Frequently Asked Questions

What is the scope and purpose of LCME accreditation?

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 U.S. and Canada, these programs are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The accreditation process is a voluntary, peer-reviewed process of quality assurance that determines whether the medical education program meets 12 standards consisting of 93 elements.

Most state boards of licensure require that U.S. medical schools granting the MD degree be accredited by the LCME as a condition for licensure of their graduates. Eligibility of U.S. students in MD-granting schools to take the U.S. 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). For U.S. medical education programs, accreditation by the LCME establishes eligibility for selected federal grants and programs, including Title VII funding administered by the U.S. Public Health Service.

(Excerpted from the LCME website.)

How often does LCME occur?

Generally, LCME accreditation occurs every eight years. UCSF received its last letter of accreditation in 2011. If the LCME has concerns about a school’s ability to meet accreditation requirements, they may offer a provisional accreditation and return prior to the eight-year cycle.

What steps are involved in the LCME process?

The accreditation process occurs over 18 months and consists of an institutional self study ending with a peer review/site visit. These steps include the following:

  1. Completion of a Data Collection Instrument that contains the school’s response to meeting 12 standards and 93 elements.
  2. Student body completes an Independent Student Analysis (ISA).
  3. Institutional Self-Study Task force consisting of several sub-committees receives the DCI and ISA to write self-study reports and a summary report.
  4. Three-day visit by a group of Faculty Members/Deans from other medical schools who review the school’s submitted documents and interview faculty, students, and residents

What are the components of accreditation?

Schools are asked to meet 12 standards consisting of 93 data elements. These 12 standards span the entire mission of the medical school and cover the following topics:

  1. Mission, Planning, Organization and Integrity
  2. Leadership and Administration
  3. Academic and Learning Environments
  4. Faculty Preparation, Productivity, Preparation, and Policies
  5. Educational Resources and Infrastructure
  6. Competencies, Curricular Objectives, and Curricular Design
  7. Curricular Content
  8. Curricular Management, Evaluation, and Enhancement
  9. Teaching Supervision, Assessment, and Student and Patient Safety
  10. Medical Student Selection, Assignment, and Progress
  11. Medical Student Academic Support, Career Advising, and Educational Records
  12. Medical Student Health Services, Personal Counseling, and Financial Aid Services

What were the findings of the last UCSF School of Medicine accreditation cycle?

UCSF received full accreditation in 2011.

Who sits on the LCME Institutional Self Study taskforce?

The LCME Institutional Self Study task force is comprised of approximately 120 Associate Deans, Department Chairs, senior staff, and faculty who either have expertise in certain aspects of the accreditation elements, or whose outside perspective can provide independent oversight and advice.

The Task Force is chaired by Dean Talmadge E. King, Jr., MD and Karen Hauer, MD, the Associate Dean for Assessment and Faculty Accreditation Lead. Catherine Lucey, MD, Executive Vice Dean for Education is the Executive Sponsor. Kelly Smith Kao is the Site Visit coordinator and can answer any administrative questions.

How will/does LCME affect me and my team?

Faculty and staff may be asked to provide data for the Data Collection Instrument. Initial calls for data will be due by October 15, 2017 and October 15, 2018. During the site visit taking place on January 27-30, 2019, all medical education staff are asked to be available if needed to support the LCME site visit.

How can I help prepare for the LCME process?

The LCME process is a wonderful opportunity to learn about our school and commit to continuous improvement. We encourage you to read the monthly LCME bulletins so you understand how your role in medical education helps us maintain our U.S. accreditation.

Please understand that during this 18-month process, the school may discover areas that require process improvement which we will want to implement prior to January 2019. We appreciate your patience, flexibility, and commitment to helping us master all LCME standards.

At times the LCME task force may need to book conference rooms and reschedule key meetings or dates to accommodate the LCME process. Be flexible, patient, and understanding!