In the final step of a journey that began some seven years ago, WMed has been granted full accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
LCME, the national accrediting body for educational programs leading to the MD degree, granted the medical school full accreditation for a five-year period during its meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Five years is the maximum possible for a new school receiving its initial full accreditation.
Hal B. Jenson, MD, MBA, the founding dean of WMed, shared the news recently with the medical school’s Board of Directors, faculty, residents, staff and students, and expressed his appreciation for the work of numerous stakeholders that made the important milestone for the medical school possible.
“The granting of full accreditation by the LCME is a key step in our journey as an institution and represents a ringing confirmation that the MD degree program at WMed is sound and meets nationally accepted standards of educational quality,” Dr. Jenson said. “We all should be very gratified with this accomplishment.
“Together, we make WMed an outstanding place to learn, teach, care for patients, work, and innovate.”
WMed began preparing for LCME accreditation in 2011 as the medical school was still in the planning stages. In 2012, the LCME granted preliminary accreditation to WMed, which allowed for the continuation of development efforts as well as student recruitment and the acceptance of applications for the medical school’s Class of 2018 and future classes.
More recently, the medical school was granted provisional accreditation from the LCME in June 2016.
The process for full accreditation included the submission in July 2017 of more than 2,800 pages of required documentation to the LCME. In October, the medical school hosted a comprehensive, three-day survey visit.
Dr. Jenson said he was very appreciative of the more than 125 faculty, residents, staff, and medical students who met with a survey team from the LCME during their visit in October. He also said he was thankful for the work of numerous people at WMed who have been a part of developing, implementing, and improving the medical school curriculum, processes, and policies over the last several years to ensure the institution was accreditation-ready.
“This news represents an achievement that has been part of our planning since the earliest days of the medical school’s development,” said Michele Serbenski, associate dean for Planning and Performance Excellence. “It is an affirmation of our efforts, that we as an institution have done the right things in our work toward a bright future for the medical school and our faculty, staff, and learners.”
Accreditation by the LCME, which is a peer-review process, determines whether a school’s medical education program meets established standards. The process also helps identify opportunities to improve an institution and its programs.
Additionally, most state licensing boards require that U.S. medical schools granting the MD degree be accredited by the LCME as a condition of licensure of the school’s graduates. U.S. medical schools also must have LCME accreditation to ensure that their students can take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Graduates of LCME-accredited schools are eligible for residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Next month, on Friday, March 16, 2018, Match Day for members of the medical school’s inaugural Class of 2018 will be held at the Bernhard Center at Western Michigan University. Match Day is a time-honored event during which medical students learn where they will spend the next three or more years in residency training. It is anticipated that many graduating students will match to the residency programs at the medical school and continue their careers here.
On Saturday, May 12, the medical school will host a Community Open House from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus to honor of the Class of 2018. The next day, on Sunday, May 13, 2018, the Class of 2018 will graduate from WMed during a ceremony at Miller Auditorium that will be open to the public.