Obtaining LCME accreditation ensures that medical education programs are in compliance with defined standards. The accreditation process has two general and related aims: to promote institutional self-evaluation and improvement and to determine whether a medical education program meets prescribed standards.

The institutional self-study process and the resulting findings are central to these aims. In the process of conducting its self-study, a medical school brings together representatives of the administration, faculty, student body, and other constituencies to: (1) collect and review data about the medical school and its educational program, (2) identify both institutional strengths and challenges that require attention, and (3) define strategies to ensure that the strengths are maintained and any problems are addressed effectively.

Self-Study Process

The institutional self-study (ISS) is an evaluative review period during which a medical school analyzes the data findings presented by key faculty and staff from academic and administrative departments that contribute to and support the medical education program. At HMS, the self-study process is managed through a steering committee and five subcommittees dedicated to the five major LCME categories - institutional setting, faculty, resources, curriculum, and students.

ISS Steering Committee

Chaired by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, the ISS Steering Committee is the formal oversight body for the institutional self-study that reviews analytical reports drafted by the ISS Subcommittees and produces the final report the Medical School submits to the LCME at the conclusion of the self-study process. A crucial goal of the Steering Committee’s evaluation is the identification of continuous quality improvement measures and monitoring processes.

ISS Subcommittees

The Institutional Governance and Learning Environment Subcommittee reviews standards and elements focused on the Medical School’s strategic vision, its monitoring systems and quality improvement mechanisms, governance structure, diversity and pipeline programs, and the overall learning environment.

The Faculty Subcommittee reviews faculty affairs at Harvard Medical School, including the sufficiency of faculty, faculty policy and governance matters, and faculty development opportunities.

The Resources Subcommittee assesses institutional resources that support the MD program and the learning environment for medical education. Specifically, the subcommittee reviews data on school finances, educational and clinical facilities, IT support, library facilities, and issues around safety and security.

The Medical Education Program/Curriculum Subcommittee reviews topics related to educational competencies and learning objectives; the design, content, management and oversight of the curriculum; educational policies; students’ academic workload and duty hours; and assessment protocols.

The Medical Student Experience Subcommittee reviews and analyzes data related to the admissions process; student progress and promotion; academic, career and personal advising and wellness; health, wellness and safety needs; and management of student records.