Well folks, it is time for the LCME Site visit (Feb 20-22). For those of you who have not been paying close attention, LCME is the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, and it is the accrediting body for the MD program. They look broadly at the school, its finances, its leadership, its faculty, and of course all things MD student education. In preparation, Eve Colson, Associate Dean for Program Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement (PECQI), Leslie Blaylock, Director of PECQI, and the entire PECQI team have compiled a more than 500-page document called the Data Collection Instrument or DCI. Of course, they had tremendous help from the admissions office, the Office of Medical Student Education, the Ed Tech and Innovation Unit, Student Affairs, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and countless individuals. Over the past weeks, we have met with many of you who will be part of this visit to review what to expect and to answer any questions you have. We appreciate everyone’s interest and support of this process.
Here is what you need to know – we have an AMAZING school. Why do I say this? First, I get to see the massive amounts of data we have accumulated while assembling the DCI, from our ongoing PECQI processes, and from talking with our students. This data clearly and consistently demonstrates that our students are highly satisfied with their education, excelling academically, have immense opportunities, and succeed both in the Match and in their residencies (yes, we get feedback on that). They feel supported, cared for, and they know we listen, take their feedback seriously, and use it to continually improve on what we are doing. In addition to data, I have seen firsthand the passion and commitment that each and every one of the people involved in the LCME site visit brings to what they do in support of our students, our medical school and the academic mission. It is truly remarkable.
Of course, we have things that we need to improve on. Many we have been actively at work on. We saw concerns about timely access to mental health care and have added additional providers, reminded students about their access to 24/7 counseling through NexGen, and are working on online scheduling (a complex problem given we contract with multiple external providers). We had concerns about standardized reporting of mistreatment so launched the SAFE program and educational modules last year and the EF task force on culture and climate was assembled last month. We have made iterative and important improvements in the Gateway Curriculum including enhancing content in pharmacology and microbiology and making changes to specific modules and clerkships. We received concerns about student spaces in the hospital and worked diligently to correct them with marked improvement in student satisfaction. Finally, we have learned from our students that we could broaden our debt counseling services, so the office of financial aid has started a series of educational events on things like buying a house, living on a budget, and others. More issues will show up. That is inevitable. What matters is that we are committed to continually improving – as people, as a program and as a school.
I am so very proud of this school, this community, our students, and the work we have done to prepare for this visit. While I am sure it will not be perfect, we have A LOT to be proud of. The fact that we were able to achieve all of this while dealing with a pandemic and curriculum renewal is frankly astounding. Thank you for all you do and have done to support the educational mission and our students at WUSM!