Qualifications for Doctor of Medicine Degree Candidates
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education has recommended that all medical schools develop technical standards to assist them in determining whether applicants for admission to the School of Medicine or candidates seeking the degree of Doctor of Medicine are qualified to pursue a career in medicine. This document, Qualifications for Doctor of Medicine Degree Candidates, contains RUSM technical standards, based on guidelines produced by the Association of American Medical Colleges. This document is also published in the Student Handbook distributed to all matriculating candidates. All applicants who reach the interview stage will be required to read the Technical Standards and to sign a copy of this document to indicate that they understand the Technical Standards. The signed form is kept as a permanent part of the record of all matriculating candidates.
Medicine is a physically and mentally demanding profession in which practitioners are asked to place the interests of their patients above their own, which requires commitment to a life of service, and dedication to continuous learning. RUSM has a responsibility to society to train physicians who are prepared to care for their patients with critical judgment, broadly based knowledge, and well-honed technical skills. The abilities that physicians must possess to practice safely are reflected in the technical standards that follow. Thus, applicants and candidates must be able to meet these standards and successfully complete all identified requirements to be admitted to RUSM, to progress through the curriculum and ultimately, to receive the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Medicine must be capable of performing in the following defined areas: Observation, Communication, Motor, Strength and Mobility, Cognitive and Social.
Candidates must be able, with or without reasonable accommodation, to observe and participate in experiments. In order to make proper clinical decisions, candidates must be able to accomplish the following, with or without accommodation: (i) observe a patient accurately using all necessary senses, (ii) acquire information from written documents, films, slides or videos, and (iii) interpret X-ray and other graphic images, and digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomena, such as EKGs.
Candidates must be able to accomplish the following, with or without reasonable accommodation: (i) communicate effectively, sensitively and rapidly with patients and members of the health care team (both verbal (spoken) and written), (ii) understand and convey information essential for the safe and effective care of patients in a clear unambiguous and rapid fashion in emergency situations, and (iii) relate information to and receive information from patients in caring and confidential manner. Candidates must be fluent in English. All coursework and instruction is provided in English.
Candidates must possess the motor skills necessary to themselves accomplish the following, with or without reasonable accommodation: (i) perform palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers, (ii) perform basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, etc.), (iii) carry out diagnostic procedures (proctoscopy, , paracentesis, etc.) and (iv) provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency
treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medication, application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers.
Candidates must have sufficient posture, balance, flexibility, mobility, strength and endurance, with or without reasonable accommodation, for necessary standing, sitting, and participating in the laboratory, classroom and clinical centers. They must have sufficient personal dexterity to perform examinations and procedures as required on their clinical clerkships.
In order to solve clinical problems effectively, candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize in a timely fashion. In addition, they must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
Candidates must demonstrate throughout their medical education compassion, integrity, concern for others, necessary and appropriate interpersonal skills, interest and motivation. Candidates must possess the emotional health required for the full utilization of their intellectual abilities, for the exercise of good judgment, for the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, for the development of effective relationships with patients and for effective functioning as a member of the health care team. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients.