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Probation Lifted for SLU’s Medical School

by Nancy Solomon on 10/10/2018
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October 10 -- The Saint Louis University School of Medicine no longer is on probation after successfully addressing all concerns raised by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME), the accrediting body for North American medical schools. 

SLU School of Medicine Building

SLU is fully compliant with all LCME standards, the accrediting body announced at its regular quarterly meeting this week.

“Learning that our School of Medicine had been placed on probation just after I arrived in early 2017 was disappointing,” said Kevin Behrns, M.D., Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of SLU School of Medicine. “However, SLU took immediate, decisive action to turn a painful moment into an opportunity to
improve and now is a stronger and better medical school.”

SLU resolved all issues that led to its probation within 19 months, ahead of the LCME’s 24-month deadline.

A steering committee chaired by an alumnus and comprised of senior administrators and medical students guided the remediation effort. They were joined by about 80 faculty, staff, students, alumni and professional colleagues who collaborated in workgroups and on committees to explore innovative ways to move SLU School of Medicine forward.

“Although we remained accredited, having our status restored as quickly as possible was a top priority,” Behrns said. “We also were determined to improve our medical education program for students and residents above and beyond what the LCME required.”

Saint Louis University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D. praised the many members of the School of Medicine family who worked together to address the LCME’s concerns.

“I am grateful for the hard work of many faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the University who remained committed to our success,” Pestello said.
“I also thank Dr. Behrns for his leadership, steadfast determination and focus on resolving this most important issue at the medical school. Our School of Medicine is better than ever.”

Previously, the LCME identified issues with documentation, missed opportunities for self-directed learning, curricular management issues and a lack of central oversight. The issues were not related to patient care or to SLU’s physician practice, and the School of Medicine remained accredited.

In response, SLU School of Medicine conducted a top-to-bottom review to address areas of non- compliance and identified new educational approaches for medical students and residents.

SLU’s medical school created a strategic plan to serve as a roadmap to guide its improvement efforts. It hired and engaged people in new positions, revamped its curriculum and administrative processes, and enhanced technology for self-directed learning. In addition, the medical school has put into place a continuous improvement plan to ensure the school remains on target and attains its goals.

“We were driven by a shared commitment to exceed expectations in improving our medical school,” Behrns said. “I am so grateful to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and outside peers, who came together to help us reach our goal and grow stronger from a challenging experience.”

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level.

Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: infectious disease, liver disease, cancer, heart/lung disease, and aging and brain disorders.