Accreditation is a peer-review process that determines whether a school’s medical education program is in compliance with nationally-accepted standards of medical education quality.
To achieve and maintain accreditation, a program leading to the MD degree in the U.S. and Canada must meet the standards in the LCME’s Functions and Structure of a Medical School. Programs must show that graduates exhibit certain professional competencies that will serve as the foundation for lifelong learning and proficient medical care in order to begin the next stage of training.
The LCME regularly reviews the content of its standards and elements, and seeks feedback on the standards’ validity, importance, and clarity from members of the medical education community. Changes to existing standards are reviewed by LCME’s stakeholders and are considered in a public hearing before adoption.
Accreditation by the LCME in the U.S. establishes eligibility for some federal grants and programs. And most state licensing boards require accreditation as a condition for granting licensure of their graduates. Additionally, a school must be accredited in order for their students to be eligible to take the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) and for graduates to qualify for residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).