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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the LCME?

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the reliable authority for the accreditation of medical education programs leading to the MD degree in the United States or Canada. In short, LCME accredits U.S. allopathic medical schools. The LCME is jointly sponsored by the American Medical Association and the American Association of Medical Colleges, and derives its authority from the Department of Education.

What is LCME accreditation?

LCME accreditation is a voluntary, peer-reviewed process of quality assurance that determines whether the medical education program meets established standards. Accreditation signifies that national standards for structure, function and performance are met by a medical school's education program leading to the MD degree. Accreditation by the LCME establishes eligibility for selected federal grants and programs. Most state boards of licensure require that U.S. medical schools be accredited by the LCME as a condition for licensure of their graduates. Eligibility of U.S. students to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) requires LCME accreditation of their school. Graduates of LCME-accredited schools are eligible for residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Why is LCME accreditation important?

It is required by the Department of Education for financial aid eligibility, physician licensure and entrance into accredited residency. It directly impacts medical school reputation and resource allocation. The LCME also keeps the medical education mission at the forefront of institutional decisions, taking into account continuous data-driven quality improvement and student opinions. Accreditation site visits occur every 8 years.

What are the key concepts of LCME accreditation?

  • Standards and Elements - Twelve standards must be met, and contain 6-10 elements
  • Independent Student Analysis (ISA) - Student driven analysis of institutions strengths and weaknesses
  • Data Collection Instrument (DCI) - Quantitative catalog of the school's data, policies and procedures
  • Institutional Self-Study (ISS) - Internal evaluative two-year review involving multiple subcommittees and culminates in a report to the LCME prior to the site visit

Who oversees accreditation activities and readiness?

Our accreditation is led by a task force, the Accreditation Advisory Group, composed of:

  • Amy Waer, MD, FACS, Jean and Tom McMullin Endowed Dean, & Executive Dean for Education and Academic Programs
  • Teresa Isbell, PhD, Assistant Dean for Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Kim Meschke, MEd, Director for Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Destiny Startz, MBA, Program Coordinator for Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Jeremy Gibson, MD, Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
  • Gail Pritchard, PhD, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Pre-Clerkship
  • Danielle Dickey, EdD, Director for Academic Affairs

What is the role of students in the process?

Students play a critical role in the accreditation process. Students from every class of the college are actively involved in the accreditation process, particularly in the independent student analysis (ISA) survey and report. This is a vital element of the accreditation process, and the college needs every medical student to participate in the survey. Each opinion and feedback information provided helps the school decide where quality improvement efforts can be most effective. In short, student participation in LCME accreditation will affect the experience of all future medical students at Texas A&M.