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IU School of Medicine focuses on reaccreditation and curriculum renewal

Dec. 1, 2016

Faculty, staff and students are engaged in a carefully organized process to ensure that the IU School of Medicine receives a positive recommendation after the Liaison Committee for Medical Education reaccreditation survey visits the school in April 2017, Dean Jay L. Hess told the IU Board of Trustees at its meeting in Bloomington this week.

Medical students

Medical students at work at the IU School of Medicine at IU Northwest. | PHOTO COURTESY OF IU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE 

The medical school reaccreditation occurs every eight years. Hess, who is also vice president for university clinical affairs, said the process has become significantly more challenging since the school's last review in 2008. Among the changes, he said:

  • The School of Medicine's class size has increased by 30 percent, to 352 in the fall of 2016.
  • All nine School of Medicine campuses now offer four years of training -- no longer just Indianapolis.
  • The LCME has increased the stringency of its review process, which has resulted in adverse findings at more than a third of schools of medicine reviewed in recent years.
  • The school must manage an increasingly complex, statewide system with 40 health care affiliates, 2,000 full-time and 3,200 part-time faculty and 36,000 grades that need to be issued in a timely fashion each year.

With such LCME requirements as one centrally managed curriculum, comparable opportunities and support at all campuses, and a positive and respectful learning environment, substantial effort has been put into a revision of the School of Medicine's curriculum, Hess said. 

He outlined some of the key points of the revised curriculum, which is applicable to all campuses:

  • Integration of basic science and clinical experiences to provide students with earlier patient interactions that help tie the science curriculum to patient care.
  • Improved advising and mentoring.
  • An emphasis on inter-professional learning activities with peers in other health care fields.
  • Use of the nation's first electronic medical records system developed for medical student education.
  • Adoption of a pass-fail grade system.

The reaccreditation process is built on a self-study program covering 12 LCME standards encompassing 95 elements. An array of improvement teams has been at work identifying problems and preparing improvement plans with timelines, milestones and metrics. (For details about the process, visit the School of Medicine's accreditation web site.)

Among many other requirements, the LCME wants evidence of a functioning strategic planning process, and Hess provided the trustees with an overview of the school's strategic planning goals.

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