Probation lifted for College of Medicine

With the Oct. 16 news of probation being rescinded for the U of S College of Medicine undergraduate medical education program, almost two years of tireless effort have paid off.

"It was fantastic to receive this news," said Dr. Preston Smith, dean of the College of Medicine. "Certainly it's great news, but it was also a necessary and expected step for the college."

Smith said the accreditation decision—delivered by letter from the school's accreditors, the Committee on the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools and its American equivalent, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education—was the result of a May 2015 site visit when accred­itors evaluated progress on 13 specific standards previously cited as deficient.

Smith said that the college is now partially or completely compliant with 10 of those 13 standards—meaning it is compliant in 98 per cent, or 129 of the 132, of the Canadian under­graduate medical education accreditation standards.

"This is the result of a lot of concentrated effort by many people over the last two years. We've been able to demonstrate to the accreditors that we've made significant progress," said the dean.

Spirits in the college are high with word that probation has been lifted and accreditation status has been extended until March 2018, instead of 2017 as previously indicated, but Smith said that there is still more work that needs to be done.

"We are absolutely heading in the right direction, down the right path. We can't stop; we need to keep pushing forward to realize the full vision for the college," he said. "Our respon­sibility to the province and its citizens is to train the next generation of physicians to enhance and, through research, to innovate clinical care for the people of Saskatchewan."

To that end, Smith continued, members of the univer­sity who have been working to ensure the college delivers on accreditation standards will now shift their attention to the next full accreditation visit slated to take place in the fall of 2017.

"I'm confident that we are well on our way there," said Smith, adding that all progress made is in large part to the support received from partners in government and the health system.

"We are going to continue working with all of our partners and supporters to make sure the college will not only meet, but exceed, the ever-changing needs of Saskatchewan. In hand with this, is our goal of being one of the top medical schools in Canada, both in terms of undergraduate education and helping to advance the U of S research agenda."

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