In less than four years since admitting its inaugural class, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University has earned full accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Accreditation signifies that national standards for structure, function, and performance are met by a medical school’s education program leading to the M.D. degree. The LCME is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to a medical degree in U.S. and Canadian medical schools, and is a joint committee of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association.
“This milestone achievement for Florida Atlantic University is the culmination of more than a decade of support we have received from our community, the Florida legislature, FAU’s Board of Trustees, our healthcare partners, the Schmidt Family Foundation and all those who have had an integral role in helping to build our new medical school,” said FAU President John Kelly.
FAU’s College of Medicine received preliminary accreditation in 2011, and admitted its inaugural class that fall. In 2012, the college was granted provisional accreditation. Achieving full accreditation – the final step in the accreditation process – has been a top priority for David J. Bjorkman, M.D., M.S.P.H., dean and executive director of medical affairs, FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.
“Our medical school will have a huge impact on the healthcare and economics of this region and it’s taken the efforts of so many people to get us to this point today,” said Bjorkman. “We are indebted to our extraordinary students, our dedicated faculty and staff, our hospital partners, the more than 1,000 community physicians who provide countless volunteer hours and service to our students, our exceptional benefactors Dick and Barbara Schmidt, June and Dr. Ira Gelb, and Phyllis and Dr. Michael Dennis, as well as my predecessor Dr. Michael Friedland.”
Full accreditation is one of several milestones achieved by FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine this year. In March, members of the inaugural class participated in the first “Match Day” for the University. The class had a 100 percent residency match rate that included outstanding academic programs within Florida as well as Ivy League academic hospitals including Harvard (Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital), Yale (Yale-New Haven Hospital), Dartmouth (Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center) and Brown (Rhode Island Hospital). In April, FAU’s medical school celebrated its first commencement ceremony.
FAU’s College of Medicine selected its inaugural class out of more than 1,500 applicants, and has received 4,372 applications for 64 positions in the incoming class of 2015.
The medical school’s Integrated Patient Focused Curriculum (IPFC) is based on the principle that future physicians should learn essential basic science information in the context of patient care, patient case studies and the practice of clinical skills. The interaction with patients early on enhances medical students’ clinical skills, which prepares them to excel as soon as they begin their clinical clerkships. With only 64 students per class, close collegial relationships with other students and faculty are a hallmark of the college’s learning environment.
To further FAU’s commitment to increase much needed medical residency positions in Palm Beach County and to ensure that the region will continue to have an adequate and well-trained physician workforce, the FAU Consortium for Graduate Medical Education (GME) was formed in fall 2011 with five hospitals in Palm Beach County. In June 2014, FAU’s College of Medicine welcomed its inaugural class of 36 residents in its first University-sponsored residency in internal medicine. Boca Raton Regional Hospital is the primary site for the program, with participation from Bethesda Hospital East and Delray Medical Center. These are three of the five hospitals in the GME Consortium.
FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine is one of 141 medical schools in the country. The college was launched in 2010, when the Florida Board of Governors made a landmark decision authorizing FAU to award the M.D. degree. After receiving approval from the Florida legislature and the governor, it became the 134th allopathic medical school in North America.