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Message from
the Dean

We are pleased to provide an information hub as we continue our preparation for Chicago Medical School’s April 2020 site visit by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The LCME accredits medical schools in the U.S. and Canada, and permits student eligibility for United States Medical Licensing Exams and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education residency programs.  To achieve and maintain this accreditation, schools must adhere to LCME-published standards, routinely submit data, and receive site visits. 
We are accredited by the LCME and in full compliance with the standards. Over the last three years, the input of students, faculty, and staff across the university has sparked the necessary changes that support our continued compliance and dedication to excellence.  The work of our LCME Standards Based Continuous Quality Leadership (SBCQL) Council is just one such result of these efforts.  The process behind our upcoming LCME site visit allows us even more learning opportunities. 

As in most accreditation review processes, there will be a survey package submitted to the LCME that includes a self-study, followed by a site visit from representatives of the LCME.  The survey  package is due in February 2020, while the site visit will occur on April 26-29, 2020.  Within this process, there are a few elements which the Chicago Medical School community should be aware of:

Data Collection Instrument (DCI)

The Data Collection Instrument, or DCI, is a template document that the MD program is expected to complete and submit to the LCME as part of the survey package due in February 2020.  The DCI requests narrative explanations and completed data tables on aspects of the program related to LCME Standards.  The SBCQL Council keeps a consistently updated DCI as part of its continuous quality improvement activities, and is responsible for the final draft.

AAMC Graduation Questionnaire (GQ) Results

The Graduation Questionnaire (GQ) is an annual survey conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for all graduating medical students that is used for program improvement, with particular attention on the medical student experience. The GQ includes questions addressing pre-clinical and clinical experiences, student services, financial aid and indebtedness, experiences of negative behaviors, career intentions, medical school strengths, and areas for improvement. Recent GQ data will also be incorporated into the DCI.

Independent Student Analysis (ISA)

The Independent Student Analysis, or ISA, is a student-run review on topics that hold great importance to students.  An established task force composed of students selected by two Dean-appointed student Co-Chairs will create a questionnaire that includes questions provided by LCME, oversee the distribution of the survey and collection of data, and provide a thorough analysis of the findings.  Data and results from the ISA will be part of the survey package due in February 2020.  Please see the student page for more information.

Self-Study Summary Report

Whereas the DCI is a descriptive document, a program’s self-study summary report is an analytical document that uses information from the DCI, the ISA, and surveys such as the GQ in order to determine what the program is doing well and what the program may need to improve upon.  In our LCME accreditation review, a group of individuals representing the program will join a task force and several subcommittees to write the self-study summary report that is submitted as part of the survey package due in February 2020.

External Reviews

An optional part of the accreditation review process is to incorporate outside perspectives on the evidence being submitted to represent the program.  CMS has chosen to have a thorough external review of our DCI and a mock site visit of our program by outside experts in September and October of 2019.  Gaining input from experienced individuals not associated with CMS will allow us to improve and further refine the survey package in February 2020, and help us to further prepare for the official April 2020 site visit.

LCME Site Visit

An LCME site visit typically consists of five or six members of the LCME who visit the medical school for 3.5 days, starting on Sunday evening and concluding on Wednesday afternoon.  The visit for CMS will take place from April 26-29, 2020.  The site visit team will review the submitted survey package (DCI, GQ Results , ISA, and Self-Study Summary Report) and will meet with individuals on campus (faculty, administrators, students, etc.) who can supply information on how the school is working to comply with LCME Standards.  The team’s preliminary findings will be given in summary at the exit interview, with a more detailed report received approximately one month prior to the next full LCME meeting.  A final accreditation action will be received from the school about two weeks after the LCME meeting.

The LCME review of our compliance with accreditation standards will help us to be a better program, and our engaged teamwork will keep us focused on excellence. Thank you for your efforts in being a part of this process!


James M. Record, MD, JD, FACP
Dean, Chicago Medical School