Whew, our site visitors from LCME came and went the week of February 20th. For two and a half days, they met with over one hundred people- medical students, residents, faculty, staff, and administration. Our site visitors praised our hospitality and our school. Many of us feel a bit like we just ran the final leg of a marathon, but it is actually not quite over. We received the preliminary findings last week. We did remarkably well! While we won’t know for sure whether these preliminary findings are accurate (they need to be reviewed by the LCME and then discussed in detail in a June meeting of the LCME), we can say a few things that I think are pretty darn impressive and likely accurate based on the preliminary report.
First, we have done an impressive job improving our academic and learning environments, particularly as it relates to diversity. In 2015, at our last visit, we were cited for a lack of diversity among faculty and limited engagement in pipeline programs and partnerships. Under the leadership of Drs. Wilson and Ross, we have made great strides in these domains and the site visitors identified no areas of concern! Second, we have an exceptional new curriculum and excellent processes in place for monitoring the successes and areas for improvement needed. This was also an area of concern last time but this time, they seem pleased with what we are doing. The site visitors were visibly impressed with our assessment and coaching systems- as am I. Finally, we continue to provide truly outstanding services through student health and career counseling as well as library and information services.
As expected, we have some areas to work on. We need to develop better processes to support feedback to volunteer faculty. We need to ensure we have sufficient engagement from non-administrative faculty in the final admissions decision-making processes. And, while the overall curriculum is outstanding, we have several tweaks we have made as we have gone along and we just launched the final phase, so as we have done with the other phases of the curriculum, we will monitor to ensure we are getting it right. Of course, this last one we are all over thanks to our amazing educators and the superb program evaluation and CQI team.
While I, of course, wish I could say they thought we were perfect, I know of not one single school that has been told that in the last decade. When I think about what we have done- managed massive educational disruption in COVID, launched a new curriculum, and made it through what appears to be a HIGHLY successful LCME visit- it’s pretty darn impressive. Not quite a miracle, but awfully close. Thank you to each and every one of you who contributes every day to making the magic happen. Our students, residents, fellows, faculty, and staff are what makes Wash U so special, and it is because of you that we shine. I will keep you all informed as more information comes in, but congratulations on completing this important milestone.