Medical school ready for accreditation visit

The College of Medicine is preparing for a much-anticipated full-site accreditation visit this fall, Oct. 29 to Nov. 1, to review the school’s under- graduate medical education (or MD) program.

By Kate Blau

Dr. Preston Smith, dean of medicine, said the school is feeling confident about improvements it has made and he anticipates a successful visit.

All programs in the school are fully accredited, although the under- graduate program had faced challenges that included being placed on accreditation probation twice—in 2002 and 2013. The 2013 probationary status was lifted in 2015. To address the challenges, the college broke away from its third integrated plan in 2013 to follow an intervening plan, The Way Forward, to guide the changes needed to address accreditation issues.

“We’ve followed The Way Forward and been very deliberate about that,” Smith said. “Being a fully accredited medical school, a highly successful medical school, is what the university wants and needs. And while we’ve been on a journey to have a fully accredited, excellent undergraduate medical education program, we are focused on being an excellent medical school.”

The college has worked across what Smith calls a “continuum,” starting with “beefing up” admissions. Applicants to the MD program now must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), an exam used by almost all U.S. and many Canadian medical schools. A highly successful Indigenous Admissions Program and a new Diversity and Social Accountability Program support accessibility and reflect Saskatchewan’s population.

Extensive work has been done to improve the undergraduate medical curriculum, including a four-year transition to enhance clinical learning, as well as expanded learning across patient safety, clinical care research, and interprofessional and team-based settings. Improvements were needed to engage more medical doctors in teaching and research in the college.

Read the full article on the U of S website.