SLU medical school placed on probation by accreditation agency

Saint Louis University's medical school has been placed on probation following a visit from the accreditation agency.

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Saint Louis University’s medical school has been placed on probation following a visit from the accreditation agency.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) visited the Saint Louis University School of Medicine in October 2016. Following the visit, LCME placed the school on probation after finding areas of concern in SLU’s medical education program.

Dr. Kevin Behrns, the Dean of SLU’s School of Medicine, said he was initially surprised by the report, but said the assessment was “fair”.

“While we'd like to think the students' education wasn't impacted, it's a little hard for us to determine that exactly. Going forward, we need to make that assessment,” Behrns said.

The deficiencies can be found in documentation, organization and curriculum management.

“Curriculum management, we have some significant work to do around those deficiencies," he said. "For example, we need to make sure every course has learning objectives and that we measure those students on learning objectives. We identify the gaps where we thought the objective was clear, but the students didn't perform as well.”

Behrns said he is confident the program deficiencies have not and will not have an impact on the ability of the doctors coming out of the program.

“When they take the national board exams here, they perform very well, which is a good assessment of our education,” he said.

But the probationary status could be an impact on SLU’s recruitment.

“We're concerned this may impact the quality of students. And we'll certainly have to work harder at recruiting.”

The faculty and staff have already developed a team and a plan to address the deficiencies. According to the LCME’s letter, “if there is not sufficient progress toward compliance with the cited accreditation standards within 24 months, the LCME may choose to withdraw accreditation.”

SLU’s School of Medicine will host a series of town hall meetings for current students bring up any questions or concerns.

While the university remains accredited, the issues must be addressed within the next two years or LCME can choose to withdraw accreditation.

“These areas of concern do not involve patient care through SLU’s physician practice.” The University said.

SLU’s School of Medicine’s website about the LCME accreditation: http://www.slu.edu/lcmeaccreditation/

The Dean for the School of Medicine released this message,

Dear SLU School of Medicine Supporter:

Thank you for your interest in our LCME remediation process and for visiting the website. We welcome your input throughout this process. Though we are disappointed in the results of the LCME assessment, we will use this learning opportunity to become an improved medical school.

What lies before us is an opportunity to create a more robust learning organization.  To do so, we will enlist input from a wide variety of stakeholders including alumni, faculty, students, staff, and extramural experts. Collectively, we own our results, and, collectively, we will improve.  As a learning community, we accept this challenge graciously.  

Our remediation will be characterized by wide engagement, transparency, meticulous attention to detail, teamwork, data-driven decisions, and a sense of urgency.  We seek to rapidly resolve issues in our educational program.  

We look forward to gathering your ideas and thoughts about transforming our School of Medicine into a model medical education program.  Visit this site frequently for updates about our progress.  Alternatively, please feel free to drop us a note at: som-deansoffice@slu.edu.

Again, thank you for your interest and support.  Let’s get to work.

Best wishes,

Kevin Behrns, M.D.
Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, School of Medicine

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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