Undergraduate Education Policies


Policy Description
Duty Hours Establishes expectations, criteria, and limitations on student workload and work hours on core and elective clinical rotations. 
Student Mistreatment Defines and publicizes an education programs code of professional conduct for the relationships between medical students, including visiting medical students, and those individuals with whom students interact during the medical education program.
Student Absence Affirms the right of students to miss educational or clinical activities on a particular day due to religious beliefs.
Clinical Supervision of Medical Students Defines rights and responsibilities of both teachers and learners.
Faculty-Student Familial and Doctor-Patient Relationships Restricts familial relationships between students and faculty in a clinical or classroom setting.  Restricts providers of medical and psychiatric/psychological from involvement in the academic assessment of or decisions about the promotion of a student. 
Blood-borne Pathogen Exposure Protocol Provides procedures for dental and medical students to follow in the event of exposure to pathogens via body fluid.

Glossary of Terms for LCME Accreditation Standards and Elements

Adequate types and numbers of patients (e.g., acuity, case mix, age, gender): Medical student access, in both ambulatory and inpatient settings, to a sufficient mix of patients with a range of severity of illness and diagnoses, ages, and both genders to meet medical educational program objectives and the learning objectives of specific courses, modules, and clerkships. (Element 5.5)

Admission requirements: A comprehensive listing of both objective and subjective criteria used for screening, selection, and admission of applicants to a medical education program. (Standard 10)

Admission with advanced standing: The acceptance by a medical school and enrollment in the medical curriculum of an applicant (e.g., a doctoral student), typically as a second or third-year medical student, when that applicant had not previously been enrolled in a medical education program. (Element 10.7)

Any related enterprises: Any additional medical school-sponsored activities or entities. (Element 1.2)

Assessment: The systematic use of a variety of methods to collect, analyze, and use information to determine whether a medical student has acquired the competencies (e.g., knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes) that the profession and the public expect of a physician. (Element 1.4)

Benefits of diversity: In a medical education program, the facts that having medical students and faculty members from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, racial and ethnic groups, and other life experiences can: 1) enhance the quality and content of interactions and discussions for all students throughout the preclinical and clinical curricula; and 2) result in the preparation of a physician workforce that is more culturally aware and competent and better prepared to improve access to healthcare and address current and future health care disparities. (Standard 3)

Central [or centralized] monitoring: Tracking by institutional (e.g., decanal) level offices and/or committees (e.g., the curriculum committee) of desired and expected learning outcomes by students and their completion of required learning experiences. (Element 8.6)

Clinical affiliates: Those institutions providing inpatient medical care that have formal agreements with a medical school to provide clinical experiences for the education of its medical students. (Element 1.4)

Clinical and translational research: The conduct of medical studies involving human subjects, the data from which are intended to facilitate the translation and application of the studies’ findings to medical practice in order to enhance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of medical conditions. (Element 7.3)

Clinical reasoning: The integration, organization, and interpretation of information gathered as a part of medical problem-solving.

Community service: Services designed to improve the quality of life for community residents or to solve particular problems related to their needs. Community service opportunities provided by the medical school complement and reinforce the medical student’s educational program. (Element 6.6)

Comparable educational experiences: Learning experiences that are sufficiently similar so as to ensure that medical students are achieving the same learning objectives at all educational sites at which those experiences occur. (Element 8.7)

Coherent and coordinated curriculum: The design of a complete medical education program, including its content and modes of presentation, to achieve its overall educational objectives. Coherence and coordination include the following characteristics: 1) the logical sequencing of curricular segments, 2) coordinated and integrated content within and across academic periods of study (i.e., horizontal and vertical integration), and 3) methods of instruction and student assessment appropriate to the achievement of the program’s educational objectives. (Element 8.1)
Competency: Statements of defined skills or behavioral outcomes (i.e., that a physician should be able to do) in areas including, but not limited to, patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism and ethics, and systems-based practice for which a medical student is required to demonstrate mastery prior to completion of his or her medical education program and receipt of the MD degree. (Element 8.7)

Core curriculum: The required components of a medical curriculum, including all required courses/modules and clinical clerkships/rotations. (Element 7.9)

Critical judgment/critical thinking: The consideration, evaluation, and organization of evidence derived from appropriate sources and related rationales during the process of decision-making. The demonstration of critical thinking requires the following steps: 1) the collection of relevant evidence; 2) the evaluation of that evidence; 3) the organization of that evidence; 4) the presentation of appropriate evidence to support any conclusions; and 5) the coherent, logical, and organized presentation of any response. (Elements 7.4)

Curriculum management: Involves the following activities: leading, directing, coordinating, controlling, planning, evaluating, and reporting. An effective system of curriculum management exhibits the following characteristics: 1) evaluation of program effectiveness by outcomes analysis, using national norms of accomplishment as a frame of reference, 2) monitoring of content and workload in each discipline, including the identification of omissions and unplanned redundancies, and 3) review of the stated objectives of each individual curricular component and of methods of instruction and student assessment to ensure their linkage to and congruence with programmatic educational objectives. (Element 8.1)

