med school probation

what does it mean when a med school is put on probation? how does that affect your chances for residency, etc…
concerned in philly,

Hi there,
When a medical school is placed on probation by LCME, it means that there are problems with curriculum or the teaching of that curriculum that threatens the education of the students who are paying good money to attend that school. If a high number of students are not passing or are not passing USMLE Step I, that will send a red-flag to the LCME which might result in probationary status for your school. If your medical school is on probation, they have a certain amount of time to demonstrate that they can fix the problems or lose accreditation. Once accreditation is lost, you will not be eligible for residency in any of the residency programs that are certifed by the ACGME.
If accreditation is not achieved after a probationary period, all students who are currently attending the medical school under question will not be eligible to apply for residency in ACGME-certified residency programs. This is why the student body should make an concerted effort to have student representation on all academic committees and good communication with the adminstration when it comes to academic matters. It is in the interest of students to make sure that everything that is asked of them during the site visits by the LCME is answered as completely and truthfully as possible.
I was part of a committee that assisted with the site visit by the LCME at Howard University College of Medicine. We made sure that the administration cooperated with the LCME and presented an accurate portrait of our educational experiences at Howard. Howard came through the LCME accreditation process with a 100% rating and is accreditated for the next seven years. Serving on the committee was difficult and tension-filled but a necessary part of being a member of the academic community and student leadership.
Residency programs at a particular institution may be placed on probation by the ACGME. This type of probation has nothing to do with the individual medical school and affects those residents who are currently undergoing post-graduate training in the various residency programs if they should lose accreditation by ACGME. If they are in a residency that loses accreditation, these residents will not be eligible to take the specialty boards for the various specialties. Again, only the residents are affected and not the medical students unless the medical school itself, is on probation by the LCME and fails their inspection.

If your medical school is on probation by the LCME, you need to make sure that the problems are corrected. You need to demand that the administration be held accountable for your education as that is why you are paying to attend that school. If you think that the problems are not going to be solved, you may want to investigate the possibility of transferring to another school. Do be aware that such transfers are very difficult to achieve and are only done generally at the end of second year and after USMLE Step I is passed. If your school loses accreditation before you get to the point of being eligible to take USMLE Step I, you are going to have to start over with the acceptance process. sad.gif
P.S. For prospective medical students, you may want to go to the LCME website and look at the schools that are on probation and decide if you want to take the risk of not being able to get into a residency if you should apply and attend one of these schools that does not remain accredited.

Holy Canoli's!!! What web site is that Nat?

QUOTE (futrfysician @ Feb 15 2003, 12:16 AM)
Holy Canoli's!!! What web site is that Nat?

Hey Folks,
The LCME website LCME Website is where you can find out information on the accreditation status of any medical school and the medical student's role in the accreditation process.