The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) survey team conducted an accreditation site visit at the WVU School of Medicine February 23-26, which included time spent at the Charleston and Eastern campuses. The LCME is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree in the United States and Canada. Re-accreditation is required of all medical schools every eight years. The last reaccreditation visit occurred in January 2007 when the School’s medical degree program received a full, eight-year re-accreditation.

The site survey team concluded the four-day visit with an exit interview that included Dean Arthur J. Ross III, M.D., and Health Sciences Center Vice President and Executive Dean Clay Marsh, M.D. While the findings revealed during the exit interview were preliminary, a full accreditation report will be made available to the School of Medicine in June.

Dean Ross shared his insight and gratitude to the team:

"We began preparing for this survey visit as soon as we became aware of the opportunities for improvement recognized after the last visit ended in 2007. Compliance with accreditation standards is an ongoing process and not something that requires only intermittent attention. Four years ago, we conducted our own mid-term self-study which enabled us to focus on areas that continued to require significant attention. Two years ago, we formed the leadership team that would guide us though the current survey. This group of dedicated people, led by Associate Dean Scott Cottrell and his incredible assistant Mr. Jason Hedrick, has worked diligently every day of those two years to assure that we were as fully prepared and ready as we could be. This included the preparation of a comprehensive Institutional Self-Study and an amazing Independent Student Report, which was led by fourth-year student Mr. Brendan Cline. Each of these insightful analyses was completed sufficiently ahead of time so that issues and matters identified by them were already addressed by the time the survey team actually arrived. Our work has been steady and intense but never anxious or frantic. A relaxed, fully prepared School greeted our survey visitors. I cannot even begin to express the thanks and gratitude I have to our many faculty, staff, student and administrative colleagues who have made such remarkable contributions to this team effort."

The site survey team consisted of a group of faculty colleagues from medical schools in the U.S. whom the LCME has invited to perform the survey. The survey team gathered facts and will present those to the LCME committee, which convenes in June and will make an accreditation determination at that time. The determination will be based upon the information the LCME has gathered from our fastidious documentation, as well as from the findings of the survey team itself.

Upon their departure Thursday, this experienced team of medical educators prepared an Exit Statement detailing their findings. Although subject to change by the LCME, their findings include:

  1. The School excels in its commitment to its mission of addressing the healthcare needs of the citizens of West Virginia.
  1. The School has exhibited innovative leadership limiting student debt, recruiting students from Appalachian West Virginia to provide physicians to underserved areas, restructuring the relationship with the clinical partners to strengthen collaboration and significantly enhancing infrastructure for clinical and translational research.

The remainder of the team’s findings focused on continuing opportunities for improvement but uncovered nothing that wasn’t already identified during the School’s comprehensive self-study.

In the LCME review of the survey team’s report, the committee may add, delete or modify findings of institutional strengths, areas in compliance with a need for monitoring or areas of noncompliance. It is the LCME that will make the final compliance determinations.