UAMS College of Medicine Reaccredited for Full Eight Years

By Ben Boulden

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), a partnership between the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges, granted the reaccreditation after a four-day review that followed a rigorous two-year self-study process involving more than 100 faculty and staff members. UAMS College of Medicine last received LCME reaccreditation in 2007.

“I appreciate the work so many did in advance of the LCME reaccreditation visit,” said College of Medicine Dean G. Richard Smith, M.D. “We hold our college to high standards of medical education, but it still is rewarding to have health care professionals outside the university recognize that commitment to quality.”

From Nov. 16-19, an LCME team of five experienced medical educators from around the United States visited the college and evaluated it in relation to 131 accreditation standards. The team’s report then was reviewed by the full 19-member committee, which made the final decision for reaccreditation.

The LCME noted that the partnership between Smith and UAMS Medical Center CEO Roxane Townsend, M.D., has resulted in significant benefits to the College of Medicine. The working synergy between these two individuals has contributed, for example, to improvements in the financial status of the college.

LCME in a recent letter of notification commended the college on its “innovative instructional strategy” and the “psychological counseling and support provided” to students. It also noted that a “variety of campus-wide facilities significantly enhance learning.”

Established in 1942 to oversee medical education, the LCME includes practicing physicians, public members and medical educators, students and administrators.

Accreditation establishes a medical college’s eligibility for selected federal grants and programs. Most state boards of licensure require that U.S. medical colleges be accredited by LCME as a condition for the licensure of their graduates.

“Medical education was the original mission of the university at its founding in 1879,” said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D. “Although it has expanded to include patient care and research, medical education remains fundamental to success in those areas as well. Reaccreditation demonstrates LCME’s confidence in our ability to continue to fulfill our mission well into the 21st century.”