Technical Standards

SOM Technical Clinic

Technical Standards for Admission, Continuation and Graduation

Delineation of technical standards is required for accreditation of U.S. medical school by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. The School of Medicine is committed to compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and does not discriminate against otherwise qualified applicants for admission or matriculated students who have disabilities. The School of Medicine recognizes that the contract between the school and the public includes the expectation that the school will do everything reasonable to ensure that its graduates can become fully competent physicians. Patient safety must never be compromised. Acquisition of competence is a lengthy and complex process, which would be subverted by significant limitations, with or without reasonable accommodation, on the students’ ability to participate fully in the spectrum of experiences constituting the medical school curriculum. All candidates for admission, retention, promotion and graduation should be aware that the academic and clinical responsibilities of medical students may, at times, require their presence during day, evening and night hours, seven days a week. 
Technical standards provide criteria against which candidates for admission, retention, promotion and graduation from the School of Medicine can be assessed as the faculty operating through its committees exercises its judgment in selecting, retaining, promoting and graduating students. The curriculum of the School of Medicine has been designed to provide a generic professional education leading to the M.D. degree and to prepare students to pursue any pathway of graduate medical education and enter the independent practice of medicine. Therefore, an avowed intention on the part of a candidate to ultimately practice in only a narrow portion of the spectrum of medicine does not obviate the requirement for the candidate’s full participation in the entire educational and training continuum. In evaluating candidates for admission, retention, promotion and graduation, it is essential that the integrity of the curriculum be maintained, that those elements deemed necessary for the education of a physician be preserved, and that the health and safety of patients be maintained.
All candidates for admission must fulfill the minimum requirements for admission and all candidates for the MD degree must complete all required courses and clerkships as listed in the School of Medicine Bulletin.


Candidates must be able, in classroom, clinical and laboratory environments, to acquire information from demonstrations and participate in experiments of science, including but not limited to such things as dissection of cadavers; examination of specimens in anatomy, pathology, and neuroanatomy laboratories; and microscopic study of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. Candidates must be able to obtain a medical history and perform a complete physical examination, integrate findings based on this information and develop an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan. Candidates must be able to recognize non-impaired versus impaired patient function or conditions. These skills require the use of vision, hearing, smell and touch, or the functional equivalent.


Candidates must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently, empathetically, and sensitively with patients, their families, health care personnel, colleagues, faculty, staff, and all other individuals with whom they come in contact. Candidates must be able to obtain a medical history in a timely fashion, interpret non-verbal aspects of communication, and establish therapeutic relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to perceive and react appropriately to changes in mood, activity, posture and behavior; and perceive nonverbal communication. Candidates must be able to gather, transmit and record information accurately and clearly; and communicate effectively and efficiently in English with other health care professionals in a variety of patient settings, using both written and oral form.

Motor Function

Candidates must be able to participate in classroom, clinical, and laboratory learning environments in a timely, efficient, and effective manner. Candidates must be able to perform physical examinations (e.g., palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers) using appropriate equipment. They must be able to respond to clinical situations in a timely, efficient and effective manner to provide general and emergency care, including adherence to universal precautions. Candidates must be able, with or without reasonable accommodation, to effectively operate a computer. These activities require some physical mobility, coordination of both gross and fine motor neuromuscular function and balance and equilibrium.  

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

Candidates must be able to rapidly, consistently and accurately assimilate and analyze clinical data, perform observations, clinical measurements and calculations and problem-solve to make logical diagnoses and therapeutic judgments for patients. Candidates must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction; small group, team and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; simulations and use of computer technology. Candidates must be able to memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, synthesize, and transmit information. They must recognize and draw conclusions about three-dimensional spatial relationships and logical sequential relationships among events, as related to human anatomy and function. They must be able to formulate and test hypotheses that enable effective and timely problem-solving in diagnosis and treatment of patients in a variety of clinical settings and health care systems.  

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Candidates must demonstrate the maturity and emotional stability required for full use of their intellectual abilities. They must accept responsibility for learning, exercising good judgment, and promptly completing all responsibilities attendant to their curriculum and to the diagnosis and care of patients. Candidates must display integrity, honesty, conscientiousness, empathy, a sense of altruism, and a spirit of cooperation and teamwork. They must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine, and must function within both the law and ethical standards of the medical profession. Candidates must be able to interact with patients and their families, health care personnel, colleagues, faculty, staff, and all other individuals with whom they come in contact in a courteous, professional, and respectful manner. Candidates must be able to contribute to collaborative, constructive learning environments; accept constructive feedback from others; and take personal responsibility for making appropriate positive changes. Candidates must be able, with or without reasonable accommodation, to tolerate taxing workloads and function in a competent and professional manner under highly stressful situations, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and manage the uncertainty inherent in the care of patients and the health care system.


Implementation of these technical standards across the educational continuum is within the purview of the faculty of the School of Medicine operating through its faculty committee processes. It is the responsibility of the members of faculty committees to determine the appropriate interpretation and application of the standards in individual cases.

Approved by Executive Faculty: July 1, 2019