LCME Accreditation FAQ

What is the LCME?

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree in U.S. and Canadian medical schools. The LCME is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA). The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the LCME for accreditation of programs of medical education leading to the M.D. in the United States.

What’s the purpose of LCME accreditation?

The LCME accreditation process has two general aims:  (1) to certify that a medical education program meets prescribed standards, and (2) to promote self-evaluation and continuous improvement.

Why is accreditation important?

Accreditation signifies that national standards for structure, function, and performance are met by a medical school's education program leading to the M.D. degree. LCME accreditation establishes eligibility for selected federal grants and programs, including Title VII funding administered by the Public Health Service. Students and graduates of LCME-accredited medical schools are eligible to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). These graduates also have eligibility to enter residencies approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Graduating from an LCME-accredited U.S. school and passing the national licensing examinations are accepted as prerequisites for medical licensure in most states.

Who serves on the LCME?

The 17 members of the LCME are medical educators and administrators, practicing physicians, public members, and medical students. The AAMC and the AMA Council on Medical Education each appoint six professional members. The AAMC and AMA each appoint one student member. The LCME itself appoints two public members.

Who is on the LCME survey team during a site visit?

LCME is represented by ad hoc teams of evaluators who conduct on-site surveys of medical schools. Survey team members are a mix of basic science and clinical educators and practitioners. Members of the LCME and surveyors conducting field evaluations serve as voluntary, peer evaluators. The activities of the LCME are administered by two Secretariats, at AMA headquarters in Chicago, and at the AAMC offices in Washington, DC. Members of the LCME and its survey teams, excluding full and part-time staff, serve the LCME without compensation.

What makes a successful LCME survey team site visit?

One definition of a good survey visit outcome: Concordance between the educational program’s self-assessment and the team’s assessment of strengths and challenges.

A lot of effort goes into LCME accreditation. What’s the OHSU School of Medicine’s self-study goal?

We want to demonstrate compliance with LCME standards and the overall quality of our outstanding medical education program. Through our self-study process, we are assessing the impact of change, establishing our strengths, and identifying areas needing improvement. An important aspect of our self-study process is developing an action plan for any areas we identify as needing improvement. Self-study is a great opportunity to plan for the future and implement strategic transformation—it supports an environment of ongoing self-assessment and continuous improvement of our medical education program.