Last week we had our accreditation site visit by a team appointed by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME). The distinguished group consisted of Charles Mouton, MD, Barbara Barzansky, PhD, and Sheila Crowe, PhD.
- Dr. Mouton, a family physician is the former dean of Meharry Medical College;
- Dr. Barzansky is a former anatomist and secretary of the LCME from the American Medical Association; and
- Dr. Crowe is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Oklahoma University School of Community Medicine in Tulsa.
The survey site team's mission was to assess the UNLV School of Medicine's readiness to accept its first class. There are 12 standards that have been developed by the LCME to review each medical school. The UNLV School of Medicine needed to meet these standards.
The standards address leadership and planning, finances, faculty, facilities, student support, and of course curriculum.
The site visit began on Sunday, July 17 where I met with the team and outlined the school's vision, mission, history, leadership, academic committees and faculty. This meeting set the stage for the next two days where the
team met with more than 60 members of the UNLV School of Medicine team, UNLV leadership, Las Vegas-based UNR-SOM faculty members, and community representatives.
On Wednesday morning the team met with Len Jessup, UNLV president, and Diane Chase, UNLV Executive Vice President and Provost and myself to share its initial findings.
Even though the final report expected from the LCME in October has eliminated the formal category of "strengths" in the formal reports - the site visit team did choose to highlight several strengths they found in our program, which included
- Experienced and skilled senior leadership team;
- Worked inclusively with the university and community to build programs to meet the educational, research, and service missions of the medical school;
- Developed a thoughtful and innovative curriculum that is well-integrated with the school's mission;
- Developed a comprehensive approach to faculty development; and
- Planned innovative programs with a systematic approach to create a culture of improvement.
The two areas identified as improvement findings are:
- develop a targeted diversity plan focused on specific recruitment and retention programs;
In 2004, the AAMC clarified and broadened their definition of underrepresented in medicine to a very simple "those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to the numbers in the general population". This leaves an opportunity for schools to respond to their own local conditions and allows for accumulation of data on larger numbers of ethnic groups. The committee expects to see more specificity in the plans to recruit and retain the groups we have identified.
- describe a process to monitor faculty that provide medical care to a student, that he/she will not subsequently evaluate or grade that student.
It's important that any physician who provides medical care to students is not in a position to later grade the student's performance. In our case students will be using the student health services on the main UNLV campus. UNLV School of Medicine has a firm policy that they will not evaluate students; we must develop a process to monitor and ensure this never happens.
- The survey site visitors will prepare a survey report and document their findings for the LCME Secretariat for review and comment.
- The site visitor secretary will then send the draft survey team findings. Ten days are allowed to provide feedback to the LCME team secretary on perceived factual errors and concerns in the survey site report.
- Five weeks before the LCME meeting in October UNLV School of Medicine will receive the final survey report, as will all the members of the LCME.
- The LCME will meet in mid October and vet the site survey report, along with the medical school's accreditation documents. At this time committee members could eliminate citations, or could cite other items not found in the site survey report.
- The LCME will notify UNLV School of Medicine around October 20 to share their decision on accreditation. A copy of the final survey report, along with a decision letter that includes the committee's findings and a description of any items that need to be monitored or addressed by the school will follow.
- If preliminary accreditation is secured, UNLV School of Medicine will begin the admissions process to accept our first class on the date we receive notification.
We are pleased with the site visit team's initial report and look forward to hearing from the LCME in October. It's very exciting. Thank you to everyone who participated in the site visit.