LCME Accreditation

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredits all medical schools in the U.S. and Canada every eight years. It is jointly sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association.

LCME logo

Re-accreditation assures our stakeholders that our medical education program meets or exceeds nationally accepted standards of quality. As such, the Medical School aims to ensure it meets the standards of accreditation set by the LCME and to identify opportunities for program improvement. 

  • Process Overview
  • Spring - Fall 2018
  • Spring - Summer 2019
  • Spring 2020
  • Process Overview

    Prior to the Site Visit we will be undergoing an intensive Self-Study that involves representatives across the institution. These individuals will collect and review data, identify our strengths and challenges, and assist in the development of action plans to improve the educational program. The next steps are as follows:

  • Spring - Fall 2018

    Completion of a data collection instrument (DCI) and an independent student analysis (ISA)

  • Spring - Summer 2019

    Analysis of the DCI, ISA, and other information sources by an institutional self-study task force and its subcommittees, for integration into a summary report to be submitted to the LCME in fall 2019.

  • Spring 2020

    Visit by an ad hoc survey team and preparation of the survey team report for review by the LCME. This is followed by Action on Accreditation by the LCME.

FORESIGHT 2020: An LCME Newsletter

LCME Banner

This newsletter will be published monthly and showcase the "Standard of the Month" as well as other important updates as we gear up for the site visit in April 2020.

July 2019

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty:

We are now closing a little over nine months until our site visit. In this month’s LCME newsletter, we highlight the third standard. This standard at first glance seems a hodge-podge of expectations but perhaps can be summed into a central theme: the learning environment. We are working on a lot of fronts to optimize the learning environment-from our efforts to build diversity, to increasing student reporting when things do not go well (see below), to clinical learning environment rounds where we observe students in their authentic settings and help sites make improvements. We have visited four sites over the last year, including a recent trip to Duluth to visit the Essentia system and St. Luke’s Hospital. I am always inspired by the number of faculty and staff I meet across our state who are sincerely dedicated to ever-improving the student experience, and by the gratitude of the students even as they offer constructive criticisms in the spirit of improvement.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions. (

With gratitude,


With Gratitude:

The next couple of months will see final work being done on the Data Collection Instrument (DCI) in preparation for it to be formatted, reviewed, and collated for submission to the LCME in December. For the people who worked on the initial draft, this means going back into the DCI to provide revisions, corrections, and in some cases, significant re-writes resulting from sub-committee recommendations, new or changing program structures, or data reflecting the upcoming 19-20 academic year.

As a result, the amount of time and effort that has gone into the DCI by individuals across the medical school, including our affiliated sites, cannot be overstated. By our last estimate, more than 200 people have been engaged in providing content for the Self-Study. A couple of quotes help to highlight this effort:

“I would love to acknowledge the hard work of providing the correct data for the DCI and participating in reviewing responses and participating in workgroups that our Duluth Campus administrative team has done. Dr Robin Michaels, Dr Kevin Diebel and our former campus administrator, Jim Keith provided the majority of our Duluth Campus information while incorporating the extra work into their regular heavy load of teaching and administration.”
Paula M. Termuhlen, MD, Regional Campus Dean

“The Clerkship Directors and Coordinators have played an integral part in collecting data, reviewing information, and answering the 10,000 LCME-related surveys sent.”
Jess Blum, PhD, Director of Integrated Education - Clinical Sciences

“The Course Directors, 1Health Team, and Jamie Larson have significantly contributed to collecting data and reviewing responses to questions in the DCI. They have been willing to help, no matter the ask, at every step of the way and we truly appreciate this substantial effort; one that is in addition to their daily responsibilities. Working with this group of educators has truly made this difficult and complex process a team effort, and for that, we thank them.”
Kelaine Haas, PhD, Director of Integrated Education - Foundational Science

Chances are, if you engage with someone in medical education administration, they have played an integral part deserving of our gratitude and we thank each and every one of them.

Standard 3

Standard of the Month: Standard 3 (of 12): Academic and Learning Environments

What's the Theme?

This month we move to Standard 3 of 12.  In this Standard the topics address broader institutional efforts around scholarly work, appreciation for, and programs to facilitate diversity, and methods for community members to address circumstances that might interfere with the successful achievement of those goals.

Specifically, Standard 3 states:

“A medical school ensures that its medical education program occurs in professional, respectful, and intellectually stimulating academic and clinical environments, recognizes the benefits of diversity, and promotes students’ attainment of competencies required of future physicians.”

What are we doing well?

The LCME understands the value and importance of having students interact with residents during their medical education program. Element 3.1 looks specifically at the instances of student-resident interaction during the clinical years.  Interactions with residents provides students with an opportunity to see, first hand, what the next stage of their training will encompass.  With over 900 residents and fellows across our sites, we know that every one of our medical students will interact with residents on at least one of their clinical rotations. Resident engagement enhances the learning environment and provides students with critical information they can use as they weigh their own options for residency selection. In addition, student evaluations of residents who supervise them are consistently quite high. 

