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U of M's MD program receives full accreditation

Leadership, student experiences lauded

U of M's MD program receives full accreditation

BY DR. BRIAN POSTL
Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba
Wave, November / December 2013

The University of Manitoba was recently recognized for its quality medical school and meeting all of the high standards set for medical education in North America.

The Faculty of Medicine's MD program was granted full accreditation by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The Faculty's next full accreditation survey will take place in 2018/19. Canadian and American medical schools face a rigorous and intense accreditation process every seven to eight years.

In the surveyors' report to the University of Manitoba, they acknowledged the faculty's remarkable effort and team approach. They commended us for the many important changes and enhancements we have implemented over the last several years.

The accreditors noted specific University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine strengths citing leadership that has "re-energized the undergraduate medical education (UGME) entreprise" and "improved relationships and engagement of the faculty."

They also pointed to our faculty-developed online curriculum management system OPAL that tracks student-patient contacts, provides real time updates on students' schedules, monitors curriculum content and collates evaluations of student and faculty performance.

We were also recognized for addressing socio-economic issues in our curriculum - that is admired by our students - and for our state-of-the-art simulation centre that enhances our medical students' learning experiences.

Additionally, CACMS and LCME acknowledged the faculty's financial stability and support of the Winnipeg Health Region and the provincial government to address UGME program needs.

Our successful accreditation means we were found in compliance with all 131 standards covering the areas of institutional setting; MD curriculum; medical student resources; faculty affairs; and educational resources.

In the 18 months leading up to the accreditation survey visit, 120 faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders participated on UGME accreditation committees that were tasked with preparing an Institutional Self-Study Report as well as completing a comprehensive database answering questions specific to each of the five standard areas, as well as course and clerkship documents. The students were also required to complete their own Independent Student Analysis report analyzing the educational program, student services and the learning environment.

The accreditors noted that the students provided an "exceptionally thoughtful and detailed analysis of the current status of the educational program."

Overall, the UGME accreditation process provided an outstanding opportunity for improvement and self-reflection. As a faculty, we must stay on top of these rigorous standards and ensure we are continually focused on compliance as a part of our regular day-to-day activities through monitoring, reporting and action. Accreditation is not an end point, but an ongoing process that serves as a means of quality assurance and pursuit of excellence.

Our successful accreditation was achieved thanks to the hard work of associate and assistant deans, department heads, faculty members, staff and students and our strong partnership with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Manitoba, Winnipeg Health Region, regional health authorities and Manitoba Health to provide high quality medical education and clinical training in this province.

We can all be proud of this accomplishment!

Dr. Brian Postl is the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba.

Wave: November / December 2013

About Wave

Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.

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