At a meeting last month of the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME), a decision was made that the University of the Virgin Islands Medical School should remain an applicant and not move to Candidacy status, which would have triggered a site visit. The reasons provided related to sufficiency, sustainability and status of resources contained in the University’s application. There were no concerns raised about the curriculum, faculty, facilities, policies or other critical aspects of the medical school’s 900-page application. 

In response to this information, the Board of Trustees voted to create an ad hoc committee made up of members of the University’s Board and the Foundation for the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Directors to determine next steps. The Board, and thus the University, remain resolute in the belief that a medical school in the Virgin Islands is critical to the health and economic future of the Territory.  

President David Hall indicated that though some of the issues raised can be easily corrected with additional documentation, “the University will work with private donors, federal agencies, and other institutions to enhance the resources associated with the project.” 

Attorney Henry Smock, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and chair of the Ad Hoc Committee said, “The news was disappointing, especially because of the enormous work of the medical school leadership team and the Administration, but our resolve remains firm, and the Committee will work closely with the Administration to analyze and assess the project and determine next steps.” Under LCME rules, the University has 12 to 18 months to address the concerns stated and reapply as an applicant.

One aspect of the medical school project remains on track for implementation. The Medical School Simulation Center located on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix is scheduled to become operational in late June or early July. This innovative facility, the recipient of a $14.1 million grant from the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce, will provide comprehensive cutting-edge training for existing physicians, nurses and other medical professionals. The Medical Research and Training Center on the Orville E. Kean Campus on St. Thomas, also a recipient of a $18.6 million grant from the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce, should be completed in 2022/2023 

LCME is the most prestigious accrediting body for medical schools in the United States and Canada.