03/07/2013 09:07 EST | Updated 05/07/2013 05:12 EDT

University dean says probation a possibility at struggling medical school

SASKATOON - The acting dean at the University of Saskatchewan says there is a "distinct possibility" that the college of medicine will be put on probation.

Dr. Lou Qualtiere says that does not mean the school will produce less graduates.

Next week, the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools will visit the Saskatoon campus to see what improvements have been made.

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

Qualtiere says there is no argument that the school could have been doing better in meeting the standards.

There were issues like not enough locker space for students and not adequate communication between department heads and co-ordinators.

Qualtiere says 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."