Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation

The College of Osteopathic Medicine is committed to the admission and matriculation of qualified students and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, or disability. Regarding disabled (or physically challenged) individuals, the college will not discriminate against such individuals who are otherwise qualified, but the college will expect that minimal technical standards be met by all applicants and students as set forth herein. These standards reflect what we have determined are reasonable expectations from osteopathic medical students and physicians in performing common and important functions, keeping in mind the safety and welfare of the patients.

Technical Standards
An osteopathic physician must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. In order to perform the activities described below, candidates for the D.O. degree must be able to quickly, accurately and consistently learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data.

To facilitate the attainment of optimum care and safety, students at the College of Osteopathic Medicine must:

1. behave in a manner exhibiting high moral and behavioral standards reflecting the position and status of an osteopathic physician;

2. demonstrate respect for individuals and groups with consideration to the diversity of age, gender, nationality, race, religion or disability;

3. meet minimal technical and ability standards; the practice of medicine in general, and osteopathic medicine in particular, requires the ability to learn, process and utilize a great deal ofknowledge and experience. Students must have the ability to see, hear and touch independently to optimally assess the physical, mental and emotional status of patients. Where a deficiency occurs, it must be compensated with the aid of prosthetics to the extent that the student's functioning is equal to that of a non-impaired student. Reasonable adaptations are those that will enable the osteopathic student to function independently, and when necessary, in a team-like fashion with other health professionals in an unimpaired manner.

I. Observation
Candidates and students must have sufficient vision to be able to observe demonstrations, experiments and laboratory exercises in the basic sciences. They must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and nearby. It is essential to have adequate visual capabilities to assess structural asymmetries, range of motion, and tissue texture changes.

II. Communication
Candidates and students should be able to speak, hear and observe patients in order to elicit information, examine patients, describe multiple patient characteristics, and perceive nonverbal communication. They must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes the ability to read and write. One must be able to communicate both orally and in written form with other members of the health care team.

III. Motor
Candidates must have sufficient motor function to execute those movements required in the general and emergency care of patients. Osteopathic physicians are required to be able to perform cardiovascular resuscitation, insert catheters, open obstructed airways, perform obstetrical maneuvers and operate various diagnostic and therapeutic devices, as well as perform osteopathic manipulation, among other procedures.

All of these require both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and use of touch and vision.

IV. Sensory
Osteopathic students and physicians need enhanced tactile abilities and should a candidate have significant tactile, sensory or priopreceptive disabilities, he or she would have to be carefully evaluated prior to admission. Problems might be present in individuals who have had previous burns, loss of sensation, scar formation or malformations of the upper extremities.

V. Strength and Mobility
Osteopathic manipulative techniques often require upright posture with sufficient extremity and body strength. Individuals with limitations in these areas would be unlikely to succeed. Mobility is required when attending to emergency codes and performing CPR.

VI. Behavior and Social Attributes
Candidates and students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. Osteopathic education requires the ability to tolerate physically taxing workloads and adapt to changing environments.

Candidates and students must display flexibility and a spirit of cooperation with faculty, classmates and colleagues.

Osteopathic physicians, in particular, utilize touching as part of the osteopathic approach to diagnosis and treatment, and must be able to tolerate being touched as part of the learning process, as well as touching others in a sensitive, professional manner.

Students must demonstrate the mental capacities of receptive and expressive language, which are necessary to the practice of osteopathic medicine, as well as the ability to fully process information in written and verbal forms. If disabilities in any of these components occur, the student must demonstrate appropriate and accurate adaptive coping skills to overcome any deficit. The practice of medicine infers the protection and safety of patients, not just the ability to pass preparatory examinations.

Physicians are responsible for those who place themselves into their care and must demonstrate the ability to rapidly process information, make decisions and perform the appropriate interventions.

Certain personal characteristics are expected of a physician. These include integrity, compassion, interpersonal skills and motivation.


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