Policy ID Number: N/A
Policy Title: Technical Standards for Admission, Retention and Graduation
Approval Authority: COM EDAS Council
Responsible Entity: College of Medicine
Policy Owner: COM EDAS Council
1. Policy Statement
Applicants to the College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina are selected for admission based on their academic, personal, and extracurricular attributes. Applicants must also have the intellectual, physical and emotional capabilities to meet the requirements of the curriculum and of a successful medical career. Final acceptance and matriculation into the College of Medicine is contingent upon the applicant’s ability to satisfy the Technical Standards with or without accommodations.
Applicants to the MD Degree program; College of Medicine students, teaching faculty and administrators.
3. Approval Authority
College of Medicine EDAS Council
4. Purpose of This Policy
This policy describes the technical standards in detail and explains the rationale for a minimum standards requirement for students seeking the MD degree. The policy clearly states that final acceptance and matriculation into the College of Medicine is contingent upon the applicant’s ability to satisfy the technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations.
5. Who Should Be Knowledgeable about This Policy
College of Medicine Students and Applicants
College of Medicine Teaching Faculty and Administrators
6. The Policy
The curriculum of the MD degree program has been designed to provide a general professional education leading to the MD degree and to prepare students to enter graduate medical training in a wide variety of medical specialties and subspecialties. All candidates for admission to the program, and all students enrolled in the program, should possess sufficient intellectual capacity, physical ability, emotional stability, interpersonal sensitivity, and communication skills to acquire and apply the scientific knowledge, interpersonal and technical competencies, professional attitudes, and clinical abilities required to pursue any pathway to graduate medical education and to enter into the independent practice of medicine. All candidates should also be aware that the academic and clinical responsibilities of medical students require their presence at variable times during day and evening hours, any day of the week.
The MUSC College of Medicine will consider for admission and/or continuation any applicant who meets its academic and nonacademic criteria and who demonstrates the ability to perform skills and meet the standards listed in this document, with or without reasonable accommodations, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The MUSC College of Medicine believes that all applicants must possess the intellectual, physical and emotional capabilities necessary to undertake the curriculum, in its entirety, in a reasonably independent manner without having to rely on the assistance of others or intermediaries, and that all applicants must be able to achieve the levels of competence required by the faculty. All applicants for admission, both those with and without disabilities, are expected to be competitive with others in the applicant pool in academic, personal and extracurricular attributes. The institutional policy is to make admissions decisions on the basis of each applicant’s qualifications to contribute to the MUSC College of Medicine’s educational mission. For purposes of this document and unless otherwise defined, the term “ candidate” means applicants for admission to medical school as well as enrolled medical students who are candidates for promotion and graduation.
All candidates for admission must fulfill the minimum requirements for admission and all candidates for the MD degree must complete the required courses and clerkships as indicated in the College of Medicine Bulletin. Attendance is considered an essential part of the curriculum and, where applicable, is required.
The following technical standards specify the attributes considered essential for completing medical school training and for enabling each graduate to enter residency and clinical practice. These standards, along with the academic standards established by the faculty, describe the essential functions that applicants must consistently demonstrate to meet the requirements of a general medical education, and are pre-requisites for entrance, continuation, promotion, and graduation.
All candidates for admission and all candidates for the MD degree should possess 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: A candidate must be able to obtain a medical history and perform physical and mental examinations with a wide variety of patients. Candidates must be able to observe patients accurately, both close at hand and at distance. Observation requires the functional use of the sense of vision, hearing, and other sensory modalities. A candidate must be able to conduct tests and perform laboratory work, observe demonstrations, collect data, and participate in basic sciences, including, but not limited to physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in humans, microbiologic cultures and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. Candidates should be able to learn and perform basic laboratory studies and read electrocardiograms and radiologic images.
2. Communication: A candidate must be able to establish appropriate relationships with a wide range of faculty members, professional colleagues, and patients. Candidates should possess the personal qualities of integrity, empathy, concern for the welfare of others, interest and motivation. Candidates should also possess the ability to work as an effective member of a health care team. A candidate must be able to speak, to hear, to read, to write, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, to describe changes in mood, activity, posture and behavior, and to perceive nonverbal communications. Candidates should be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in the English language in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.
3. Motor: A candidate must be mobile with or without assistive devices within the clinical environment. Candidates must have sufficient exteroceptive sense (touch, pain, and temperature), proprioceptive sense (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, and vibratory), and motor function to carry out the requirements of the physical examination. Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic operations. Candidates should be able to use effectively, in a coordinated manner, those standard instruments necessary for a physical examination (e.g., stethoscope, otoscope, sphygmomanometer, ophthalmoscope, and reflex hammer). Candidates should be able to execute motor movements required to provide general and emergency treatment to patients, including 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 fine and gross muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision. Candidates should be able to perform a complete physical exam of patients, including a genitourinary exam.
