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.
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.