few have created standards in an attempt to establish diversity among faculty. (Analysis of LCME standards for medicine is in a later section of this paper, along with recommendations for change.) When reading the standards (where they exist) of the three major health professions to be reviewed, it becomes clear that they do place a high value on diversity while varying in strength of statement.
The American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation Programs is the specialized accrediting agency recognized by ED to accredit programs that provide basic preparation for licensure or certification in dentistry and related disciplines (ADA, 2002). The Accreditation Standards for Dental Education Programs document states: “Institutional definitions and operations … ensure patients’ preferences and that their social, economic and emotional circumstances are sensitively considered.” (DEP standards, 1998, p. 6). In keeping with this commitment, DEP has established standards for dental education programs that directly pertain to achieving diversity in admissions: “Admissions policies and procedures must be designed to include recruitment and admission of a diverse student population.” Another standard states, “Graduates must be competent in managing a diverse patient population and have the interpersonal and communication skills to function successfully in a multicultural environment.” It should be noted that all of the dental accreditation standards contain the word “must,” thus disallowing circumstantial means of noncompliance. These authors have no evidence as to how effective the dental profession has been in providing programmatic support to meet the standards, nor what assessment tools enable the profession to effectively measure the outcomes sought through the standards. It would be helpful to learn from the dental profession whether the word “must” has been effective in its recruitment and retention of a diverse student body.
Accrediting bodies for this field govern education for advanced-level psychology students attaining training primarily in the understanding and intricacies of health and human development. The Committee on Accreditation for Professional Programs in Psychology includes in its scope of accreditation (APA, 2002): (1) the doctoral graduate training program; (2) the internship carried out during the doctoral training; and (3) postdoctoral residencies in professional psychology. The following selections from psychology accreditation standards give evidence to the commitment of establishing diversity and retaining culturally competent faculty and students.