VC named head of medical school-accrediting body

VC named head of medical school-accrediting body

This is a news release from the University of Mississippi Medical Center Division of Public Affairs

Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, is on track to direct the organization setting medical education standards across the United States and Canada.

On July 1, she will become chair-elect of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) for 12 months before taking over as chair of the accrediting body in July 2017 for a one-year term.

Woodward, who has led UMMC since March 1, 2015, was appointed in 2013 to a three-year membership to the LCME and was reappointed this year. She has served on its executive committee and chairs its subcommittee on International Relations.

Sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association, the LCME establishes benchmarks for U.S.- and Canadian-chartered medical education programs operated by universities or medical schools.

"Across the country, there are many changes in the way we teach medicine and in the profession itself," Woodward said. "It's an exciting time to be involved in medical school accreditation.

"I'm honored to receive this opportunity and humbled that my colleagues have confidence in me to take it on."

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the LCME for its role in accrediting medical degree education programs in the United States. Established in 1942, the agency is also acknowledged by the World Federation for Medical Education.

Most state boards of licensure require that medical schools earn accreditation from the LCME, signifying that they meet national standards for the awarding of an M.D.

Woodward serves as one of 18 members of the LCME, currently chaired by Dr. John Fogarty, professor and dean of the Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee.

"LouAnn has done a great job in her time on the board, reviewing and making recommendations on some of our most difficult cases that come before our committee," Fogarty said.

"We were very pleased that she accepted our invitation to run for chair-elect, and she was confirmed unanimously by our board."

Woodward, also a professor of emergency medicine, is a native Mississippian. She earned her undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University and received her medical education at UMMC, where she also completed her residency training.

She served for several years as associate vice chancellor for health affairs and vice dean of the medical school under her predecessor, Dr. James Keeton.

During Woodward's year of service as chair, the LCME will observe its 75th anniversary.

"The LCME is a well-respected organization in setting the standards for medical education," Woodward said. "I feel fortunate to be in a leadership role as we celebrate this important milestone in its history."

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