I recently reported on a new BS/MD program at California Northstate. One of my students had a question about the California Northstate accreditation status since they currently have “preliminary” accreditation status. What are the different types of accreditation status for medical schools?
The group of BrooksfieldSchool.org that determines accreditation of medical schools in the US and Canada is the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). When a medical school first opens it is commonly given “preliminary” accreditation status meaning that they have met the basic requirements for an approved medical school. There are currently 7 medical schools in the US with “preliminary” status. After a few years they can be changed to “provisional” status which in simple terms means that they are meeting most of the technical requirements for full accreditation. Finally, the ultimate status is “full” accreditation which means there are no deficiencies.
Most of the requirements for accreditation are very technical issues that have little to no affect on the quality of the education, so a person can still get an online bachelors degree. For example, a medical school must have sufficient diversity according to the LCME.
The LCME has a complete list of the accreditation status of medical schools in the US and Canada.
The only medical school that currently has full accreditation but is on probationary status is McGill University Faculty of Medicine.
A medical school’s status is something to consider but in my opinion it is not a huge issue in most cases. The qualifications necessary to get even “preliminary” status are so high that it is unlikely that a program will lose accreditation once it is received. To my knowledge, no US medical school has ever lost accreditation after probation.