Medical School Accreditation

Why is medical school accreditation important? It says to the world that a school meets strict educational standards set forth by a governing body and the school produces highly trained, capable physicians. One accreditation body exists in the United States.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading the M.D. degree in U.S. and Canadian schools. The LCME is sponsored by the Association of Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association. The LCME posts a 31-page document on their Web site detailing its standards of accreditation for medical schools. A team of physicians, educators, researchers, and administrators performs an on-site survey of schools. This group of people is appointed by the LCME and visits individual schools to assess whether the schools meet the standards set forth by the LCME. Medical students are also involved in the accreditation process. They are required to set up a personal self-assessment of their learning institution and prepare to meet with LCME surveyors when they visit the school.

The students are an important part of the accreditation process because they are the ones most intimately involved with how education is offered at the school. Students are the ones who know best what is working and what isn't; which areas need improvement and which ones are achieving specific goals. Accreditation is also important because accredited schools are more eligible for state and federal funding and grant programs, such as Title VII funding provided by the Public Health Service. Most importantly, accreditation ensures public health safety by standardizing quality, competent education of medical field practitioners.

Last Updated: 05/21/2014

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