November 08, 2012
|Glen Cox, M.D. Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education|
Recently, Dean Karen Miller wrote in this space about the KU School of Nursing's successful visit from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the school's accrediting body. My congratulations go out to all School of Nursing faculty, staff and students who made the site visit so successful. But I admit I'm a little jealous - in the School of Medicine, we have just begun preparing for a visit from our accrediting body, and we won't be finished for another year.
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) will visit our campus in October 2013. Between now and then, hundreds of people at every level throughout the school will have served on some accreditation-related committee, reviewed key aspects of our curriculum, worked to ensure we are meeting all standards, or provided information to Anne Walling, Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Associate Dean for Faculty Development in Wichita, who is tasked with writing our final report. In the periodic rite of passage known as accreditation, nearly everyone in our school will participate in one way or another as we consider what we do well and what we need to improve.
We know we are an excellent medical school. Our last full reaccreditation visit in 2005 was a huge success - only a single area of "partial or substantial noncompliance" and two "areas of transition" were identified, and we received accreditation for the full eight-year cycle. However, we are a different institution than we were, having significantly expanded our educational programs in Wichita and added a new campus in Salina. We also know that in recent years the number of accreditation standards have increased, along with the expected levels of documentation of compliance. At the same time, the LCME site visitors have become much more thorough and rigorous. Today, the average number of citations following an LMCE visit is between six and eight, and the number of schools on probation at any given time ranges between three and six.
In recent months, we have identified some key areas where we know we must demonstrate progress. We know, for example, that the site visitors will be intensely curious about the comparability of the educational experiences and outcomes among our three campuses. We also know that there are concerns about the adequacy of our educational facilities. We have new facilities in Wichita and Salina, but in Kansas City, Orr-Major has been reconditioned several times and it's clear that we need a new building, which we are planning. We know that as models of health care delivery undergo dramatic changes, the LCME is paying close attention to the quality of educators and how students evaluate our faculty. We know that ensuring adequate resources to fund our educational mission is a growing concern in an era of state budget constraints.
Finally, we know that the LCME will be watching the leadership transition. We expect a new Executive Vice Chancellor will be named in the near future and we hope a new executive dean is in place before the site visit. But that process, like preparing for the LCME, will be lengthy. So thank you to everyone who has already begun the work, and thank you in advance to those who will be contributing to the effort in the months ahead. As Dr. Stites is fond of saying, our best greatness is ahead. Now we just have to prove that to the LCME.
Kansas will join the nation on Thursday, Nov. 15 to celebrate the second annual National Rural Health Day. There will be receptions marking the occasion on the Kansas City campus from 1-2 p.m. in the Murphy Lobby and on the Wichita campus from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Sunflower Room.