The medical education program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, designed to train the next generation of highly skilled physicians dedicated to improving patient care and advancing the state of medical knowledge, has earned accreditation through 2022, a full eight-year term.
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accreditation authority for MD programs in the United States and Canada, announced the decision and identified a number of institutional strengths within the college that are distinctive and worthy of emulation. The LCME is jointly sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association (AMA).
The UA College of Medicine – Tucson graduates 115 medical doctors each year and is led by Interim Dean Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, who also serves as UA senior vice president for health sciences. The college’s medical education program is led by Kevin Moynahan, MD, deputy dean of education.
In January, more than 100 faculty, students, administrators and staff from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson (UA COM – Tucson) met with the LCME survey team during its site visit to determine accreditation eligibility.
“This achievement would not have been possible were it not for the tremendous leadership, teamwork and effort put forth by all. We are grateful to our UA COM – Tucson LCME project leadership team, to those students, faculty and staff who participated in the survey visit, as well as to the numerous students, faculty and staff who participated in the COM self-study process,” said Dr. Moynahan.
In addition to awarding the college accreditation for a full cycle, the 19 LCME members, who are medical educators and administrators, practicing physicians, public members and medical students appointed by the AAMC and AMA, determined that the college has a number of institutional strengths:
· The LCME found that the student-developed and student-administered Commitment to Underserved People (CUP) program, implemented by the UA College of Medicine in 1979, provides an exceptional number and variety of community service and service-learning opportunities for medical students. The CUP program provides UA medical students the opportunity to gain clinical experience by working with medically underserved populations. CUP was described by numerous medical students as a major influence in their decision to attend the college.
· The LCME also noted the development and implementation of an effective system of confidential and easily accessible personal counseling for its students, assisting them in adjusting to the ongoing emotional demands of a medical education. The UA COM – Tucson counseling program received high praise from students in the 2013 AAMC Graduation Questionnaire, in the independent student analysis and in conversations with students during the survey visit.
· In addition, the UA COM – Tucson Societies Program provides a strong longitudinal experience with a trained faculty mentor. Mentors are chosen from among the college’s most distinguished clinician-educators who teach students interviewing, physical examination and patient care skills at the patient bedside, helping students to develop clinical thinking, documentation and presentations and professionalism skills.
The LCME defines areas of strengths as those that reflect an aspect of the medical education program that has been shown to be critical for the successful achievement of one or more of the program’s missions or goals or a truly distinctive activity or characteristic that would be worthy of emulation.
The UA College of Medicine – Tucson provides state-of-the-art programs of medical education, groundbreaking research opportunities and leading-edge patient care. Together with the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, the two colleges are Arizona’s only MD degree-granting institutions serving as a health care resource for the state and its people.
Founded on the campus of the University of Arizona in 1967, with an initial class of just 32 students, the UA College of Medicine – Tucson today has graduated more than 3,900 physicians. College of Medicine students, faculty, staff and alumni continue more than 45 years of service in advancing medical care and knowledge in Arizona—and around the world.