Scope and Purpose of Accreditation
Scope of the LCME
Medical education programs leading to the MD degree in the United States and Canada are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The LCME’s scope is limited to complete and independent medical education programs whose students are geographically located in the United States or Canada for their education and that are operated by universities or medical schools chartered in the United States or Canada.
Purpose of LCME Accreditation
LCME accreditation is a voluntary, peer-reviewed process of quality assurance that determines whether the medical education program meets established standards. This process also fosters institutional and programmatic improvement. To achieve and maintain accreditation, a medical education program leading to the MD degree in the United States and Canada must meet the LCME accreditation standards contained in the LCME document Functions and Structure of a Medical School. Programs are required to demonstrate that their graduates exhibit general professional competencies that are appropriate for entry to the next stage of their training and that serve as the foundation for lifelong learning and proficient medical care. While recognizing the existence and appropriateness of diverse institutional missions and educational objectives, the LCME subscribes to the proposition that local circumstances do not justify accreditation of a substandard program of medical education leading to the MD degree.
For medical education programs located in the United States, accreditation by the LCME establishes eligibility for selected federal grants and programs, including Title VII funding administered by the U.S. Public Health Service. Most state boards of licensure require that U.S. medical schools granting the MD degree be accredited by the LCME as a condition for licensure of their graduates. Eligibility of U.S. students in MD-granting schools to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) requires LCME accreditation of their school. Graduates of LCME-accredited schools are eligible for residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).