McGill University’s medicine program put on probation by governing body

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) offices . Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

MONTREAL – McGill University’s prestigious medical school has been placed on probation by the Canadian body that grants accreditation because it says the curriculum fell short of academic standards.

But the dean of McGill’s faculty of medicine said Wednesday they are already working to correct issues that have been raised.

“It’s really about procedural issues in the faculty, things that need to be documented, things that we have to ensure are done in a certain way which we have not been paying enough attention to,” said David Eidelman. “I think this is why we are in difficulty.”

A survey team from the Association of Faculties of Medicine in Canada, the body that grants accreditation, visited McGill in late February.

McGill’s principal and vice-chancellor, Suzanne Fortier, was informed in writing in mid-June that they’d voted to place the program on probation.

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Eidelman said he met with students late Wednesday to reassure them their status as students and their ability to graduate are not affected.

Founded in 1829, the faculty is home to nearly 5,600 students and more than 4,600 staff according to the university.

The association wrote in a letter it found that numerous standards were lacking that seriously compromised the quality of the medical education program.

Students interviewed as part of the association’s report suggested inadequate instruction in a number of areas like pain management, behaviour sciences and human sexuality.

Eidelman said a new curriculum is being put in place but still needs to be approved.

He was confident the situation would be corrected.

There will be a visit in September to make sure it is on track to submit a detailed action plan by December.

The faculty will be subject to a review again in 2017.

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