Frequently Asked Questions

The LCME was founded in 1942 to unify the separate accreditation activities of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association (AMA).


The LCME accredits complete and independent medical education programs whose students are geographically located in the United States or Canada or the required portions of their education, and which are offered by universities or medical schools that are chartered and operated in the United States or Canada.


For schools that are fully accredited, the re-accreditation cycle is eight years.

When considering the accreditation status of a medical education program leading to the MD degree, the LCME may at any time take any of the following actions:


  • Grant an accreditation status (accredited; accredited, preliminary status; accredited, provisional status)
  • Continue an accreditation status, with or without specifying the term of accreditation
  • Continue an accreditation status, with a shortened accreditation term
  • Continue accreditation, but place the program on warning
  • Continue accreditation, but place the program on probation
  • Deny accreditation
  • Withdraw accreditation


The LCME may also require one or more follow-up activities (limited survey visits, completion of an action plan, and/or completion of status reports, with or without accompanying consultations by the LCME Secretariat) if it determines that the program is in unsatisfactory performance in one or more elements, is not in compliance with all accreditation standards, or if the LCME has identified areas that require monitoring where the final outcome could result in noncompliance with one or more accreditation standards or unsatisfactory performance in one or more elements.

We had a full accreditation visit in 2013 right before the first class entered the newly designed Integrated Pathways Curriculum. Because the site visit was on the previous curriculum, we had a follow-up, limited site visit in 2015 on the new curriculum.  As a result of that visit, we cleared our citations and were accredited until our next schedule accreditation visit which begins February 21, 2021. 

Full accreditation reviews, culminating in a full survey visit, typically occur on an 8-year cycle and consist of the following steps:


  1. Completion of the data collection instrument (DCI), the independent student analysis (ISA), and compilation of supporting documents
  2. Analysis of the DCI and other information sources, including the ISA, by an institutional self-study task force and its subcommittees, development of self-study reports in each area, and synthesis of the individual reports into an institutional self-study summary report
  3. Visit by an ad hoc survey team and preparation of the survey report for review by the LCME
  4. Action on accreditation by the LCME

The review of a medical education program is based on the 93 elements that are associated with the following 12 accreditation standards:

Standard 1 (mission, planning, organization, and integrity)

Standard 2 (leadership and administration)

Standard 3 (academic and learning environments)

Standard 4 (faculty preparation, productivity, participation, and policies)

Standard 5 (educational resources and infrastructure)

Standard 6 (competencies, curricular objectives, and curricular design)

Standard 7 (curricular content)

Standard 8 (curricular management, evaluation, and enhancement)

Standard 9 (teaching, supervision, assessment, and student and patient safety)

Standard 10 (medical student selection, assignment, and progress)

Standard 11 (medical student academic support, career advising, and educational records)

Standard 12 (medical student health services, personal counseling, and financial aid services)

The medical school compiles and submits a “survey package” to the LCME Secretariat that is reviewed by the survey team. The survey package includes a number of documents, many of which include data and information from students:


  • DCI: The data collection instrument includes the medical school’s responses to questions for each accreditation element. It is organized by accreditation standard and element.
  • The institutional self-study summary report is the medical school’s own analysis of its performance in each of the accreditation elements.
  • ISA: The independent student analysis (ISA) contains the results and analysis of a student-developed questionnaire that contains LCME-required questions and which allows students in all class years to identify strengths and areas for improvement at their institution.
  • The AAMC Medical School Graduation Questionnaire (AAMC GQ) is a survey completed by fourth-year medical students that contains both the medical school’s results and national comparison data.


In addition to the documents being submitted as part of the survey package, data from both the ISA and the AAMC GQ are incorporated into the DCI.

Dr. Fredric Volkert, PhD

The FAL is a senior faculty member who holds an administrative position and who is knowledgeable about the medical school and its educational program. This individual should be able to identify institutional policies and information sources and ensure participation by members of the administration, faculty, and student body before and during the survey visit.

The FAL is expected to:

  • Assure that the DCI is completed fully and accurately and that all narrative DCI responses are integrated into a cohesive, factually- and stylistically-consistent document that accurately reflects the institution
  • Coordinate and ensure adequate support for the ISA
  • Coordinate the activities of self-study subcommittees
  • Ensure the self-study executive summary is complete and answers all questions
  • Serve as the school’s primary point of contact for the LCME Secretariat and survey team secretary

Taryn Toval-Turpin

The SVC is the primary administrative lead who manages logistics prior to and during the survey helps to oversee and support the self-study process leading up to the survey visit.

There are five LCME Self-study Sub-Committees each with co-chairs and members.  Each of the committees is responsible for evaluating one or more LCME standards.  This evaluation is through the completion and refinement of the DCI and writing a subcommittee report on their assigned standards.  The Self-study Committee Chairs are responsible for coordinating this activity and producing the refined DCI and report.  The DCI and reports are then used by the LCME Task Force and Steering Committee to write the institutional self-study report which is submitted along with the DCI to the LCME survey team before their visit to Downstate in February 2021.

The five Sub-Committees and chairs are as follows:

Institutional Setting (Standards 1 and 2)

Faculty (Standard 4)

Educational Resources (Standard 5)

Educational Program (Standard 6 and 7)

Medical Students (Standards 3, 10, 11, and 12)

Each of the five LCME Sub-Committees has a membership made up of faculty and staff and may include students and residents as appropriate. 

The members are required to work with their co-chairs to review and edit the DCI and help write the sub-committee report which is then sent to the LCME Task Force and Steering Committee who use the materials to write the institutional self-study report that is sent to the survey visitors.


Each of the five LCME Sub-Committees is supported by administrative staff who help with meeting and other logistics.

At the same time that the medical school initiates its self-study, the student leadership begins a process to collect and review topic areas relevant to students, including the medical education program, student services, the learning environment, and the adequacy of facilities and other educational resources. The ISA process consists of the creation and dissemination of a student opinion questionnaire and the development of a report (the ISA) that includes the questionnaire results and an analysis and interpretation of the responses. These items relate directly to accreditation elements and the results are included in the medical school’s DCI. In addition, the medical school’s performance in these elements is reviewed during the self-study process.

The Task Force and Task Force Steering Committee are appointed by the Dean and are tasked with reviewing and analyzing relevant sections of completed DCI and preparing survey report that along with the DCI and ISA go to the Survey Visit Team from the LCME.

They are implement changes to correct issues identified in the self-study process.