Accreditation is widely used in higher education to evaluate the quality of educational programs. It serves the important purpose of assuring the public, government agencies and professional groups that educational programs meet or exceed nationally accepted standards.

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health completed LCME reaccreditation in 2018, and students played a very prominent role in the process. It is an exciting time to be a medical student!

Students from every class at the School of Medicine and Public Health were actively involved in the LCME accreditation process. In parallel to our school’s institutional self-study process, the students' role was largely encompassed in the independent student analysis (ISA) survey and report. The ISA survey evaluates the program’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement based upon student opinion and was culminated in a formal report. The ISA is a critical element of the accreditation process.

Students may ask why this matters or how their one response will create change in such a big school. Each and every medical student creates change by sharing opinions and helping the medical school decide where continuous quality improvement efforts would be best directed. In fact, the changes will affect the experience of all future medical students.