STANFORD: Medical School Escapes Probation by One Vote
The "elite" Stanford University Medical School has "narrowly escaped" probation by the accrediting arm of the American Association of Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Accreditation officials found the classrooms, lecture halls, teaching laboratories and computer systems to be "poor quality," and singled out as particularly "deplorable" the computer system and cramped library that has neither bathrooms nor air conditioning. Officials also called the school's planned $37.6 million, four- year overhaul a series of "well-intentioned but drawn out remedies that in many ways fall short" of the "resources necessary for 21st century medical education," saying the school needs to speed up the overhaul and show that it is committed to improving the facilities. "Stanford has a fine medical school and its graduates are splendid. (But) no school of the standing and quality and affluence of Stanford has instructional facilities that bad," wrote Dr. Donald Kassebaum, secretary of the Liason Committee on Medical Education, in a letter to the medical school. Kassebaum noted that the vote to place the school under probation fell short by just one vote, and that his committee has only put four or five schools on probation this decade.
It's the Merger's Fault
University President Gerhard Casper said, "We have understood for a while that the present facilities are indeed in need of renovation, expansion and general updating. Part of the problem is that there are so many pressing issues to address in the medical center world (such as the Stanford-UCSF merger), it is at times hard to stay on top of everything at the same time." Cynthia Bradford, assistant dean of the medical school, said, "We're doing everything we can to address the matters covered in the (committee) letter and we believe we're going to have improvements made within the time frame that was estimated if not sooner" (Feder, 4/5).