Medical School Self-study (MSS)

The Medical School Self-study (MSS) is a key component of the CACMS/LCME accreditation process.

The self-study process requires the time and effort of the medical school’s educational leadership, faculty members, students, administrative support staff and others associated with the medical school, its clinical affiliates, and, if relevant, its parent university.

The ultimate responsibility for conducting the self-study and preparing the final self-study report rests with the MSS Steering Committee.  Five MSS Sub-committees reporting to the Steering Committee, will review the MD Program's accreditation-related data.

How is the MSS organized?

The MSS Steering Committee has oversight of the entire CACMS/LCME Accreditation process at the University of Toronto. 

Five MSS Sub-committees will be appointed to review in detail the twelve CACMS Standards.  The sub-committees are organized around clusters of related standards:

  • Institution, Administration, and Learning Environment (Standards 1, 2, and 3)
  • Human, Financial, and Physical Resources (Standards 4 & 5)
  • Curriculum Design and Curriculum Content (Standards 6 & 7)
  • Program Evaluation and Student Assessment (Standards 8 & 9)
  • Medical Student Services and Support (Standards 10, 11, and 12)

I am a member of an MSS Sub-committee. How do I access materials?

All accreditation-related documents and sub-committee information are contained within the MD Program Accreditation Hub (login required).

Members of MSS Sub-committees received instructions on accessing the Accreditation Hub when they were appointed.

What are the topics covered by the MSS?

Each year, the CACMS publishes a set of Standards and Elements that form the basis of review of all programs leading to the MD degree.  There are twelve accreditation standards, covering areas deemed essential to ensuring the highest quality in medical education.  Each of the twelve CACMS Standards is subdivided into a number of elements.  There are currently a total of 96 elements across the twelve standards:

  1. Mission, planning, organiztion and integrity
  2. Leadership and administration
  3. Academic and learning environments
  4. Faculty preparation, productivity, participation, and policies
  5. Educational resources and infrastructure
  6. Competencies, curricular objectives, and curricular design
  7. Curricular content
  8. Curricular management, evaluation, and enhancement
  9. Teaching, supervision, assessment, and student and patient safety
  10. Medical student selection, assignment, and progress
  11. Medical student academic support, career advising, and educational records
  12. Medical student health services, personal counseling, and financial aid advising

What data do the MSS sub-committees review?

As part of the accreditation process, the MD Program is required to compile a comprehensive Data Collection Instrument (DCI), with required information for each of the 96 CACMS elements.

The DCI includes detailed data on all aspects of the MD Program.  Where applicable, sub-committees will also review portions of the Independent Student Analysis (ISA).

Data is submitted for the DCI by administrators, faculty, staff, and students from across the MD Program and its partners.

Who sits on the MSS sub-committees?

Each sub-committee has two co-chairs, who also serve as members of the MSS Steering Committee.

Sub-committee members are drawn from across the MD Program and its educational partners.  Faculty, staff, and students will be asked to serve on sub-committees appropriate to their expertise and interests.  This may include representatives of the University of Toronto, the Faculty of Medicine and the Dean of Medicine; MD Program leadership; Basic Science and Clinical Departments; full, associate, and community affiliated hospitals; and other individuals to ensure broad representation of the MD Program and its partners.

How do the MSS Sub-committees determine the MD Program's performance?

Over the course of several months, the subcommittees systematically evaluate whether the specific requirements of each element in their assigned standards are being met by the medical school.

Using the data from the DCI and where applicable the ISA, sub-committees evaluate each element using a set of MSS Evaluation Forms.

Based on the data presented by the MD Program, the subcommittees assign one of three ratings to each element:

  • Satisfactory
  • Satisfactory with a need for ongoing monitoring
  • Unsatisfactory

In cases where an element is rated as "unsatisfactory" or "satisfactory with a need for ongoing monitoring," the sub-committee will present data-informed recommendations for improvement in those areas to the MSS Steering Committee for action.

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