After a 12-month probation period, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education has restored the Temple Medical School to full accreditation citing in part the school’s plans for a new medical facility.
The LCME saw three main problems with the school: outdated facilities, classes with too high a student-teacher ratio and a student debt that was above the national standard. Temple University was notified by the LCME in June 2002 and was given four years to fix these problems.
Dean John M. Daly, who became the school’s dean in November 2002 after the probation guidelines had been established, felt that these problems could easily be rectified. The school was able to renovate the existing buildings by “improving their appearance while making them much more modern,” Daly said.
The creation of a new student study center, renovation of the library, including wireless linkage with the Kresge building, the shrinking of class sizes and the purchase of new textbooks and online journals were key factors in helping the school regain accreditation. But the school’s plan for constructing a new medical building was what convinced the LCME to lift the probation.
Construction will begin on the new building, which will be located on the 3500 block of N. Broad Street, in May 2005. In order to begin building the new medical facility, a new parking garage must first be built. That construction is set to begin this May and will last an estimated 10 to 11 months.
The building itself will be 14 stories high and cost an estimated $150 million. The new classrooms will have improved facilities for teaching anatomy and clinical skills. It will also provide video-conferencing capabilities along with computer-based programming opportunities for the students.
The new building will also include new research laboratories that will allow students to “participate in basic laboratory research,” Daly said.
In addition to all of the changes the Medical School has undergone, Daly has been able to recruit more than 70 new faculty members since November 2002 and has noted that the new teachers are “the very best people” for Temple University.
Students at the medical school are excited and looking forward to a future with these new technological improvements and opportunities. Most students were disturbed by news of the LCME’s decision to place the school on probation. They feared the consequences of graduating from a non-accredited medical program, such as residency complications and lack of job opportunities.
But students found comfort in the Medical School and Daly’s performance in relaying pertinent information to the student body.
“I am very relieved that the probation has been lifted,” said Pamneit Bhogal, a junior at the medical school. “[The student body] received an e-mail when the probation was first enforced and were well informed and kept up to date [throughout the proceedings].”
Besides regular e-mails, sessions were held at classrooms in Kresge Auditorium to have an informative dialogue between the students and faculty. Bi-monthly luncheons were also held with smaller groups of students.
The LCME is a nationally recognized organization in the United States and Canada which sends teams of representatives, composed of medical practitioners and science and clinical educators, to accredited medical schools and monitors their progress and activities. The LCME is sponsored by both the American Medical Association and the Association of Medical Colleges.
Bob Hollawell can be reached at Grungefan5483@aol.com.