Medical school accreditation has existed in Canada since 1942. The cyclical process improves the quality of education and health care; serves the interests of the public; and ensures general competences in preparation for graduate medical education. At the University of Ottawa, we take pride in going beyond the requirements outlined in the standards and use the peer-reviewed process to stimulate innovation with the goal of adjusting our medical education to the ever-changing conditions in health care and to prepare our doctors for the needs and expectations of the population we serve.

The evaluation process consists of a comprehensive medical school self-study, on-site evaluation by a team of peer reviewers, and CACMS review of the report of the site visit team. The University of Ottawa medical program was fully accredited in 2018; the next full accreditation review will take place during the 2026-2027 academic year.

As a Canadian medical school, the University of Ottawa is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS). Historically, Canadian universities and medical schools were jointly accredited by CACMS and their American counterpart, the joint Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The CACMS and the LCME used the same policies and standards and members from the collaborating organizations would sit on each other’s committees. While they both endorse the same high standards for medical educational programs, it was recognized that differences may arise in some aspects to better allow for each country’s medical educational programs to meet unique national demands and it was agreed that the joint accreditation process would conclude in September 2021.

The decision to end the joint accreditation process was made to implement separate processes going forward in which the CACMS assumed independent accreditation of Canadian medical education programs while the LCME continued to accredit medical education programs in the United States. As these national standards are addressed, and to ensure the quality and substantial equivalency of accreditation standards and processes, the CACMS and the LCME will maintain a working relationship and collaborate at all levels while also considering the unique Canadian and United States contexts.

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