Changes on tap as Keck School self-evaluates before accreditation visit

The Keck School of Medicine of USC is in the midst of a self-evaluation process in preparation for an accreditation site visit next year from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which accredits medical schools in the United States and Canada.

The Keck School received the maximum eight-year accreditation in 2010. In preparation for the Nov. 12-15, 2017, visit, the school’s faculty, staff and students began the process of self-evaluation in July 2015 to identify the school’s key strengths as well as areas that can be improved.

Donna Elliott, MD, EdD, senior associate dean for student and educational affairs, said that about 100 faculty and staff members volunteered to participate in one of a dozen self-study groups. The groups are organized around key topics and areas the LCME has identified as standards for accreditation such as facilities, the curriculum, the admissions process and other services and programs that serve students and faculty. Georgianna Newell, continuous quality improvement and accreditation administrator at the Keck School, said the groups will cite strengths and make recommendations for improvements in their respective areas to prepare for the LCME visit.

Elliott pointed out that three new positions were added to the Keck School administration based on student feedback. Jason Murillo, MA, MLS, was hired as the assistant director of financial aid planning and recruitment, Chantal Young, PhD, director of medical student wellness, will oversee programs and services to support student well-being and Stephanie Zia, MD, is the newly appointed assistant dean for career advising.

While the faculty and administration always are making improvements to the Keck School, Frank Sinatra, MD, assistant dean for faculty development and faculty lead for the LCME review, noted that the LCME presents a unique opportunity to take an in-depth look at policies and practices by soliciting feedback from a large group of faculty and students.

“The LCME process gives us another opportunity to make positive change,” Sinatra said. “And though they have requirements to meet, our goal is to go above and beyond what they require.”

by Hope Hamashige

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