Technical (Non-Academic) Standards for Medical School Admission

Technical (Non-Academic) Standards for Medical School Admission

Last updated: July 13th, 2022 at 11:30 am

A candidate for the M.D. degree must have abilities and skills in the five functional areas described below and must have the physical and emotional stamina and capacity to function in a competent manner, and consistent with these standards, in the classroom, clinical and laboratory settings—including settings that may involve heavy workloads, long hours, and stressful situations.

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

2. Communication: A candidate must be able to speak, to hear, and to observe patients to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.

3. Motor: Candidates must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers that comprise a complete physical examination (including pelvic examination). A candidate must be able to perform the basic and advanced clinical procedures that are requirements of the curriculum. A candidate must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch, vision, and hearing.

4. Intellectual: Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem-solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires that a candidate be able to learn, retrieve, analyze, sequence, organize, synthesize, and integrate information efficiently, and reason effectively. In addition, the candidate should be able to measure and calculate accurately, and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his 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. Candidates must be able to work effectively, respectfully, and professionally as part of the healthcare team, and to interact with patients, their families and healthcare personnel in a courteous, professional, and respectful manner. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are required.

Technological compensation can be made in certain areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary, a person trained to perform essential skills on behalf of the candidate, or a person used such that a candidate’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation, is not permitted.

In addition to the abilities and skills set forth above, candidates must possess the general physical health necessary for performing the duties of a medical student and physician in training without endangering the lives of patients and/or employees with whom the student might have contact.

Applicants are required to attest at the time they accept an offer to matriculate that they meet the university’s technical standards. These standards are not intended to deter any student who might be able to complete the requirements of the curriculum with reasonable accommodations. Requests from applicants for reasonable accommodations in meeting the technical standards will be reviewed and considered by the WAUSM Office of Student Affairs. Students requesting accommodations must complete WAUSM’s Accommodations Form.

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