accredits medical schools? What standards are used to accredit schools?
the United States, the accreditation status of programs leading
to the M.D. degree is determined solely by the Liaison Committee
on Medical Education (LCME). In cooperation with the Committee on
Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS), the LCME also
accredits M.D. programs in Canada. To be accredited, programs must
meet the national standards described in the document, Functions
and Structure of a Medical School.
For further information, refer to the Overview
and Accreditation Procedures sections
of this site.
Why are there two LCME offices? Which one should I contact?
The LCME is jointly sponsored by the Association
of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Council on Medical Education of the American
Medical Association (AMA). The AAMC and the AMA each appoint an LCME Co-Secretary (known jointly as the Secretariat) and maintain accreditation offices in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, respectively. For more information on the LCME Secretariat please visit the Contacts
a list of LCME-accredited schools available to the public?
Yes, a current listing of LCME-accredited programs in the
U.S. and LCME/CACMS-accredited programs in Canada is found on this
web site in the Directory of Accredited Medical
Education Programs. Additionally, lists of accredited schools
in the U.S. and Canada are published each fall in the Medical Education
Issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
can I find information about LCME requirements for new or proposed
The document, LCME Accreditation
Guidelines for New and Developing Medical Schools describes
the minimum requirements for consideration by the LCME in order
to meet the five steps of accreditation leading to full accreditation.
Details on those five steps, as well as a listing of new medical
schools currently in the application process, can be viewed here.
Interested parties are strongly encouraged to contact
the LCME Secretariat for more detailed information.
is accreditation important?
Accreditation signifies that national standards for structure,
function, and performance are met by a medical school's education
program leading to the M.D. degree. LCME accreditation establishes
eligibility for selected federal grants and programs, including
Title VII funding administered by the Public Health Service. Students
and graduates of LCME-accredited medical schools are eligible to
take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). These
graduates also have eligibility to enter residencies approved by
the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Graduating from an LCME-accredited U.S. school and passing the national
licensing examinations are accepted as prerequisites for medical
licensure in most states.
the LCME accredit international medical schools? If not, who does?
The LCME's scope is limited to the accreditation of complete
and independent medical education programs where students are geographically
located in the United States or Canada for their education and that
are operated by universities or medical schools that are chartered
in the United States or Canada. There is no single authority accrediting
medical education programs internationally. Some countries have
their own processes for educational quality assurance or accreditation,
including the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, and others.
the LCME accredit osteopathic medical schools?
No. Osteopathic medical schools are accredited by the American
Osteopathic Association, Chicago, Illinois, 312-280-5842.
the LCME rank medical schools according to quality?
Medical schools are not ranked by the LCME, which evaluates
educational programs according to standards for organization, function,
and performance, but does not attempt to stratify institutions according
to their characteristics. Medical schools differ greatly: whether
they are private or state-supported, free-standing, or part of a
parent university. They differ in their dependence on state appropriations,
tuition, and income from clinical services and research; their relative
emphasis on teaching, research, and medical practice; the size of
their faculties and enrollments; the scope of their research and
production of future scientists and teachers; and their emphasis
on primary care and the training of future community physicians.
While the quality of education is partly determined by the organization
of programs and adequacy of resources, it also depends on the dedication
of the faculty to teaching and to creating an environment conducive
to learning. These and other important attributes may be obscured
by efforts to rank schools by such variables as their size and the
reputation of the faculty, level of research funding, or clinical
can I register a complaint about a medical school to the LCME?
Please see the Complaints and Third-party comment section
of the Contacts
does accreditation cost? How is the LCME funded?
The LCME does not collect dues or charge fees for accreditation
services, except for schools requesting initial, provisional accreditation.
The operating funds for the LCME are allocated by the AAMC and AMA
sponsors from their dues and other income. Costs related to accreditation
are equally split between the AAMC and AMA Secretariats of the LCME.
Addressing LCME Pre-survey Preparation
is my medical school due for its next full LCME accreditation survey?
Refer to the Directory of Accredited
Medical Education Programs which lists the academic year of
the next survey for each U.S. and Canadian medical school. Schedules
for full LCME surveys in the current and past years are available
online or contact either LCME office.
will our school receive materials and instructions for preparing
the medical education database and conducting the institutional
self-study in preparation for our next LCME accreditation survey?
Pre-survey materials, database materials and instructions
for completion, copies of LCME standards and rules of procedure,
and guidebooks about the self-study, the role of students, and preparation
of the survey report are shipped to medical school deans approximately
18 months prior to the scheduled date of the next full accreditation
Approximately two years before the scheduled survey visit, the LCME
will send a letter to the Dean requesting the name of the senior
administrator or lead faculty member who has been designated as
a Faculty Fellow.
is a Faculty Fellow?
The goal of the Faculty Fellow program is to provide schools preparing
for an upcoming survey visit with first-hand insight into the accreditation
process by allowing a lead faculty member to serve as a fully-participating
team member on a different institution's full survey visit. Faculty
Fellows are typically assistant or associate deans, department chairs,
or senior faculty members who will take a lead role in their program's
upcoming survey visit. Deans typically nominate the individual designated
as the self-study coordinator.
Faculty Fellow nominees should be experienced medical school administrators
or faculty members who have not previously participated in an LCME
Fellows receive training at the LCME-hosted surveyor workshop typically
held during the AAMC Annual Meeting in November. In addition, Fellows
are mentored by other members of their assigned survey team during
the survey visit. After participating on their first survey visit,
Fellows are eligible to serve on future survey teams.
medical school nominating the Faculty Fellow is responsible for
the travel and lodging expenses associated with the survey visit.
The Faculty Fellow program is limited to schools with upcoming accreditation
surveys and schools may nominate only one Fellow.
that our school's on-site visit date has been set, when will we
receive information about developing the visit schedule, hotel arrangements,
and visit logistics? Who will serve on the survey team visiting
The principal LCME Secretary will send the dean a package
of information approximately three months prior to the survey visit.
This mailing will reference the Guidelines
for the Conduct of an Accreditation Survey, which describes
the dean's responsibilities and includes a suggested schedule for
the visit. A complete list of team members will be provided at that
can I contact with questions about completing the medical education
regarding the submission of accreditation materials should be directed
to LCME administrative staff via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions regarding the completion of the Medical Education Database
should be directed to the LCME Secretariat via email at email@example.com.
help with word processing, layout, or compatibility problems, please
contact Marina Ramos, Program Manager, AMA (312-464-4662 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
What are some sources for further information on the following
programs/graduate medical education:
Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
515 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60610
of foreign medical graduates:
Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685
licensure for each state:
of State Medical Boards (FSMB)
400 Fuller Wiser Road, Suite 300
Euless, TX 76039
of USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3:
Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)
3750 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3190
medical schools (outside U.S. and Canada):
Health Organization (WHO)
525 23rd Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
to LCME Home Page