Technical Standards

CUSM-SOM is committed to full compliance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (PL 93–112) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA PL 101–336) enacted by Congress in 1990 (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability). Upon acceptance, students must attest to their ability to meet those standards with or without reasonable accommodations. This acknowledgment is noted by their signature on a copy of the school's Technical Standards.

Accepted applicants to CUSM-SOM must be able to complete all requirements inherent in and leading to the MD degree. To ensure this, CUSM-SOM has adopted technical standards for the assessment of all accepted applicants. Because the MD degree implies the practice of medicine, the graduates must have the knowledge and master the skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to administer a wide spectrum of patient care.

Functional senses are critical for the diagnostic skills of the MD and other healthcare providers. Therefore, the candidates for the MD program must have somatic sensation as well as functional senses of vision, smell, taste, and hearing. Additionally, they must have sufficient function of touch, pain, and temperature, and sufficient proprioceptive sense (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, and vibratory). Sufficient motor function is also critical since it permits them to carry outpatient examination procedures and perform other medical skills. They must be able to consistently, quickly and accurately integrate all the information they gather from their patient and employ it while inspecting the patient. They must have intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize all types of information and data in a logical manner to reach an accurate diagnosis. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation, are all personal qualities that should be assessed during the admissions and education processes.

In addition, the candidate for the MD degree must have the following five skills * :

* Technological accommodations can be made for some disabilities in some of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

“The whole art of medicine is in observation… but to educate the eye to see, the ear to hear and the finger to feel takes time, and to make a beginning, to start a man on the right path is all that you can do.” – William Osler

The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations, and experiments in the basic sciences, including but not limited to physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations, microbiologic cultures and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must also be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.

The candidate should be able to speak, to hear, and to observe the patient in order to gather information, describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients not only through speech but reading and writing. The patients of physicians who communicate well are more adherent to therapies and more satisfied with care. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively with all members of the healthcare professions. Communication skills are necessary for the student to accomplish the curricular requirements of CUSM-SOM.

Candidates should have sufficient motor function to gather information from patients. For example, physical examination requires motor function for, e.g., inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation. A candidate should be able to complete routine procedures using universal precautions without risk to patients. A candidate should be able to do basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, complete blood count, etc.), carry out diagnostic procedures (proctoscopy, paracentesis, etc.) and read electrocardiograms and X-rays. A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably when s/he is required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular coordination, equilibrium, and meticulous use of the senses of touch and vision.

These qualities are required for measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis, as well as the ability to extrapolate and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments. They are also required for problem-solving skills. The candidate should also be able to recognize and draw conclusions about three-dimensional spatial relationships and logical, sequential relationships among events. The candidate should be able to use the information s/he gathered to formulate and then test hypotheses that enable effective, timely diagnosis and treatment of patients in a variety of clinical modalities. The candidate should understand the legal and the ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and should remain fully alert and attentive at all times in clinical settings.

A candidate must:

  1. Demonstrate the judgment and the emotional health stability for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities.
  2. The exercise of good judgment and prompt completion of all responsibilities as well as tasks attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients.
  3. Communicate and relate to patients, their families, and healthcare personnel in a sensitive and professional manner.
  4. Work effectively and professionally as part of the healthcare team.
  5. Be able to adapt to changing environments.
  6. Display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.
  7. Readily be willing and able to examine any patient regardless of the patient’s age, disability, national origin, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, or political beliefs.
  8. Maintain regular, reliable, and punctual attendance for classes and clinical responsibilities.
  9. Contribute to collaborative, constructive learning environments, accept constructive feedback from others, and respond with appropriate modification.