LCME probation...hmm

I just received an e-mail from one of the medical schools reviewing my application. They wrote to disclose that their most recent accreditation review resulted in a 2-year probation from the LCME. They assured that they will have all items addressed during the current academic year, that they remain fully accredited during the probation period, and that they also received accolades from the reviewers in several key areas such as instruction, faculty, etc.

I am wondering, however, “How common is such a probation?” “Should this alter my decision to pursue admission to this school?” What’s bewildering to me is that the school in question is a highly prestigious, highly competitive, private school. I’m not sure just how to react.

Well, it’s my alma mater and I was a little shocked to hear this story on the news while driving to work the other day. You can read a fairly informative story from the Washington Post, here.

School officials quoted in the story imply that it was a lot of silly little nit-picky stuff, like community doctors who work with GWU students not completing their paperwork. Having seen this system at work, that’s certainly a claim I can readily believe. On the other hand, probation is such a draconian measure that I have to figure that there must be more substantive concerns than the ones addressed in the article, or else there was a pretty significant accumulation of minutiae.

I graduated from GWU in 2004 and it was a GOOD solid medical school. I certainly didn’t see anything that led me to think it was on a downward spiral. The dean, Jim Scott, is a great guy and there are a lot of fantastic people there. So I am pretty surprised at this action.

By the time you would enter next year, they’ll be a year into a two-year probation period, presumably with the expectation that the probation would be lifted. So I would not be concerned about whether it would have an impact on your marketability as a graduate of the program.

Sorry I don’t have the inside story on this; I wish I did because I was very proud to attend and graduate from GWU and felt that I got an excellent medical education. I was VERY well-prepared for my intern year - far better than many of my intern colleagues - and I am confident that GWU’s educational standards have not changed that much since I was there.

So, I dunno what the backstory is but I honestly don’t see it affecting candidates for admission… unless maybe it gets easier to get into if some people are scared away!


Thanks, Dr. Renard. Of course, I selected GW because of its reputation for producing some of the best physicians anywhere. And, I’ve followed match day at the same school for the past three years noting that they have a tremendous 1st choice match rate. Perhaps those should be added to the standards for accreditation. Pass rates on national licensing exams are considered critical criteria for curriculum evaluation where I have been teaching. This circumstance is strange to say the least…