North Texas Daily

HSC’s medical school one step closer to full accreditation

HSC’s medical school one step closer to full accreditation

HSC’s medical school one step closer to full accreditation
July 10
19:47 2021

The university Health Science Center’s School of Medicine received provisional accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, paving the way for the next steps the program must take to achieve full accreditation. 

Medical programs in the United States which lead to the Doctor of Medicine degree must go through an accreditation process and must fulfill all 12 standards in the LCME’s Functions and Structure to a Medical School directory to be considered for accreditation status. LCME accreditation is a standardized process designed to assure the quality of a school’s education.

Receiving an accreditation status by LCME helps medical students to gain access to residency programs upon graduation and allows schools to participate in federal grant programs including Title VII funding, a federal program designed to promote medical education in rural and underserved areas. Graduating from an accredited medical program is also required for students to obtain a medical license in the state of Texas. 

“Medical schools are held to rigorous standards to assure that all of the graduates have the skills needed to be able to provide safe and compassionate care to patients,” Assistant dean of curriculum Dr. Jo Anna Leuck said.

The School of Medicine has a current enrollment of 240 medical students and was established in Fort Worth in July 2015 by the university’s Health Science Center and Texas Christian University. It received preliminary accreditation by LCME in October 2018 and initiated an inaugural class of 60 medical students in July 2019. The school received provisional accreditation on June 21. 

“As the inaugural class, we have been trailblazing this aggressively forward-thinking model of training, so receiving the next step of accreditation validates the work we have done as a community to build this school,” said Dilan Shah, a second year medical student and inaugural student body president. “I was a part of the grueling accreditation interviews from the LCME and am comforted that they were able to appreciate the special aspects of this school that drew me here in the first place.”

The program has already initiated the process of preparing for full accreditation, with the next survey by LCME to be expected in the 2022-2023 academic year. The school hopes to receive the distinction by 2023. 

“There is an 18 to 24 month lead up period where we gather all required information about the curriculum and school, including many quality metrics and provide those to the LCME for review prior to a site visit,” Leuck said. “The medical students will also be involved and will prepare a report about their view of the school and its readiness.”

The school hopes the provisional accreditation will enhance the relationship it has with the current student body, as well as encourage prospective medical students to consider the campus when choosing a medical school to attend.

“[Students] should feel confident if they choose to train here,” Shah said.Our shortened didactic curriculum, early immersion into real clinical medicine starting week one, robust clinical skills education and so much more are designed to make you a competent and compassionate physician [and] the LCME seems to agree.” 

The School of Medicine joins 11 other Texas medical schools in the LCME list of accredited programs and stands with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine on the provisional level.

“This [accreditation] is going to have an impact,”  said Dr. Danika Franks, assistant dean for student affairs. “It will boost [students’] alignment and identity with the school. As we continue to move towards full accreditation, and have our inaugural class graduate in 2023, this will allow students to move forward to the next level of becoming residents and eventually practicing physicians.”  

Courtesy The University of North Texas Health Science Center

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Ryan Cantrell

Ryan Cantrell

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