What are we working on?

Element 3.6 addresses the ways a medical school minimizes incidents of student mistreatment and how it handles those incidents when and if they do arise.  Responses by graduating students on the AAMC Graduation Questionnaire around experiences of mistreatment have generally been better than the national average with the exception of responses about inappropriate remarks (language of a sexist, LGBT-specific, or generally demeaning nature). These responses are in contrast to the number of mistreatment complaints submitted by students to school officials. In addition, the Independent Student Analysis (ISA) distributed last January showed that clinical students were less satisfied with the procedures for handling mistreatment than we would like to see.

Efforts are being made to increase awareness of mistreatment: what constitutes mistreatment; how to report it; and reducing the fear of reporting.  

These include:

  • Adding or increasing topics on mistreatment during new student orientation and clinical transition activities  
  • Developing a new, more comprehensive Mistreatment Policy
  • Increasing the number and visibility of links on the medical school web pages for reporting alleged violations
  • Providing additional means for clinical students to report harassment and mistreatment in a real-time, immediate, and anonymous manner, through mobile apps and other technology
  • Adding topics on mistreatment and harassment to all clerkship orientations 
  • Developing questions on student evaluations of faculty and residents that more specifically address topics on the learning environment

Our last site visit was in 2012. Fun tech facts from that year include:

  • Apple released its mapping service in iOS, replacing Google Maps as the default mapping service
  • T-Mobile acquired MetroPCS
  • Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion

June 2019

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty:

We are now closing in on ten months until our site visit.  In this month’s LCME newsletter, we highlight the second standard. This is particularly rewarding as we see a standard that resulted in a citation in 2012 and has now become a real strength.  We hope to have lots more of these successes based on everyone’s hard work for this self-study cycle.

Speaking of hard work, we want to express our gratitude for the incredible work you all are doing to make this site visit a success.  Today we begin a column entitled “With Gratitude” to do just that.  We will highlight a group of participants each month.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions. ( 

With gratitude,

With Gratitude:

When reflecting on the work that’s been done in preparation for our Site Visit in April 2020, it’s amazing to see how many people and areas are involved in supporting the Self-Study process. Whether through participation on committees, writing sections of the Self-Study materials, or providing essential information, many people across the medical school and its affiliate partners have gone above and beyond to ensure that the school is successful. Throughout the remainder of the Self-Study, this newsletter will highlight groups and individuals to express gratitude for their commitment.

This month’s expression of gratitude goes to the more than 75 faculty, staff, and students who comprise the five Self-Study Sub-Committees. Take a moment to review the committee lists and, for those you may know, thank them for their service.

These committees were charged with critically analyzing specific questions posed by the LCME and writing summary reports to form the basis for an Executive Summary. The committees have been meeting since January and are now wrapping up their work. They have provided exceptional analyses, identifying what we’re doing well and key opportunities for improvement. Their hard work is one of the cornerstones of our accreditation work and it is with extreme gratitude that we thank them.

Standard 2

Standard of the Month: Standard 2 (of 12): Leadership and Administration

What's the Theme?

We move from the institutional strategic plan (Standard 1) and overall governance structure to the role faculty play in achieving the components in that strategic plan and in overall governance. Standard 2 covers such topics as faculty appointment policies and procedures, access and authority of the Dean, sufficiency of administrative staff and integration of faculty into Standing Committees.

Specifically, Standard 2 states:

"A medical school has a sufficient number of faculty in leadership roles and of senior administrative staff with the skills, time, and administrative support necessary to achieve the goals of the medical education program and to ensure the functional integration of all programmatic components.”

What are we doing well?

One outcome from our previous LCME accreditation in 2012 was a citation of Non-Compliance with the sufficiency of key leadership positions. This was due to a significant amount of turnover and/or vacancies in leadership positions within the Dean’s Office and other key organizational units.

A number of efforts have been put into place to resolve this citation including:

  • 2013: successfully recruiting and filling the positions of Vice Dean for Medical Education, Associate Dean for Admissions in the Twin Cities, and an Associate Dean for Student Affairs & Admissions in Duluth
  • 2014: Approval to create an Assistant Dean for Student Affairs position on the Twin Cities Campus and increases to the number of faculty advisors to meet student needs
  • 2015: Increased collaborative efforts between Student Affairs on the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses to better address student needs across campuses
  • 2014-present: Over the past five years, we have surveyed our students on both campuses regarding their levels of satisfaction with support from Student Affairs, and have shown year-over-year improvement. On our most recent survey (spring 2018) response rates were all above the 95th percentile on satisfaction for all classes and across both campuses. This is a remarkable accomplishment!

What are we working on?

While there is always room for improvement, Standard 2 does not currently have any notable action plans associated with it.

