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UofL School of Medicine on probation with accrediting entity

School remains accredited but asked to make several changes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 13, 2014)  – The UofL School of Medicine was notified today by its accrediting entity that it remains fully accredited with all rights and privileges, but will be in probationary status while it addresses some specific concerns. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) identified changes that need to be completed within the next 24 months for nine of 131 LCME areas for the probationary status to be lifted. The LCME action follows an April 2013 site visit.

UofL“The LCME action was based largely on two areas of concern – the preclinical instructional building and the pace of preclinical curricular change. Additionally, we need to make changes in some of the details of curricular oversight,” said Toni Ganzel, MD, MBA, who was named dean of the UofL School of Medicine in May 2013.

Many of the changes requested either have been implemented this year or are scheduled to occur in academic year 2014-15, she said.

“The LCME decision is based upon where we were as a school in April 2013 and not where we are today in March 2014,” she said.

A $7.5 million renovation is planned of the school’s instructional building that will completely redesign the instructional space that opened in 1970, including two large interactive lecture halls that “will better meet the needs of our current class size and enable us to potentially expand our class size to meet the growing physician shortage in Kentucky and beyond,” Ganzel said.

There also will be new small group learning labs and classrooms, a new student lounge and expanded student study areas, as well as upgrades to the technology infrastructure to better support innovative academic technologies.

Planning for this project began last fall and construction began in February, with completion planned for August. UofL has developed plans for a new instructional building for the health sciences campus, but economic conditions for the past several years have prevented its construction.

Initial planning for changes in the curriculum began as early as 2009, with implementation beginning in 2011. The impact of these changes is evident in the achievement of UofL’s medical students on national licensing exams. Last year’s first-year class scored a 99 percent pass rate on the first part of the exam; 98 percent pass rate on the second part. Both of these rates exceed the national average.

“We have made major changes in the curriculum over the past three years and have significantly accelerated our pace in the past 18 months,” Ganzel said. “We have an entirely new first-year curriculum in place for the 2014-15 academic year. It is gratifying that the changes we have implemented so far have resulted in such high achievement of our students. We anticipate that our students will continue to excel with the additional changes being made.”

Ganzel noted that not only are the students performing well, they are pleased with the their level of engagement, their remarkable clinical experience and their overall educational program. For instance, 96 percent of graduates are satisfied or very satisfied with their overall educational experience. This is 7 percent higher than the national average.

UofL will formally submit an action plan to the LCME at its October 2014 meeting and anticipates a follow-up site review in summer 2015.