Monday, March 17, 2014

KU School of Medicine receives full, eight-year accreditation

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – The University of Kansas School of Medicine has received the results of its recent accreditation review. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) awarded the school full accreditation for the next eight years, which is the most number of years possible for re-accreditation.

But the accreditors, who visited the school’s three campuses in Kansas City, Wichita and Salina in October 2013, cited the school for two areas of non-compliance and said the school must demonstrate progress in six other areas by August 1, 2015.

“Overall, this is a very good report. We’re especially proud of two strengths the LCME noted,” said Douglas Girod, M.D., Executive Vice Chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center. “First, they commended our innovative educational programs to address the state’s needs for rural physicians, and second, they noted our robust faculty professional development efforts.”

Girod said the school will work to resolve the issues for which it was cited: a lack of diversity on the faculty and a lack of call rooms and dedicated storage facilities for medical students at The University of Kansas Hospital. He said school officials had anticipated the diversity citation. “We need to increase diversity and inclusion in all areas, which is why it’s an ultimate goal of our strategic plan,” he said. The LCME’s full report is posted here.

Girod also addressed media reports that the school’s accreditation could be threatened without a new education building on the Kansas City campus. The LCME did not issue a citation, but instead listed facilities concerns under the category of “Compliance, With a Need for Monitoring,” meaning the accrediting body expects to see demonstrated progress by August 2015.

“Based on comments from LCME visitors last fall, we anticipated a citation for lack of facilities appropriate for our curriculum. We are fortunate they didn’t issue a citation, but the accreditors made it clear this is an area that needs immediate attention,” Girod said.

According to the LCME findings, students and faculty express dissatisfaction with “inadequate seating, particularly in the first year lecture hall and the number of small group classrooms that limit the school’s ability to fully incorporate active learning on the Kansas City campus. There is currently a plan for a new educational building; however, the funding for the facility has not yet been secured.”

“The LCME said we are still in compliance, but that we need to fix the problem,” Girod said. “In August 2015, they won’t be satisfied with ‘we’re working on it.’ We need to show real progress on our building project in the next 17 months.”

Girod said school officials are continuing discussions with Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature about the importance of the new building.

“The KU Medical Center is a tremendous asset for our state. We look forward to ongoing conversations and are committed to working with KU officials on how to address these concerns so as to avoid any future issues with accreditation,” said Sen. Ty Masterson, Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.