LSU Health Shreveport’s medical education program put on probation

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:48 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2023 at 7:29 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The School of Medicine at LSU Health Shreveport has received official notice that its medical education program has been put on probation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

However, the program is still fully accredited.

“Our students, despite the fact that they’re saying that we have some deficiencies, they’re still getting a fantastic education,” university spokeswoman Lisa Babin said. “For incoming students, that education is only going to improve with this new curriculum, which is going to be implemented their very first semester.”

Students say they have loved their experience on campus.

“It’s been fantastic,” third-year medical student Holly Lacour said. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities to learn a lot, get a lot of patient contact, see a lot of very big diseases, the common ones and some uncommon ones, and get a good education.”

The LCME is the accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the MD degree in the U.S. and Canada.

LSU Health Shreveport, which was first accredited in 1968, announced the LCME decision March 10 after a virtual survey visit was done April 25-27.

“We accept the LCME report and decision and are using this opportunity to expedite enhancements to our medical education program, many of which were already underway prior to the LCME site visit,” Dr. David Lewis, dean of the School of Medicine, and Dr. David Guzick, chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport, said in a statement released by the school.

The dean and chancellor say the LCME review found a number of areas of concern in terms of curricular and non-curricular accreditation standards.

The deficiencies “... include updating our curriculum, which we were already in the midst of but had not occurred fully at the time of our accreditation visit back in April,” Babin said. “Changing our curriculum requires going to more small classes, more interactive learning, which will be much more easily accomplished in our new Center for Medical Education, which will open in July of this year.”

The school’s status will be reassessed in 2024.

“The probation period for LSU Health Shreveport is assigned by LCME,” Babin said. “It should be around two years that we have to meet the deficiencies that have been found by LCME.”

The school’s statement says they aim to achieve compliance with LCME standards and create a “national model of medical education” to ensure graduates go on to achieve great things in the field of medicine.

In their statement, Drs. Lewis and Guzick say they’ve already begun addressing LCME’s concerns by taking the following actions:

  • Welcoming new chancellor, Dr. David Guzick, on Jan. 9
  • Hiring Dr. Kelly Pagidas on Feb. 1 as the associate dean of medical education. Dr. Pagidas has begun the process of fundamentally restructuring the administration, content and learning methods of the school’s educational program, with realignment of faculty participation.
  • Reshaping our curriculum, focused on the presentation of content – scientific knowledge, clinical skills and other competencies such as communication skills, team-based practice and evidence-based medicine – in a proportion and sequence that will best prepare graduates for the future
  • The process of strengthening engagement of our faculty and students has begun, with implementation of the new educational program to begin with the Fall 2023 semester

The statement says active learning instructional strategies and expanded levels of clinical skills simulation and healthcare technologies will be happening in LSU Health Shreveport’s newly built educational facility, the Center for Medical Education. This building will also have space for student wellness and mindfulness, the statement says.

LSU Health Shreveport is home to one of the only medical schools in north Louisiana and one of only three in the state.