A couple of years on probation may be just what the doctor ordered for Dalhousie University’s undergraduate school of medicine, say some students in the program.

The university announced yestreday it had lost an appeal to the U.S.-based Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME), and would be subject to a two-year probationary period starting today. The LCME reviews medical schools across Canada and the U.S.

“I actually see this as a great opportunity for change,” said second-year medical student Stephanie Van Zanten. “Some of the issues were very small things that have already been fixed ... our school has been very transparent throughout this whole process.”

The committee reviewed the school on 132 standards earlier this year, and Dalhousie was deemed “non-compliant” on 17. In a release issued yesterday, the medical school said most of the issues related to curriculum management, monitoring and evaluation.

Despite its probationary status, Dalhousie maintained that its medical program is still accredited, and the ruling will not affect students’ ability to qualify as doctors or obtain residency training.

Second-year student Melissa Keith called the LCME’s decision “disappointing,” but said she was not discouraged by her school’s performance.

“I’m pretty confident that in two years, we’ll have made the changes we need to make,” said Keith. “I’m not really worried about it.”

The school’s dean, Tom Marrie, confirmed the university has started to improve the areas where problems were found, and expects the school will be able to unveil a brand-new medical curriculum by September 2010.

There are a total of 17 accredited faculties of medicine across Canada.