What is the Liaison Committee on Medical Education?
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit medical schools in the United States and Canada. It has joint oversight by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) but is an independent organization.
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree in U.S. and Canadian medical schools. The LCME is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA). The LCME’s scope is limited to complete and independent medical education programs whose students are geographically located in the United States or Canada for their education and that are operated by universities or medical schools chartered in the United States or Canada. LCME accreditation is a voluntary, peer-reviewed process of quality assurance that determines whether the medical education program meets established standards. This process also fosters institutional and programmatic improvement.
Why is accreditation important?
Accreditation signifies that national standards for structure, function, and performance are met by a medical school's education program leading to the M.D. degree. LCME accreditation establishes eligibility for selected federal grants and programs, including Title VII funding administered by the Public Health Service. Students and graduates of LCME-accredited medical schools are eligible to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). These graduates also have eligibility to enter residencies approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Graduating from an LCME-accredited U.S. school and passing the national licensing examinations are accepted as prerequisites for medical licensure in most states.
Getting Ready for LCME Review
What happens during an LCME review?
The medical school must conduct a thorough self-study and submit a large database of information. The medical school students conduct an independent student analysis of the School of Medicine and provide their results to the LCME. An LCME Site Survey Team then visits the school for four days to question faculty, administrators, staff, and students about all aspects of the medical school program, resources, and facilities. Additionally, they will meet with students privately and tour the school's facilities.
What takes place during the mock and actual site visits?
To better understand that, please go to our Site Visit Schedule. Both the mock visit and real site visit will follow this schedule.
When do we learn the LCME’s decision?
At the end of the site visit, the team will report its major findings to the Dean and Augusta University President. Within the following few weeks they will submit their full report to the LCME Committee. Then the LCME Committee will discuss the report and reach a decision about the type and length of accreditation to give the School of Medicine.
How long will it take to prepare?
It takes approximately one year of planning and two years of concentrated effort to prepare for the visit. Three big components of the preparation process that are completed during that time are the LCME Medical Education Database, the Institutional Self-Study, and the Independent Student Analysis.
Who will conduct the Self-Study?
Approximately 150 faculty, staff, and students will serve on the Institutional Self-Study Subcommittees and create the final Self-Study Report. The Institutional Self-Study Executive Task Force will also include University leaders and deans, faculty from across Grounds, and School of Medicine alumni.
Why Accreditation Matters
Why does accreditation matter?
Accreditation allows a medical school to award M.D. degrees and establishes eligibility for federal funds (including Title VII funding). It also allows students to participate in the AAMC’s application process, to take the USMLE, and to apply to ACGME residencies.
What is the term of full accreditation for a medical school?
Eight years, although schools with serious accreditation deficiencies may be accredited for shorter terms.
Who makes accreditation decisions?
The 19-member LCME Committee makes the decision. The members, who are chosen by the AAMC and the AMA, are medical educators and administrators, practicing physicians, students, and public members. The operations of the LCME are carried out by two secretariats, one at the AAMC and the other at the AMA.