Direct educational expenses: The following educational expenses of an enrolled medical student: tuition, mandatory fees, books and supplies, and a computer, if one is required by the medical school. (Element 12.1)

Direct faculty participation in decision-making: Faculty involvement in institutional governance wherein faculty input to decisions are made by the faculty members themselves or by representatives chosen by faculty members (e.g., versus appointed by administrators). (Element 1.3)

Diverse sources [of financial revenues]: Multiple sources of predictable revenues that include, but are not unduly dependent upon any one of, the following: tuition, gifts, clinical revenue, governmental support, research grants, endowment, etc. (Element 5.1)

Effective: Supported by evidence that the policy, practice, and/or process has produced the intended or expected result(s). (Standard 1)

Eligibility requirements…for initial and continuing accreditation: Receipt and maintenance of authority to grant the MD degree from the appropriate governmental agency and initial and continuing accreditation by one of the six regional accrediting bodies. (Element 1.6)

Equivalent methods of assessment: The use of methods of medical student assessment that are as close to identical as possible across all educational sites at which core curricular activities take place, but which may not occur in the same timeframe. (Element 8.7)

Evaluation: The systematic use of a variety of methods to collect, analyze, and use information to determine whether a program is fulfilling its mission(s) and achieving its goal(s). (Element 3.3)

Fair and formal process for taking any action that may affect the status of a medical student: The use of policies and procedures by any institutional body (e.g., student promotions committee) with responsibility for making decisions about the academic progress, continued enrollment, and/or graduation of a medical student in a manner that ensures: 1) that the student will be assessed by individuals who have not previously formed an opinion of the student’s abilities, professionalism, and/or suitability to become a physician; and 2) that the student has received timely notice of the proceedings, information about the purpose of the proceedings, and any evidence to be presented at the proceedings; his or her right to participate in and provide information or otherwise respond to participants in the proceedings; and any opportunity to appeal any adverse decision resulting from the proceedings. (Element 9.9)

Fair and timely summative assessment: A criterion-based determination, made as soon as possible after the conclusion of a curricular component (e.g., course/module, clinical clerkship/rotation) by individuals familiar with a medical student’s performance, regarding the extent to which he or she has achieved the learning objective(s) for that component such that the student can use the information provided to improve future performance in the medical curriculum. (Element 9.8)

Final responsibility for accepting students rests with a formally constituted admission committee: Ensuring that the sole basis for selecting applicants for admission to the medical education program are the decisions made by the faculty committee charged with medical student selection in accordance with appropriately approved selection criteria. (Element 10.2)

Formative feedback: Information communicated to a medical student in a timely manner that is intended to modify the student’s thinking or behavior in order to improve his or her subsequent learning and performance in the medical curriculum. (Element 9.7)

Functionally integrated: Coordination of the various components of the medical school and medical education program by means of policies, procedures, and practices that define and inform the relationships among them. (Element 2.6)

Health care disparities: Differences between groups of people, based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, residential location, sex, age, and socioeconomic status, educational status, and disability status, that affect their access to health care, the quality of the health care they receive, and the outcomes of their medical conditions. (Element 7.6)

Independent study: Opportunities either for medical student-directed learning in one or more components of the core medical curriculum, based on structured learning objectives to be achieved by students with minimal faculty supervision, or for student-directed learning on elective topics of specific interest to the student. (Element 6.3)

Integrated institutional responsibility: Oversight by an appropriate central institutional body (commonly a curriculum committee) of the medical education program as a whole. An effective central curriculum authority exhibits the following characteristics: 1) participation by faculty, students, and administrators; 2) the availability of expertise in curricular design and methods of instruction, student assessment, and program evaluation; and 3) empowerment, through bylaws or decanal mandate, to work in the best interests of the medical education program without regard for parochial or political influences or departmental pressures. (Element 8.1)

Learning objectives: A statement of the specific, observable, and measurable expected outcomes (i.e., what the medical students will be able to do) of each specific component (e.g., course, module, clinical clerkship, rotation) of a medical education program that defines the content of the component and the assessment methodology and that is linked back to one or more of the medical education program objectives. (Element 6.1)

Major location for required clinical learning experiences: A clinical affiliate of the medical school that is the site of one or more required clinical experiences for its medical students. (Element 5.6)

Medical education program objectives: Broad statements, in measurable terms, of the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes (typically linked to a statement of expected competencies) that a medical student is expected to exhibit as evidence of his or her achievement of all programmatic requirements by the time of medical education program completion. (Standard 6 and Element 6.1)

Medical education parallel curriculum (track): A parallel program of study for a subset of the medical student body that requires participating students to complete specific programmatic learning objectives (e.g., in research, primary care, leadership) in addition to the medical educational program objectives required of all medical students. (Element 5.12)

Medical problem-solving: The initial generation of hypotheses that influence the subsequent gathering of information. (Elements 7.4)

