Special Reports

University of Missouri School of Medicine Told to Clean Up Discriminative Act or Lose Accreditation


The University of Missouri School of Medicine has been warned to clean up its act regarding gender discrimination and other issues or they will lose their accreditation. The warning was issued after a report revealed that the school's gender discrimination problem is twice as high as the national average.

In a 497-page report made by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accrediting body for medical degree programs, the MU School of Medicine was not only found guilty of discrimination and student mistreatment but also non-compliant in the required diversity programs.

The committee has visited the school in January and discovered that around 14 percent of the students were denied opportunities because of gender at least once. This is higher than the reported national average which is only six percent.

Meanwhile, another 43 percent reported that they experienced public humiliation while 22 percent were subjected to sexist and abusive remarks. On the other hand, the national average is 19 percent and 14 percent respectively.

The committee has warned that if the school will be placed on probation if it cannot solve the problem effectively and create progress within a year. If in two years, the committee will still not see any progress, they will remove the school's accreditation.

MU School of Medicine Dean Patrice Delafontaine accepted the committee's recommendation and admitted that they have already been aware of the issue before the report has been created.

"We take the LCME's recommendations very seriously. To that end, we have assembled a task force comprised of medical students, faculty and staff that is dedicated to continuous quality improvement in general, as well as to making specific quality improvements cited in the survey," she added.

MU medical school spokeswoman echoed what Delafontaine said saying that the school is taking these issues seriously. In fact, the school established the Committee on Civility and Respect in the Learning Environment to monitor and review student abuse cases.

The committee required more than this and asked Delafontaine to submit an action plan as well as the steps to address these issues by December 1.

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