The process of a medical school coming to East Texas is moving forward as the UT Health Science Center at Tyler has reached its first milestone in the accreditation proceedings.
UT Health Science Center at Tyler, an instructional site of UT Tyler, announced Friday that the Liaison Committee on Medical Education classified UTHSCT as an applicant school for LCME accreditation. This committee is the accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for medical education programs that led to Doctor of Medicine degrees in the United States and Canada.
Through LCME accreditation, institutions become eligible for federal grants and programs. Most state boards of licensure require U.S. medical schools awarding an MD degree be accredited by LCME.
Those who graduate from a LCME-accredited school are eligible for residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, according to UT Health Science Center.
The accreditation determines if a medical education program meets established standards and fosters institutional and program improvement.
This marks a great milestone that the medical school has completed the first step toward LCME full accreditation, said UT Tyler President Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP. Applicant status is followed by candidate status, preliminary accreditation, provisional accreditation, then full accreditation. The awarding of accreditation status and the timing of those awards are entirely at the discretion of the LCME.
UTHSCT will have to submit more documents to LCME in April to be reviewed and presented to the LCME board in June. After this, the medical school in Tyler could be deemed a candidate school. LCME leadership will conduct site visits sometime in the fall.
Preliminary accreditation could be granted as early as February 2022. The university cannot interview or advertise for students until preliminary accreditation is achieved. The recruitment could likely begin as soon as May next year.
By February 2023, the medical school should have a good idea of its first class of students, with plans to start that first class in summer 2023, if all goes well, Calhoun said.
LCME will conduct another visit sometime in 2024 to interview students and review the school for an application with the LCME board to change the status to provisional. Three years after that, before students graduate, the LCME will determine if the university should receive full accreditation.
UTHSCT Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Julie V. Philley said shes glad to help the medical school grow, including the addition of four positions for the school.
We are pleased to announce that Planning Dean Dr. Sue Cox, a nationally recognized leader in medical education, has been shepherding the accreditation process since last spring, Philley said. She was the lead designer of curriculum at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School and has worked to get the initial application submitted with hopes to have full accreditation by the time the first medical school class graduates in the spring of 2027.
Philley has been involved in medical education for 30 years and served as executive vice dean of academics and chair of the Department of Medical Education at Dell Medical School. She was the senior associate dean at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas.
Dr. Emmanuel Elueze has been named associate dean for graduate medical education and professional development at the medical school. Elueze previously served as vice president for medical education and professional development, providing oversight of graduate medical education, undergraduate medical education and continuing medical education. He came to UTHSCT in 2011 as the founding program director of the internal medicine residency program in Longview.
Torry A. Tucker will be the associate dean for research of the new medical school. Tucker came to UTHSCT as a postdoctoral fellow in 2007 and joined the faculty in 2009.
Kent L. Willis was named associate dean for student affairs of the new medical school. He previously served as the UTHSCT associate provost and assistant professor of occupational and environmental health since 2016.
Dr. Elueze, Dr. Tucker and Dr. Willis will provide valuable leadership as the new medical school progresses, Philley said.
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