Mission-appropriate diversity: The inclusion, in a medical education program’s student body and among its faculty and staff and based on the program’s mission, goals, and policies, of persons from different racial, ethnic, economic, and/or social backgrounds and with differing life experiences to enhance the educational environment for all medical students. (Element 3.3)

Narrative assessment: Written comments from faculty that assess student performance and achievement in meeting the objectives of a course or clerkship. (Element 9.5)

National norms of accomplishment: Those data sources that would permit comparison of relevant medical school-specific medical student performance data to national data for all medical schools and medical students (e.g., USMLE scores, AAMC GQ data, specialty certification rates). (Element 8.4)

Need to know: The requirement that information in a medical student’s educational record be provided only to those members of the medical school’s faculty or administration who have a legitimate reason to access that information in order to fulfill the responsibilities of their faculty or administrative position.
(Element 11.5)

Outcome-based terms: Descriptions of observable and measurable desired and expected outcomes of learning experiences in a medical curriculum (e.g., knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior). (Element 6.1)

Primacy of the medical education program’s authority over academic affairs and the education/assessment of medical students: The affirmation and acknowledgement that all decisions regarding the creation and implementation of educational policy and the teaching and assessment of medical students are, first and foremost, the prerogative of the medical education program. (Element 1.4)

Principal academic officer at each campus is administratively responsible to the dean: The administrator identified by the dean or the dean’s designee (e.g., associate or assistant dean, site director) as having primary responsibility for implementation and evaluation of the components of the medical education program that occur at that campus. (Element 2.5)

Program objectives: See definition for Medical education program objectives above.

Publishes: Communicates in hard-copy and/or on-line in a manner that is easily available to and accessible by the public. (Standard 10)

Regional accrediting body: The six bodies recognized by the US Department of Education that accredit institutions of higher education located in their regions of the US: 1) Higher Learning Commission; 2) Middle States Commission on Higher Education; 3) New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education;4) Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities;5) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; and 6) Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission. (Element 1.6)

Regional campus: A regional campus is an instructional site that is distinct from the central/administrative campus of the medical school and at which some students spend one or more complete curricular years. (Element 2.5)

Regularly scheduled and timely feedback: Information communicated periodically and sufficiently often (based on institutional policy, procedure, or practice) to a faculty member to ensure that the faculty member is aware of the extent to which he or she is (or is not) meeting institutional expectations regarding future promotion and/or tenure. (Element 4.4)

Scientific method: A method of procedure consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. Typically the method consists of the following steps: 1) identifying and defining a problem; 2) accumulating relevant data; 3) formulating a tentative hypothesis; 4) conducting experiments to test the hypothesis; 5) interpreting the results objectively; and 6) repeating the steps until an acceptable solution is found. (Element 7.3)

Self-directed learning: Includes all of the following components as a unified sequence: 1) the medical student’s self-assessment of his/her learning needs; 2) the medical student’s independent identification, analysis, and synthesis of relevant information; and 3) the medical student’s appraisal of the credibility of information sources. (Element 6.3)

Senior administrative staff: People in academic leadership roles, to include but not limited to, associate/assistant deans, directors, academic department chairs, and people who oversee the operation of affiliated clinical facilities and other educational sites. Many, if not most, of these people also have faculty appointments, and for tracking purposes should only be counted in one category when completing tables such as those listed in the DCI under Element 3.3. (Standard 2 and Elements 2.1, 2.4, and 3.3)

Service-learning: Educational experiences that involve all of the following components: 1) medical students’ service to the community in activities that respond to community-identified concerns; 2) student preparation; and 3) student reflection on the relationships among their participation in the activity, their medical school curriculum, and their roles as citizens and medical professionals. (Element 6.6)

Single standard for the promotion and graduation of medical students across all locations: The academic and non-academic criteria and levels of performance defined by a medical education program and published in programmatic policies that must be met by all medical students on all medical school campuses at the conclusion of each academic year for promotion to the next academic year and at the conclusion of the medical education program for receipt of the MD degree and graduation. (Element 9.9)

Standards of achievement: Criteria by which to measure a medical student’s attainment of relevant learning objectives and that contribute to a summative grade. (Element 9.6)

Technical standards for admission, retention, and graduation of medical students: A statement by a medical school of the: 1) essential academic and non-academic abilities, attributes, and characteristics in the areas of intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; 2) observational skills; 3) physical abilities; 4) motor functioning; 5) emotional stability; 6) behavioral and social skills; and 7) ethics and professionalism that a medical school applicant or enrolled medical student must possess or be able to acquire, with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to be admitted to, be retained in, and graduate from that school’s medical educational program. (Element 10.5)

Transfer: The permanent withdrawal by a medical student from one medical school followed by his or her enrollment (typically in the second or third year of the medical curriculum) in another medical school. (Element 5.10)

Visiting students: Students enrolled at one medical school who participate in clinical (typically elective) learning experiences for a grade sponsored by another medical school without transferring their enrollment from one school to the other. (Element 5.10)