4. Intellectual: Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: Candidates should be able to ultimately make logical diagnostic and therapeutic judgments. A candidate must have the ability to make measurements, calculate and reason; analyze, integrate and synthesize data; and to problem-solve. Candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. Candidates should be able to integrate rapidly, consistently, and accurately all data received by whatever sense(s) employed.
5. Behavior and Social Attributes: Candidates must possess the emotional health required for the full use of their intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities associated with the diagnosis and care of patients; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, patients’ families, and professional colleagues. A candidate must have the ability to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. Candidates must be able to adapt to changing environments, be flexible, and to function in the face of ambiguities inherent in the clinical situation. Candidates must demonstrate their willingness to care for a diverse patient population with a wide range of backgrounds and characteristics.
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 colleagues with whom the student might have contact. Candidates whose performance is impaired by use of alcohol or other substances are not suitable candidates for admission, continuation, promotion or graduation.
Technological compensation can be made in certain of these 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.
Process for Assessing Compliance with the Technical Standards Prior to Matriculation
Applicants are required to attest at the time they accept an offer to matriculate that they meet the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine’s Technical Standards, and thereafter must attest on an annual basis that they continue to meet the Standards. These Standards are not intended to deter any student who might be able to complete the requirements of the curriculum with reasonable accommodations. Applicants with a disability who wish to request reasonable accommodations must submit their request to the University ADA Coordinator who will consult with College of Medicine Technical Standards Committee. For additional information about the College of Medicine’s process for assessing an applicant’s compliance with the Technical Standards, the University’s ADA Coordinator should be contacted.
I have read and understand the Technical Standards for Admission, Retention, and Graduation and am able to meet all requirements.
I have read and understand the Technical Standards for Admission, Retention, and Graduation and am not able to meet all requirements without accommodations. I understand that I must contact the University’s ADA Coordinator to review the process for requesting accommodations prior to July 1st before the start of the next academic year to request accommodations. MUSC Disability‐Related Accommodation Policy.
Procedure for Assessing an Applicant’s Compliance with Technical Standards
1. All applicants will be evaluated using the same standards and criteria of the admissions policy of the College of Medicine. Final acceptance and matriculation into the College of Medicine is contingent upon the applicant’s ability to satisfy the Technical Standards with or without accommodations.
2. Before matriculation, applicants are required to state whether they believe that they can meet or cannot meet the Technical Standards.
3. In the case of a matriculant who requests accommodations, the University ADA Coordinator will consult with the College of Medicine Technical Standards Committee and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, to assess the applicant's ability to meet the technical standards with reasonable accommodations.
4. The committee may seek input from specific teaching faculty and course directors regarding an accommodation and the impact of the accommodations on educational assessments and outcomes, and demonstration of student’s ability to meet the education standards.
5. The committee in collaboration with the University’s ADA Coordinator may communicate with the appropriate course directors, facilities managers, etc., concerning the feasibility of any needed accommodation. The committee will review the information received from all parties to determine if the request for accommodations or modifications is reasonable.
6. If the committee determines that an applicant does not or cannot meet the technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations, the applicant will not be permitted to matriculate.
Procedure for Assessing a Matriculated Student's Ability to Continue to Satisfy Technical Standards
1. Medical students in the College of Medicine at MUSC must continue to meet the technical standards throughout their enrollment. A student who develops or manifests an inability to meet the technical standards after matriculation may be identified to the Office of Student Affairs through a variety of sources, e.g., self-reporting, a report of accident or illness, faculty observations, poor academic performance, unprofessional behavior.
2. If accommodations are requested, the matter will be referred to the University’s ADA Coordinator to review the process for determining disability and requesting accommodation. Accommodations requests follow the procedure described in the previous section.
3. If a student can no longer meet the technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations, the student is eligible for dismissal and is referred to the COM Progress Committee.
Appeal of decisions regarding accommodations should be directed to the University’s ADA Coordinator. See the MUSC Disability‐Related Accommodation Policy
7. Special situations
8. Sanctions for Non-compliance
Failure to meet the College of Medicine Technical Standards, with or without reasonable accommodations, will result in an applicant being denied admission to the program, and will result in a student’s dismissal from the program.
9. Related Information
A. Reference, citations
MUSC Disability‐Related Accommodation Policy.
Enrolled students should contact the College of Medicine Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Student Wellness for specific questions related to the Technical Standards.
10. Communication Plan
The College of Medicine will publish the revised policy online in the College of Medicine education policies which is linked to the university bulletin. The policy is also included an online module that students are required to read and attest to each year.
See the MUSC Disability‐Related Accommodation Policy for definitions related to disability and accommodations.
12. Review Cycle
Every two years at a minimum.
13. Approval History
Approval Authority Date Approved
EDAS Council July 25, 2018
EDAS Council May 6, 2016
COM Technical Standards Committee May 6, 2016
14. Approval Signature
July 25, 2018
Donna Kern, MD Date
Title: Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, College of Medicine