Med school awaits accreditation results

U conducted a review to prepare for the accreditation process.

Kali Dingman

For the last 22 months, the University of Minnesota Medical School has been gearing up for its accreditation review.

The last time the Medical School was accredited was in 2004. A medical school that has already been accredited usually goes through the process every eight years.

The school conducted a self-study review to see if the program met the Liaison Committee on Medical Education’s standards for function, structure and performance.

The LCME oversees medical schools in the U.S. and Canada to make sure they are meeting the generalized standards.

“It’s an outstanding process that helps us understand ourselves a little better,” said Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education Kathleen Watson.

During an on-site visit by the LCME last week, the school was reviewed based on institutional setting, the educational program for the M.D. degree, medical students’ opinions, faculty and educational resources.

There were six groups involved in the self-study process, including a group of students.

More than 60 medical students from the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses were a part of the LCME Independent Student Analysis committee.

A survey conducted by the student committee asked students about their experiences in the Medical School to evaluate courses, teaching, exams and grading, said Heather Grothe, a fourth-year medical student on the committee.

The results were given to the Medical School, and Grothe said changes were made to fix unspecified problems.

“I hope we use the energy to propel forward and look for ways of improvement,” Watson said.

A similar process was done by the remaining five committees made of students and faculty.

The results of the six groups were put into an executive summary, Watson said.

After the self-assessment, the school identified what they felt was sufficient and what needed improvement.

Areas of strength were an increase in active learning opportunities, successful programs and a strong advising system.

Areas of weakness were high tuition, little aid to those who are underprivileged or minority students and small classrooms.

The school tried to address these issues before the official review early last week.

After the LCME review, the school can receive three scores: in compliance; in compliance with monitoring and noncompliance. If a school does not meet the requirements, they can be put on probation.

“No one wants to graduate from a school not accredited,” Grothe said.

The school will receive final results of the review in July.