Medical School fully reaccredited

The School of Medicine and Health Sciences was fully reaccredited recently, receiving praise for its dean, faculty and curriculum.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education voted to reaccredit the UND medical school for eight years. The committee listed several areas of institutional strength at the school including the “vision and energy of Dean H. David Wilson” in implementing the Patient Centered Learning (PCL) curriculum at the school.

“PCL is innovative and prepares students exceptionally well for their clinical (third and fourth years) education and the practice of medicine,” the committee’s letter to UND President Charles Kupchella said.

UND’s PCL curriculum teaches medical students using real patient cases, where lectures, labs and small group work help the students learn the basic sciences behind the patient’s condition and others like it.

The committee also cited the “commitment and cooperative spirit of the volunteer faculty.” More than 900 clinical faculty members serve on a part-time or voluntary basis teaching medical students in 30 communities throughout the state during their third and fourth years of medical school.

In addition, the school’s rural opportunities in medical education was said to “help address the state’s physician workforce needs in rural areas” and that it “provides students with excellent opportunities for education in rural communities.” The committee also applauded the medical school’s focused and self-sustaining research program for its growth and strength saying it is “a model for community-based medical schools.” The Indians into Medicine program was also commended stating it has “a well deserved national reputation” while the school’s Clinical Education Center is a “model” for “clinical skills learning, assessment and improvement.”

"We are very pleased our medical education program has earned this extraordinary vote of confidence from the accreditation body for all medical schools in the nation," said Kupchella.

“I am so proud of all the great work that our administrators, faculty, staff and students do here every day,” said Wilson. “Our full reaccredidation shows that this small medical school has big ideas that produce great results.”

“This is by far the best evaluation the UND medical school has had,” said Associate Dean for Administration and Finance Randy Eken, who has been with the school for more than 25 years.

Accreditation is an evaluation that determines whether an institution meets established standards while encouraging improvement. The process includes gathering school information to submit to the committee, conducting a self-study and a several-day site visit when several members of the committee visit the school.

The U.S. Department of Education authorizes the LCME for accreditation of all programs of medical education leading to the Doctor of Medicine degree in the United States. Only accredited medical schools receive federal grants, and only students who graduate from accredited schools are accepted into accredited residency programs and may be licensed to practice medicine.
-- Amanda Scurry, public information specialist, School of Medicine and Health Sciences,, 701-777-0871