Technical Standards

The medical school faculty has specified the following nonacademic criteria (‘‘technical standards’’) that all applicants/medical students are expected to meet in order to participate in the medical education program and the practice of medicine.

  • Observation: The applicant/medical student must be able to participate actively in all demonstrations and laboratory exercises in the basic medical sciences and to assess and comprehend the condition of all patients assigned to him or her for examination, diagnosis, and treatment. Such observation and information acquisition usually requires the functional use of visual, auditory, and somatic sensation.
  • Communication: The applicant/medical student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; assess nonverbal communications; and effectively and efficiently transmit information to patients, fellow students, faculty, staff, and all members of the health care team. Communication skills include speaking, reading, and writing, as well as the observation skills described above.
  • Motor: The applicant/medical student must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers; be able to perform basic laboratory tests; possess all skills necessary to carry out diagnostic procedures; and be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients.
  • Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: The applicant/medical student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the applicant/medical student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. The applicant/medical student must have the capacity to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion.
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes: The applicant/medical student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and others. Applicants/medical students must also be able to tolerate taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to a changing environment, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, commitment, and motivation are personal qualities that each applicant/medical student should possess.

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