreditation, a medical education program leading to the MD degree must meet LCME standards.
A team of LCME reviewers visited the medical school in January for several days and issued a report to the full body. In its review of the team report, the LCME singled out the school’s information technology program, citing it as an institutional strength and noting: “In the Independent Student Analysis the students highly rate the IT staff availability and quality of service. “
The reviewers were impressed that medical students are provided with laptops that are preloaded for their course work and tablets for clinical rotations.
The accrediting body cited only three areas as non-compliant. These were: lack of a formal “scientific method” component in the first two years of the medical school curriculum, no formal mechanism for assessing the potential risks to students who take elective programs in other areas of the country and the need for more student recreation and relaxation facilities.
“We are very pleased with the overall report and have already begun working on the three areas,” said Chancellor Robert A. Barish, MD MBA. Starting next year, a new evidence-based research component will be offered throughout the medical school curriculum, and school officials will seek funding for expansion and improvement of the student union to accommodate more student activities.
“I’m so proud of our dedicated faculty and staff. They deserve much of the credit for this achievement.”
The Dean’s office is creating a plan for prior review of outside electives before they are offered to students. This will take into account evaluation of potential natural disasters, availability of emergency care and the oversight and supervision of the program.
Accreditation is a priority concern for educational institutions and their students. It not only assures that the academic programs of the school meet high standards, but also is a requirement for federal funding. Graduation from an accredited institution is a condition for medical licensure in most states and determines a medical school graduate’s eligibility for residency training programs.