Our last site visit was in 2012. Fun sports facts from that year include:

  • Serena Williams won her first Olympic singles title and did not lose a set in the Olympic tournament.
  • Texas A&M Freshman quarterback, Johnny Manziel, was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
  • The U.S. women's gymnastics team, coined the "Fierce Five," won Olympic gold for the first time since 1996.
  • Mike Trout became the AL Rookie of the Year and MVP runner-up with the Los Angeles Angels.

May 2019

Welcome to your first edition of our LCME update.  We are now less than a year away from our site visit!

As your Faculty Accreditation Lead (FAL) I want to thank all of you who have been a part of the enormous amount of work to get us where we are today.  We have completed the first draft and its revisions of the Data Collection Instrument (DCI) and the Independent Student Analysis (ISA) that together provide the data for us to be able to answer the questions in our Self Study Guide to address our areas of strength and weakness.  We are laser focused on our two major goals for this visit:

  1. No surprises--we want to identify all of the potential areas for concern so that we can be actively addressing them when the site visitors arrive.
  2. An eight-year accreditation decision!

Towards the first goal, each month we will share with you one of the 12 standards and identify a few of the areas of strength and areas for improvement.  We want this to be a transparent and learning process for the organization.

I appreciate in advance all of the hard work that is upcoming in this next twelve months, and am confident we are well on the way to reaching the educational vision for the University of Minnesota Medical School:

A community, learning together to prepare exceptional physicians to improve the health and well being of Minnesota and beyond.

With gratitude,

Standard of the Month: Standard 1 (of 12): Mission, Planning, Organization, and Integrity

What's the Theme?

The 12 Standards are organized to flow from the level of the institution to the level of the student. So, it's not surprising that the first Standard covers topics such as the medical school's Strategic Plan, the Constitution and Bylaws, the overall structure of governance, including faculty participation in such governance, and our agreements with affiliate partners.

Specifically, Standard 1 states:

"A medical school has a written statement of mission and goals for the medical education program, conducts ongoing planning, and has written bylaws that describe an effective organizational structure and governance processes. In the conduct of all internal and external activities, the medical school demonstrates integrity through its consistent and documented adherence to fair, impartial, and effective processes, policies, and practices."

What are we doing well?

UMMS has a strategic plan originating in 2014 to create a culture of excellence in education, patient care, and research. An area we sought to grow and foster through this strategic plan is relationships with affiliate partners and community stakeholders. One of the many ways we have pursued that goal has been by increasing our longitudinal integrated clerkships by expanding to three of our major partners: The Veterans Administration Hospital, Health Partners, and HCMC. This meets our institutional strategic goal to provide education advancing all aspects of medicine through innovative teaching and learning practices that set national trends.

As an extension of the institutional Strategic Plan, a major initiative to develop an Undergraduate Medical Education Strategic Plan was completed in 2018. The development of this UME strategic plan engaged over 500 students, faculty, health system leaders, alumni, and staff. The UME Strategic Plan defines seven principles and their respective goals to guide the medical school into the future of medical education. We are almost through our first year objectives and many of us from across all of our sites and both campuses are working on the 2019-2020 Academic year objectives now.

What are we working on?

As is the case with any effective strategic planning, on-going revision and renewal is essential. A process is being developed to review the Institutional Strategic Plan in order to clarify progress on established objectives and revise aspects as needed to reflect current priorities.

Finally, a substantial effort is being undertaken to review and revise the medical school's constitution and bylaws to ensure they accurately represent the structure, roles, and responsibilities of the school and its members.

Our last site visit was in 2012. Fun facts from that year include:

  • Before 2012 the largest buyer of kale in the US was Pizza Hut, and they only used it as garnish around their salad bar.
  • The Hunger Games and The Avengers were released.
  • The average cost of a gallon of gas was $3.60.
  • Snapchat and Instagram were launched in the Android Store.

April 2019

A Message from Dean Tolar

To be, or not to be. There is no question. That is the importance of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation.

Today marks the beginning of our one-year countdown to the LCME Accreditation Site Visit.


I would like to thank all of you—faculty, staff, and students—who have already contributed to and are hard at work preparing parts of the institutional self-study. This is a tremendous effort, and greatly appreciated.

In the year to come, we will all be asked to participate in this effort in one way or another. Our challenge is to capture the excellence of this Medical School and to address the areas we will be working to improve (whether identified by student survey or through the critical analysis of our education program already conducted). It is a challenge that I know you will meet with the commitment you show in your daily work.

Bearing in mind the importance of accreditation, I would like to ask everyone to please engage when asked. We will need timely responses to requests for information, active membership in committees, and willing participation in the site visit itself.

To keep you informed of the progress of the work, to ensure transparency, and to generate discussion, we will post updates on our LCME landing page.

I know that you support the efforts of the Medical School in many ways and that this is added on top of your already significant workload. I hope you know that your work and time are valued, respected, and critically important.

Please join me as we start this year of reaffirming our commitment to excellence, improvement, and the drive to meet the needs of our changing world.

For more information:

Joseph Oppedisano, D.Ac.
Director of Accreditation
(612) 625-4114