Accreditation Process Overview
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is the organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit allopathic medical schools in the United States and Canada. The LCME is an independent organization however is uniquely tied to both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
While the accreditation process entails a lengthy self-study and the development and submission of a large amount of data it is mainly aimed at answering three important questions.
- Has our medical education program clearly established a mission and institutional learning objectives?
- Are the medical education program’s curriculum and resources organized to meet its mission and objectives?
- What evidence is available that indicates the medical education program is currently meeting its mission and objectives and is it likely to continue to meet them in the future?
In order to answer these overarching questions we are tasked with several objectives. Drawing from a wide array of campus stakeholders as an institution we must compile the LCME Data Collection Instrument (DCI, formally entitled the Database), an Institutional Self-Study, and an Executive Summary. The students, while involved with aspects of the previous tasks, also work alone to provide and Independent Student Analysis.
The recently retooled LCME accreditation objectives now consist of 12 standards broken into 94 specific elements. The goal of these components is to represent the trends, best practices and provide thresholds of performance as medical education evolves. They are not prescriptive, but a framework that allows for interpretation and flexibility in meeting the needs of an institution and ultimately supporting its mission and objectives.
Although LCME accreditation may be granted up to a period of eight years, the PLFSOM LCME accreditation team welcomes this as an opportunity for ongoing critical evaluation and renewed dedication to continuous quality improvement. The LCME accreditation team hopes that you engage with this process as we travel the path to accreditation and ultimate enhancement of our medical education program.
The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Accreditation History
The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) received independent preliminary accreditation in February 2008. At that time, the LCME commended the school for its clinically relevant basic science curriculum, history of educating third and fourth year students as part of the TTUHSC system, exceptional facilities and educational resources, commitment to faculty development, and ability to recruit key administrative faculty members with experience and expertise in medical education and curriculum planning. A charter class of 40 students matriculated in July 2009 and was followed by a class of 60 students in July 2010.
In June 2011, PLFSOM was granted provisional accreditation status by the LCME. Once again, it commended the school for its progressive, highly integrated curriculum in years 1 and 2 and for the development of a model of clerkship education that reinforced an integrated approach to student learning in the context of patient care. A class of 86 students matriculated in July 2011 and a class of 80 students matriculated in July of 2012.
In February 2013, the LCME granted full accreditation status to PLFSOM. The school was commended for its compelling mission and ability to translate that mission into the cultural components of the curriculum. The LCME also commended the effectively integrated and clinically relevant curriculum in years 1 and 2 and the commitment to medical education excellence by both the faculty and administration. Finally, the LCME commended the school on its efforts to minimize student debt, as well as faculty development programs. In keeping with our growth plan, all following class sizes are targeted at 100 students per entering class.