Timeline of LCME Accreditation
Overview of Educational Quality Improvement (EQI) Unit
The Educational Quality Improvement (EQI) Unit within the School of Medicine’s Academic Affairs leads continuous quality improvement initiatives, including the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation process. Sara Kim, associate dean for educational quality improvement and research professor of surgery and Marilyn Cope, director of EQI, are leading the effort.
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredits medical education programs leading to the MD degree in the United States and Canada. LCME accreditation is a voluntary, peer-reviewed process of quality assurance. To achieve and maintain accreditation, a medical education program must meet 12 established standards:
Standard 1: Mission, Planning, Organization and Integrity
Standard 2: Leadership and Administration
Standard 3: Academic and Learning Environment
Standard 4: Faculty Preparation, Productivity, Participation, and Policies
Standard 5: Educational Resources and Infrastructure
Standard 6: Competencies, Curricular Objectives, and Curricular Design
Standard 7: Curricular Content
Standard 8: Curricular Management, Evaluation and Enhancement
Standard 9: Teaching, Supervision, Assessment, and Student and Patient Safety
Standard 10: Medical Student Selection, Assignment, and Progress
Standard 11: Medical Student Academic Support, Career Advising, and Academic Records
Standard 12: Medical Student Health Services, Personal Counseling, and Financial Aid Services
Additional information on the specific requirements for compliance for site visits in 2017-2018 can be found in
Functions and Structure of a Medical School.
LCME Self-Study and Site Visit
To demonstrate compliance with the 12 standards, a team of LCME peer reviewers participates in a site visit. This visit to the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) will occur in March 2018.
The review team uses the following sources of information to determine compliance:
Self-Study Report: A report from the UWSOM summarizing its self-review findings.
Data Collection Instrument (DCI): A report that contains UWSOM’s narratives responses to questions as well as data and supporting documentations to demonstrate compliance with the LCME standards.
Independent Student Analysis: A team of students, independent of the administration, surveys the student body on various educational programmatic aspects and summarize findings in a formal report.
AAMC Graduate Questionnaire: A survey of graduating medical students conducted by the Association for American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The UWSOM data are benchmarked based on national averages.
Additional Supporting Evidence: Additional supporting evidence, such as internal data reports, may be provided to the site visit team to demonstrate the program’s compliance with LCME’s standards.
Goals for the Accreditation Process
The LCME accreditation process has 5 general purposes:
Regulatory: The achievement or maintenance of accreditation provides access to federal funding, medical licensure of graduates through eligibility for national licensing examinations, and status among peer institutions.
Continuous Quality Improvement: Through the evolution of the accreditation standards based on peer input and the reflective nature of the self-study, schools are assured of opportunities to improve their programs on a regular basis.
Organizational Learning Tool: Through their participation on self-study committees, students, faculty and staff have an opportunity to learn about many aspects of their institution. The institution’s designated individuals can also serve as members of national survey teams that visit other medical schools. Site visitors learn from other schools’ solutions to common educational challenges that could generalize to the local educational context.
Agent of Change: While accreditation standards are typically oriented toward ensuring that basic systems and outcomes are in place at a medical education program, ideally they can also serve to promote efforts on the part of the profession to address areas in medical education that have historically been resistant to change.
Language for a Culture of Quality: As accreditation standards and elements become widely known and are frequently discussed in the medical education community, they serve to identify areas that require ongoing monitoring or have historically been challenges in medical education. For example, questions such as, “How are we doing with the element 3.3 can be overheard and trigger discussions about the complex issues related to diversity in the learning environment.
To learn more about these five purposes, please review the
UWSOM’s History of Accreditation
The last site visit occurred in March 2010. In its accreditation decision, the LCME elected to continue accreditation of the medical education program for an eight-year term. LCME identified numerous strengths of the program. Partial or substantial non-compliance with the LCME’s standards led the school to strengthen the follow programmatic areas.
- Diversity among faculty and department chairs
- Career Counseling
- Student Mistreatment
- Study and Lounge Space
- Affiliation Agreements
- Delay in Clerkship Grades
UW Medicine Insight Articles on School of Medicine Accreditation
Contact and LCME Resources
Educational Quality Improvement (EQI) Unit
Dr. Sara Kim, associate dean, Educational Quality Improvement, research professor, Department of Surgery
Marilyn Cope, director, Educational Quality Improvement
Treela McKamey, administrative manager, Educational Quality Improvement
EQI email address: