LCME awards full accreditation to Miller School of Medicine

Dean Henri R. Ford speaks at the Miller School Class of 2022 orientation.

By Christine Morris

Dean Henri R. Ford speaks at the Miller School Class of 2022 orientation.

LCME awards full accreditation to Miller School of Medicine

By Christine Morris
Culminating "an awesome, institution-wide effort," the Miller School of Medicine is celebrating a new, eight-year cycle of full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has received full accreditation for an eight-year cycle from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

“This was a three-and-a-half-year effort, with teams of faculty and students putting their heart and soul into the process,” said Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., executive dean for education and policy. The teams conducted a fact-finding self-study of the Miller School before the first site visit by the LCME accreditation team of medical school leaders in February 2017.

After that site visit, the LCME raised some concerns that they said needed increased monitoring and plans for improvement. A group of Miller School faculty members, including course directors, developed detailed plans to address the concerns, which were in the areas of strategic planning and continued quality improvement, academic and learning environments, educational resources and infrastructure, and curricular management, evaluation and enhancement. The associate deans for curriculum — Richard Riley, Ph.D., Paul Mendez, M.D., and Gauri Agarwal, M.D. — led a significant part of this effort.

The LCME approved the plans that were developed and granted the Miller School full accreditation. The next evaluation will be during the 2024-25 academic year.

“I would like to thank every member of the Miller School family who worked so diligently to address the issues raised by the LCME,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., MHA, dean and chief academic officer. “The LCME praised the outstanding work that was done by our team to address the concerns raised during the site visit. And now our full accreditation is a milestone to be celebrated.”

Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., senior associate dean for undergraduate education, was one of the leaders responsible for the plan, and he is central to moving it forward. “This was an important process that allowed the school to reflect on what we do well and what we don’t do well to improve on those areas and ultimately make us a better school,” Mechaber said. “While we are elated by the findings, we are not letting our guard down. These are areas that we are going to continue to work vigorously to enhance and improve.”

The initiatives that were born of or strengthened by the long study process include:

• The school’s enhanced partnership with students through ongoing transparency and communication has accelerated the work of the Learner Mistreatment Council, which has representation from all areas of the school and meets monthly. Dr. Mechaber sends quarterly summaries of the council’s work to the entire student body, in addition to the ongoing “U Asked We Did” newsletter, highlighting quarterly changes made in all areas based on student feedback.

• The Office of Academic Accreditation was formed to lead and monitor the ongoing progress in the areas the LCMEpointed out. Michael A. Kolber, M.D., the faculty accreditation lead for the entire process, is director of the office. “We will be defining the priorities we need to be addressing,” Kolber said. “An important thing that came out of this process was the mistreatment task force and the progress we have made in that area. I think it made us a better institution.”

• “The biggest initiative of them all” is the renewal of the medical school curriculum. The self-study process initiated this renewal, and it began before the first LCME visit. The next generation medical education task force now consists of several planning teams imagining what teaching and learning should look like in the future.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to renew our curriculum to better prepare our graduates to become transformational leaders,” Mechaber said.

Gardner said of the entire accreditation process, “An enormous amount of effort and resources were put into this. The positive outcome has in effect freed us up to take a giant leap forward with the curricular renewal and innovation initiative.”

In reflecting on the long road to accreditation, Kolber said, “The light should shine on the education office — they work really, really hard. And it’s important to recognize that students from both the Miami and regional campuses, and from every class year, participated in the committees providing important insights and information.

“This was truly an awesome, institution-wide effort.”