For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

From the Dean: Our LCME reaccreditation is official!

We just received the long-awaited findings of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) regarding the accreditation of our medical education program that leads to the M.D. degree, and the news is wonderful! We have been granted continued full accreditation for an eight-year term (the maximum permitted under LCME rules) with the next full survey visit by the LCME scheduled to occur during the 2029-2030 academic year (the visit likely will occur in March or April of 2030). We did have a number of issues cited that we have been addressing, and we will need to provide a follow-up status report to the LCME regarding those issue by August 15, 2024. Even so, the request for submitting such a status report is quite standard after an accreditation visit, and the fact that the LCME is allowing us almost two years until the status report is due is further evidence that there is no major concern at the LCME regarding our medical education program. Importantly, none of the cited areas is a surprise to us, and we have already been hard at work addressing all of them.

The success of our accreditation effort is due, in my opinion, to two major factors – the dedication, hard work, and commitment of a fantastic team of faculty and staff; and the involvement and ownership of a continuous improvement process by several teams of medical students who diligently worked with us to identify problem areas, formulate remedies and solutions, and then oversee the implementation of the suggested adjustments and changes. With both groups working together and in coordination, a successful outcome comes as no surprise.

We don’t, however, intend to rest on our laurels. There is more work to be done to address the identified areas of concern. Perhaps the most challenging of these is the lack of patient diversity experienced by our students during their clinical rotations. I’ve discussed this issue here before, and our students are right in expressing concern about this aspect of their medical education – they do tend to see a relatively homogenous patient population in the clinic and hospital. But that experience reflects the relatively homogeneous population of North Dakota. We have implemented a variety of approaches to expand our students’ experiences in this domain, but we need to do more. We are exploring various options to ensure that our students feel fully prepared to care for a diverse patient population in residency and beyond after they graduate.

Finally, I hope that you will pause at 11 a.m. today to join me and our SMHS family in remembering and thanking the countless veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and defended our freedoms over the years. Called Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other countries, Veterans Day recalls and celebrates the signing of the armistice that ended World War I that occurred at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (November) in 1918. I proudly served in the U.S. Army for two years long ago, first as a battalion surgeon for an air defense artillery unit in the Republic of Korea and then as an internal medicine specialist at the 121 Evacuation Hospital in Seoul, Korea. I salute my fellow veterans (especially UND President Andy Armacost) and thank them for their service. I hope that you will too.

Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
Vice President for Health Affairs, UND
Dean, UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences