UCR Medical School Completes Three-Step Accreditation Process

Liaison Committee on Medical Education grants full accreditation on eve of first graduation

students looking at an IV bag

Members of the inaugural class of the UCR School of Medicine during their “Back to Basics” seminar in March 2017.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — On the eve of the graduation of the first class of medical students, the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine learned that it has been granted full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accrediting body for educational programs leading to the M.D. degree in the U.S. and Canada.

“Earning accreditation has been decades in the making,” said UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox. “It is made even more special as it happens just as we’re graduating our first class from the School of Medicine. The school’s leadership, faculty, staff, and students deserve tremendous credit for this achievement, but special gratitude is due to the Riverside community who have done so much to make this day a reality.”

“Late Thursday afternoon, I received a call from the LCME informing me that the School of Medicine had received full accreditation for the maximum period possible for a relatively new school – five years,” said Deborah Deas, the Mark and Pam Rubin Dean and Chief Executive Officer for Clinical Affairs. “This is a huge accomplishment for UCR and for the School of Medicine. What makes it even more thrilling is the timing, which will allow us to celebrate this accomplishment together at commencement with our inaugural graduating class and with the community.”

deborah deas

Deborah Deas, the Mark and Pam Rubin Dean and Chief Executive Officer for Clinical Affairs.

Full accreditation marks the conclusion of a three-step process that began with preliminary accreditation in October 2012, which allowed the school to recruit and enroll students. Provisional accreditation, the second step in the process, was granted in June 2015. The final accreditation process began shortly after provisional accreditation and included submission of the detailed background on the school’s educational program, student services, faculty matters and infrastructure, as well as an independent student analysis and self-study. The LCME survey team then visited the campus over a three-day period in February 2017.

The accreditation milestone came one day prior to the first graduation ceremony and Hippocratic Oath for the first class to enroll in the UCR School of Medicine in August 2013. On Friday evening, June 9, the first 40 graduating medical students will formally receive their M.D. degrees and doctoral hoods in the traditional Hippocratic Oath Ceremony.

They will then embark on residency training in their chosen specialties. For this class, those specialties include family medicine, psychiatry, internal medical, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, radiology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. All graduates “matched” into a residency training program, a rare 100 percent result for any medical school. At UCR, 77 percent of the graduating medical students matched into one of their top three choices, and 25 percent will pursue residency training in Inland Southern California.

“The accomplishments of this class and the endorsement of the LCME are testaments to the quality of our program and the dedication of the hundreds of faculty on campus and in the community, and the staff to the education and well-being of our students,” said Paul Lyons, senior associate dean for medical education. “This is a down payment on our commitment to expand and diversify our region’s physician workforce.”

In addition to educating medical students, the UCR medical school has partnered with area medical centers to create new residency training and fellowship programs in such specialties as family medicine, internal medical, psychiatry, general surgery, cardiovascular medicine, primary care pediatrics, and child and adolescent psychiatry. This effort capitalizes on the primary driver of physician practice location – where physicians complete their residency training.

“This accreditation is the culmination of thousands of hours of diligent work by hundreds of faculty, staff and students across the school as well as the support and advocacy of our community,” Deas said. “We can all take pride in this achievement.”

The LCME is the accrediting authority for medical education programs in the United States and Canada and is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA). The accreditation process certifies that a school’s medical education program meets prescribed standards through a process of self-evaluation and external evaluation.

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