For Release: November 6, 2013
Contact: Derik Hertel, (603) 650-1211 or

Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine Receives Full Eight-Year Accreditation

Hanover, NH—The nation's sole medical school accrediting body, the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME) has granted the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine a full eight-year term of accreditation—the longest available from the LCME.

Sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association (AMA), the LCME is the accrediting agency in the United States and Canada for medical education programs leading to an MD degree. Accreditation signifies that strict national standards are met by a medical school's education program.

"We're very excited to receive the full eight-year accreditation, which speaks to the current strength of Geisel's medical education program," says Geisel Dean Chip Souba, MD. "I commend the leadership of Dr. Rich Simons and Dr. Rand Swenson, who - along with a team of faculty, staff and students across the institution—did a terrific job on the LCME self-study in a very short time frame. Achieving full accreditation is not an easy task, especially today as the LCME has gotten much tougher and are holding schools more accountable to increasingly stricter requirements."

Swenson led a committee of faculty, staff and students who spent a year preparing the comprehensive self-study that was followed by an intensive four-day, on-site assessment visit by LCME representatives in March of this year.

"Rand did an amazing job in his role as coordinator of the LCME self-study process," says Rich Simons, MD, senior associate dean for medical education. "He provided the overall coordination of the LCME self-study process in a very logical and thoughtful fashion. Most impressive, he actually initiated efforts during the self-study to assist the institution in attaining compliance in many areas. His dedication, execution and loyalty to Dartmouth was readily apparent to me during the entire process."

"The self-study is the true definition of a team effort," says Rand Swenson, MD, Geisel LCME coordinator and professor of anatomy. "I am indebted to the committees that addressed specific sections of the self-study, as well as the leadership of these committees. I would also be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the efforts of our students in their independent self-study and the work of the course and clerkship directors, and of the many student and academic support offices who dealt with the demands of accreditation with equanimity."

In a letter to Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon, LCME leaders noted that one of Geisel's strengths is that "Souba and Simons are strong leaders and have initiated a robust process of comprehensive change in all mission areas and in particular curriculum and curriculum management." In its initial report earlier this year, the LCME also lauded the medical school's financial aid program and its commitment to reduce student debt burden. Geisel medical students graduate with debt levels lower than the national average.

The LCME also noted several areas that Geisel needs to improve to remain in compliance with their requirements, including, among others:

  • Greater attention to active learning and independent study in the curriculum
  • Monitoring academic and clinical workload on students (duty hours)
  • Developing a plan to improve diversity among students, faculty, and staff, and tracking progress
  • Maintaining a learning climate centered on student success
  • Increasing inter-professional, cross-disciplines educational opportunities
  • Ensuring clerkship (clinical rotations) comparability across sites

The medical school has already taken action to address many of these concerns and will provide progress reports to the LCME in the coming years.

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, founded in 1797, strives to improve the lives of the communities it serves through excellence in learning, discovery, and healing. The nation's fourth-oldest medical school, the Geisel School of Medicine has been home to many firsts in medical education, research and practice, including the discovery of the mechanism for how light resets biological clocks, creating the first multispecialty intensive care unit, the first comprehensive examination of U.S. health care variations (The Dartmouth Atlas), and helping establish the first Center for Health Care Delivery Science, which launched in 2010. As one of America's top medical schools, Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine is committed to training new generations of diverse health care leaders who will help solve our most vexing challenges in health care.

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