LCME Accreditation Timeline


Acronym Glossary (as defined by the LCME at

ISA: Independent Student Analysis - At the same time that the medical school initiates its self-study, the student leadership should begin a process to collect and review topic areas relevant to students, including the medical education program, student services, the learning environment, and the adequacy of facilities and other educational resources. The ISA process consists of the creation and dissemination of a student opinion questionnaire and the development of a report (the ISA) that includes the questionnaire results and an analysis and interpretation of the responses.

DCI: Data Collection Instrument - DCI consists of responses to questions for each accreditation element. The DCI, when final, includes data from the ISA and from the medical school’s AAMC GQ

FAL: Faculty Accreditation Lead - The FAL is typically a senior faculty member or senior administrator with extensive knowledge of the school and its medical education program. This individual manages the self-study process, coordinates the collection of data for the data collection instrument (DCI), and develops the survey visit schedule with the team secretary. The FAL is the primary point of contact with the LCME Secretariat and the survey team secretary.

LCME: Liaison Committee on Medical Education - The LCME accredits complete and independent medical education programs whose students are geographically located in the United States or Canada[1] for the required portions of their education, and which are offered by universities or medical schools that are chartered and operated in the United States or Canada.

LCME Survey Team: For schools undergoing a full LCME accreditation survey (requiring a Self-study and the completion of the data collection instrument [DCI]), the survey team typically consists of five or six members. The team will usually include at least one representative of the LCME (either a voting member or a member of the LCME professional Secretariat staff), at least one physician actively engaged in medical practice (“practitioner”), and one or more medical educators who possess a doctoral-level graduate or professional degree and have held a faculty appointment at an LCME-accredited medical school (“educator”). One of the team members is designated as the chair of the team. The team chair, typically a current or recent medical school dean or LCME member, functions as the official voice of the team and leads its deliberations. Another member is designated as the team secretary; he or she is responsible for visit preparations and logistics and the preparation of the survey report. The remaining team members will generally include a faculty fellow (as noted above) who functions as a regular team member. In appointing full survey teams, the LCME Secretariat makes all reasonable efforts to balance the team in terms of accreditation experience, gender, race, ethnicity, professional expertise, practitioner/educator status, and familiarity with the type of institution being surveyed.

1 The LCME considers a medical education program to be complete and independent if the LCME determines that the program meets both of the following conditions: (a) the program offers all required instructional units (courses and/or clerkships) and any needed elective activities for students to complete all degree requirements from the time of their initial matriculation into the program until the time of award of the MD degree (“complete”) and (b) the program is operated by a regionally accredited institution of higher education which is chartered by an appropriate legal authority in the United States or Canada, and exhibits sufficient structure and resources to be able to itself comply with all LCME accreditation requirements (“independent”). The terms “United States” and “Canada” refer to those geographic locations where citizens are issued passports by the governments of the United States and Canada, respectively.