I Said the Dean Was Trying to Kill Me

April 19, 2013

As you recall, back on July 1, my company officially became the WMU School of Medicine. My department was just getting ready to begin the re-accreditation process. Because we now have LCME accreditation (that’s who accredits med schools), we had options. We could reapply for state-level accreditation through the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS), or we could apply for national accreditation through the Accrediting Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). My boss and I thought we should go with the ACCME because we can. The dean, however, had other ideas. He poo-pooed the idea of being nationally accredited. It was something about relinquishing too much control. I don’t know. I didn’t understand his reasoning. And for that matter, neither did my boss.

But the dean wanted us to stay with MSMS, so stay with MSMS we did.

And then today, about an hour before I left work and as I was trying to get handouts for next week’s Annual Developmental Disabilities Conference posted on our website, I got a call from Brenda at MSMS. You see, Central Michigan University is also opening a med school, and they’re up for re-accreditation, too. And the ACCME was looking at them which led them to look at us. And they called Brenda and told her that LCME-accredited organizations are not allowed to be accredited at the state level; they must be accredited by the ACCME. This was news to me, news to CMU, and news to MSMS. We’d all read the ACCME’s website the same way. LCME-accredited medical schools are qualified to receive ACCME accreditation. Being qualified is not the same as being required.

Dr Z and I don’t mind having to apply for national accreditation. It’s what we wanted anyway. But we want to know why it doesn’t clearly state that we didn’t have a choice. And we should have started this process six months ago. MSMS will grant us the maximum extension of our current accreditation to give us enough time (fingers crossed) to be accredited by the ACCME without having a lapse in approved status.

But it does mean a lot of work. Because we’ve never been accredited by the ACCME, we have to file a pre-application before we can file an application. And I didn’t have time today to look up everything that was required and what deadlines would be. Like I said, I was taking care of final preparations for next week’s DD Conference. I’ve got 380 people descending on the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. I really don’t have time for an accreditation crisis.

And if the dean had just agreed that we should go ahead with ACCME accreditation, we’d be writing up our self-study by now instead of trying to figure out what we have to do first. I am in desperate need of another coordinator. I’m behind on work that would fall under a second coordinator’s job description.

I was hoping I could squeeze in a week’s vacation this summer before the baby comes. No clue what my work life is going to look like now!


1 Comment

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One response to “I Said the Dean Was Trying to Kill Me

  1. Yes, you need several coordinators! This sounds worse that NCATE accreditation, which we will do in two years, but first each program must be certified by its professional organization. AND, every group is changing its standards and rubrics, so we’d better keep track of which standards we are looking at… Good luck!

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