Pathology Course Director Perspectives of a Recent LCME Experience: Preparation in an Integrated Curriculum With the Revised Standards

Acad Pathol. 2017 Jan 27:4:2374289516687070. doi: 10.1177/2374289516687070. eCollection 2017 Jan-Dec.


Preparation for a Liaison Committee of Medical Education (LCME) accreditation site visit is a daunting task for any medical school, particularly for medical schools that have adopted integrated curricula. The LCME accreditation is the standard that all US and Canadian allopathic medical schools must meet in order for the school to award the degree of medical doctor. The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) recently underwent a full-scale LCME accreditation visit that was conducted under the newly revised LCME standards and elements. The site visit occurred just 5 years after our school began implementing a totally revised, organ system-based curriculum. Preparing for a critical, high-stakes site visit shortly after transitioning to a totally revised, integrated module-based preclerkship curriculum presented an array of new challenges that required a major modification to the type of preparation, communication, and collaboration that traditionally occurs between course directors and departmental chairs. These included the need to ensure accurate, timely communication of curricular details to different levels of the academic administration, particularly as it related to the execution of self-directed learning (SDL). Preparation for our site visit, did, however, provide a novel opportunity to highlight the unique educational experiences associated with the study of pathology, as pathology traverses both clinical and basic sciences. Sharing these experiences may be useful to other programs that are either undergoing or who are preparing to undergo an accreditation visit and may also aid in a broader communication of the highlights or initiatives of educational activities.

Keywords: LCME; course director; integrated curricula; medical school pathology curriculum; preparation for site visit.