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College of Medicine probation a "distinct possibility"

Acting dean at the U of S says students need not worry
Reported by Ashley Wills
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There is a "distinct possibility" that the college of medicine will be put on probation.

While that's the message from the acting dean at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), he also said it does not mean the school will produce less graduates.

"Students that come out are fully licensed to go on and practice medicine or to go to residency training," said Dr. Lou Qualtiere.

The school has had a warning of probation for more than a year because it failed to meet 10 of the 139 accreditation requirements.

"The standards that they have identified, we have no arguments that we could have been doing better in those," he said.

Next week, the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) will visit the U of S campus to see what improvements have been made.

There were issues like not enough locker space for students and not adequate communication between department heads and co-ordinators. Qualtiere said the college believes it has addressed eight out of 10 issues.

"However, there are two of the accreditation standards that our college feels we probably haven't made the progress we should have," he said.

The CACMS will write a report after meeting with students and interviewing staff. It will be submitted to an adjudicating committee who will make the final decision by June.

"This is a process to maintain the high quality of the educational experience for our students," said Qualtiere.

"Without external pressure, sometimes those things don't get done and that's really what the whole accreditation process is about."

Qualtiere said the process has been stressful for students, but it will not affect their futures.

"We are certainly taking every step, that the educational experience for our under graduate medical students is not compromised in any way."

awills@rawlco.com

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