Message from Dean Richardson: Thank you

Dean Mark Richardson01/30/12  Portland, OR

Dear School of Medicine Community:

More than a year ago, I wrote to you about preparations for our January 2012 site visit from the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME), the accrediting authority for MD degree education programs. This recent full accreditation four-day site visit – which last occurred in 2004 – has now just concluded.

We won’t be notified of the results of the full accreditation process for several months. And as such, it’s premature to discuss or speculate about the outcome. However, even in advance of the formal LCME response, we can – and should – take great pride in our accomplishments associated with the accreditation process.

The accreditation process required a comprehensive self-study. This process helps us assess our education mission – taking stock of where we have been, evaluating our current performance, and developing information and strategies to shape our future.

The survey team commended us on the thoroughness and credibility of the resulting self-study report. They noted that we independently identified areas of strength as well as those needing attention that were largely in agreement with their evaluation. This ability to honestly evaluate ourselves is important in ways that go beyond our accreditation process. Success in the rapidly changing external landscape – health care reform, new educational models, shifting research priorities – depends on becoming an institution able to continually and accurately assess evolving strengths and weaknesses, and then to plan accordingly.

Equally significant is that the organization and coordinated effort underlying our accreditation process is a strong testament to what the School of Medicine can accomplish when we work together. Hundreds of faculty, staff and students helped to complete our self-study analysis and also met with the LCME survey team. The ability to execute nimbly on a plan in an institution of our size and complexity is an uncommon trait that will help differentiate us as we continue to evolve.

The kickoff event for any LCME site visit is a private discussion among the medical school Dean and the survey team members. This past week, at the close of our nearly two-hour conversation, the survey team asked me pointedly if I had anything additional I wanted to share with them. I told them that the OHSU School of Medicine was truly a special place. The collegiality among us and the quality of the clinical, research and academic activity of our faculty, staff and students were exceptional. I hoped they would have the chance to learn this first-hand.

On the final morning of their visit, I reminded the survey team what I had said four days earlier; and they let me know they agreed that OHSU was a very special place. That’s because throughout their visit, all of you – faculty, staff and students – demonstrated that uniqueness.

Thank you to everyone involved directly with the work associated with the LCME process. Thank you also to all of you engaged in the missions of our school – through your work, your intellectual creativity, your friendship and your advocacy. You are what makes the OHSU School of Medicine a great place. 

Best Regards,

Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson, MD, MBA
Dean, OHSU School of Medicine
President, Faculty Practice Plan