The Functions and Structure of a Medical School is organized according to 12 accreditation standards, each with an accompanying set of elements specifying the components that collectively constitute the standard.
Standard 1: Mission, Planning, Organization, and Integrity
A medical school has a written statement of mission and goals for the medical education program, conducts ongoing planning, and has written bylaws that describe an effective organizational structure and governance processes. In the conduct of all internal and external activities, the medical school demonstrates integrity through its consistent and documented adherence to fair, impartial, and effective processes, policies, and practices.
Standard 2: Leadership and Administration
A medical school has a sufficient number of faculty in leadership roles and of senior administrative staff with the skills, time, and administrative support necessary to achieve the goals of the medical education program and to ensure the functional integration of all programmatic components.
Standard 3: Academic and Learning Environments
A medical school ensures that its medical education program occurs in professional, respectful, and intellectually stimulating academic and clinical environments, recognizes the benefits of diversity, and promotes students’ attainment of competencies required of future physicians.
Standard 4: Faculty Preparation, Productivity, Participation, and Policies
The faculty members of a medical school are qualified through their education, training, experience, and continuing professional development and provide the leadership and support necessary to attain the institution's educational, research, and service goals.
Standard 5: Educational Resources and Infrastructure
A medical school has sufficient personnel, financial resources, physical facilities, equipment, and clinical, instructional, informational, technological, and other resources readily available and accessible across all locations to meet its needs and to achieve its goals.
Standard 6: Competencies, Curricular Objectives, and Curricular Design
The faculty of a medical school define the competencies to be achieved by its medical students through medical education program objectives and is responsible for the detailed design and implementation of the components of a medical curriculum that enable its medical students to achieve those competencies and objectives. Medical education program objectives are statements of the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes that medical students are expected to exhibit as evidence of their achievement by completion of the program.
Standard 7: Curricular Content
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum provides content of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare medical students for entry into any residency program and for the subsequent contemporary practice of medicine.
Standard 8: Curricular Management, Evaluation, and Enhancement
The faculty of a medical school engage in curricular revision and program evaluation activities to ensure that medical education program quality is maintained and enhanced and that medical students achieve all medical education program objectives and participate in required clinical experiences and settings.
Standard 9: Teaching, Supervision, Assessment, and Student and Patient Safety
A medical school ensures that its medical education program includes a comprehensive, fair, and uniform system of formative and summative medical student assessment and protects medical students’ and patients’ safety by ensuring that all persons who teach, supervise, and/or assess medical students are adequately prepared for those responsibilities.
Standard 10: Medical Student Selection, Assignment, and Progress
A medical school establishes and publishes admission requirements for potential applicants to the medical education program and uses effective policies and procedures for medical student selection, enrollment, and assignment.
Standard 11: Medical Student Academic Support, Career Advising, and Educational Records
A medical school provides effective academic support and career advising to all medical students to assist them in achieving their career goals and the school’s medical education program objectives. All medical students have the same rights and receive comparable services.
Standard 12: Medical Student Health Services, Personal Counseling, and Financial Aid Services
A medical school provides effective student services to all medical students to assist them in achieving the program’s goals for its students. All medical students have the same rights and receive comparable services.
Acronyms to Know
(LCME) Liason Committee on Medical Education: The LCME is a 19-member committee responsible for conferring accreditation on accreditation programs leading to the MD degree in the United States and, in conjunction with the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools, on medical schools in Canada. The LCME consists of 15 professional members, two medical students typically in the final year of the medical curriculum, and two public members with no ties to medical schools or the medical profession.
(FAL) Faculty Accreditation Lead: The FAL is typically a senior faculty member or senior administrator with extensive knowledge of the school and its medical education program. This individual manages the self-study process, coordinates the collection of data for the data collection instrument (DCI), and develops the survey visit schedule with the team secretary. The FAL is the primary point of contact with the LCME Secretariat and the survey team secretary. The UMMS FAL is Dr. Bob Englander, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education.
(ISA) Independent Student Analysis: The ISA Survey is an on-line survey of students regarding their perceptions across all levels and areas of the educational mission. A combination of required and school-specific questions serve to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses important to the student body. The ISA Student Committee worked extremely hard over the fall 2018 semester to develop the survey, which was distributed in January 2020 and received extremely high response rates for all classes and campuses! The results of the survey will be compiled into a Summary Report by the ISA Student Leaders, to be submitted as part of the official LCME Self-Study Package. In addition, the report will be shared with medical school community and informs a variety of efforts by medical school leadership to address areas of weakness and capitalize on areas of strength.
(DCI) Data Collection Instrument: The DCI is the document containing detailed narrative and data on the 12 LCME Standards with responses compiled from faculty and staff across the institution.
Adapted from the LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School: LCME.ORG