Central Michigan University's College of Medicine was granted full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, completing the charge by the CMU Board of Trustees in 2009 to address a burgeoning shortage of physicians across the state and beyond.
"This accreditation marks a historic day for Central Michigan University and affirms the quality of CMU's College of Medicine," President George E. Ross said.
"It reflects the enormous impact CMU has on patients and families throughout Michigan and beyond by preparing physicians who are dedicated to rural and urban medically underserved communities."
The opening of the medical school was the top priority for Ross when he was appointed president in 2010.
"We are proud to have earned full LCME accreditation," said Dr. George Kikano, dean of the college. "It is a testament to the collaborative work of students, faculty, staff and CMU leadership to develop the people, processes and infrastructure that deliver a high-quality medical education. We also are grateful to our clinical affiliates and volunteer teaching physicians throughout the region."
"This marks a significant and final milestone on our journey to be recognized with full accreditation," Kikano said. "Now we will build on our strong foundation to enhance research, further develop strategic clinical affiliations throughout Michigan and continue to establish programs that will improve the communities we serve."
Today's achievement complements previous accreditation of the college's seven residency programs in partnership with Saginaw's Covenant HealthCare and St. Mary's of Michigan and accreditation of the college's professional development programs.
Medical school expands CMU's leadership in health care, support of Michigan communities
When discussions about a medical school began, CMU already had other strong, successful health care programs that helped position CMU to create a successful medical school.
"Now, we are not only producing excellent physical therapists and physician assistants. Today, CMU also is producing excellent physicians," said former trustee Sid Smith, who was a driving force behind creation of the college.
And the need for CMU doctors is great. Primary care physicians in Michigan meet only 63 percent of the need, according to a study by the state Department of Public Health. And 51 of Michigan's 83 counties are designated health professional shortage areas.
Statistics also show how CMU's College of Medicine is helping to offset the physician shortage, especially — and significantly — in Michigan:
- The college received 7,300 applications for the 104 spots in its sixth class beginning in August.
- Eighty percent of the college's students are Michigan residents; 13 percent come from rural and urban medically underserved areas.
- CMU's unique curriculum places third-year students for six months in community-based clinical experiences working side by side with physicians across the state and in Ohio.
- Residency placement for CMU's two College of Medicine graduating classes stands at 100 percent. This year, 75 percent chose to follow the college mission and serve families as primary care providers. More than half are in residency programs in Michigan.
Bill Weideman, chair of Central's Board of Trustees, puts the accreditation in historical perspective.
"CMU was founded 125 years ago to meet the need for classroom teachers educated in reaching and leading students. Likewise, the Board of Trustees voted in 2009 to step forward and take action in addressing Michigan's burgeoning shortage of doctors.
"It's unbelievably rewarding for Central Michigan University's College of Medicine to be fully accredited and to watch each class of physicians cement a passion for serving patients who otherwise might travel long distances or wait days to see a doctor. At CMU, we take seriously our role in addressing the needs of the state, our businesses and our residents."
CMU health professions graduates are top choices for jobs
In addition to the College of Medicine, CMU's leadership in other health fields includes: