Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)
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Frequently Asked Questions

 What is the scope and purpose of LCME accreditation?

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredits medical education programs leading to the MD degree in the United States and Canada. 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. 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 were the findings of the last Feinberg School of Medicine accreditation cycle?

Feinberg School of Medicine currently holds full accreditation from the LCME. The last full survey visit was in 2013. The next full survey visit is scheduled for April 18–21, 2021.

 What steps are involved in the LCME process?

The accreditation process occurs over 18-24 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
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