LCME Accreditation 2018

From the Dean

During the spring and summer of 2017, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine has been focused on three major milestones in our accreditation process.

Our first milestone, to have our students conduct an Independent Student Analysis (ISA), was completed in March. The student group appointed for this task had a 100% participation rate among all four classes. This was the first time we obtained full participation, and I am delighted by how energized and engaged our students are in the betterment of our school.

The second milestone, to complete the LCME data collection instrument (DCI), was completed in June. The DCI consists of 12 overarching standards with 93 elements. The senior leadership team completed written responses to those elements, and I am pleased to share that all of these have been reviewed and discussed.

The third milestone, our institutional self-study, begins in July. Our institutional self-study will be carried out by six subcommittees of senior administrators, faculty, and students, headed by Dr. Dan Harrington, Dr. Rick Vari, and Dr. Mike Nolan. The self-study committees will use the data from the ISA, DCI, and key questions asked by LCME to analyze how well we meet the standards. The self-study summary report will provide us with an overall evaluation of the quality of our medical school program and a plan to address any challenges that have emerged from the self-study.

Although preparing for an accreditation visit can be a stressful time, the process itself is engaging, and I have always been impressed by the team work and passion that each of you brings to this effort. I will keep you informed as we continue on this journey together!

The Whys and Hows of Accreditation

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree in the United States and Canada.

LCME is jointly sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association. LCME accreditation is required in most states for licensing graduates and receiving federal financial aid.

The LCME accreditation process has two general purposes:

  1. to certify that a medical education program meets prescribed standards, and
  2. to promote institutional self-evaluation and improvement.

Accreditation is a two year process which includes planning, data collection, self-evaluation and analysis, and report writing. The process concludes with a four day on-site survey visit.

The summary report resulting from this process provides an evaluation of the quality of the medical education program, and the adequacy of the resources that support it. This report serves as the basis upon which LCME makes its accreditation decision. Their evaluation is based on 12 standards in five general areas: institutional setting (administration, governance and academic environment), educational programs, student experience, faculty, and institutional resources, including finances and facilities.

Adapted from The Self-Study Process, Harvard Medical School

Independent Student Analysis (ISA)

Pictured left: Adam Tate, Class of 2018, and chair of the Independent Student Analysis team.

Part of the accreditation process involves an independent review by student leadership of relevant topic areas, such as the medical education program, student services, the learning environment, and the adequacy of educational resources. This analysis is compiled into a report that includes results of a student opinion questionnaire and an analysis and interpretation of the findings.

The ISA team, chaired by Adam Tate, Class of 2018, completed its work last spring.


November 2017
Final Self-Study Summary Report completed

January 2-February 14, 2018
Executive Summary Report development

February 15, 2018
Executive Summary draft goes to Executive Committee

February 20, 2018
Executive Committee meets to discuss Executive Summary


Dean Cynda Johnson welcomes the more than 60 members of the six self-study subcommittees to the official kick-off.

Members of the self-study subcommittees introduce themselves at the official kick-off.

Rick Vari, who along with Dan Harrington serves as a faculty accreditation leader, shows the binders that contain the Data Collection Instrument, responses, and other important self-study resources.