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Technical Standards for Admission and Graduation

Technical Standards for Admission & Graduation

The Admissions Committee of the College of Medicine has adopted the following technical standards for admission:

The curriculum of the Medical University of South Carolina, College of Medicine has been designed to provide a general professional education leading to the M.D. degree and to prepare students to enter graduate medical training in a wide variety of medical specialties and subspecialties. All candidates for admission to, and all candidates for the M.D. degree at the College of Medicine should possess sufficient intellectual capacity, physical ability, emotional stability, interpersonal sensitivity, and communication skills to acquire the scientific knowledge, interpersonal and technical competencies, professional attitudes, and clinical abilities required to pursue any pathway to graduate medical education and to enter the independent practice of medicine. All candidates should be aware that the academic and clinical responsibilities of medical students may, at times, require their presence during day and evening hours, seven days per week.

While the College of Medicine fully endorses the spirit and intent of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992, it also acknowledges that certain minimum technical standards must be present in candidates for admission to, and graduating from, the M.D. program, with or without reasonable accommodations:

All candidates for admission must fulfill the minimum requirements for admission and all candidates for the M.D. degree must complete all required courses and clerkships as indicated in the College of Medicine bulletin.

All candidates for admission and all candidates for the M.D. degree should possess sufficient physical, intellectual, interpersonal, social, emotional, and communication abilities to:

a)    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 the health care team.

b)    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.

c)    tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. Candidate must be able to adapt to changing environments, be flexible, and to function in the face of ambiguities inherent the clinical situation.

d)    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.

e)    must be mobile with or without assisted devices within the clinical environment.

f)     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 both accurately both close at hand and at distance.  Observation requires the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities and is enhanced by the functional use of smell.

g)    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.  Candidate should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation. auscultation. percussion and other diagnostic operations.  Candidate should be able to use effectively and in a coordinated manner those standard instruments necessary for a physical examination (e.g., stethoscope, otoscope, sphygmomanometer, ophthalmoscope, and reflex hammer).  Candidate should be able to execute motor movements require 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 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.

h)    conduct tests and perform laboratory work.  Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations, collect data, and participate in the basic sciences, including, but not limited to, physiologic and pharmacologic demonstration in humans, microbiologic cultures and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states.  They should be able to learn and perform basic laboratory studies (e.g., proctoscopy, paracentesis) and read electrocardiograms and X-rays.

i)      ultimately make logical diagnostic and therapeutic judgments.  Candidates should be able 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.

In evaluating candidates for admission and candidates for the M.D. degree, 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 the health and safety of patients be maintained.  Attendance is considered an essential part of the curriculum and, where applicable, is required.

While compensation modification and accommodation can be made for some disabilities on the part of candidates, candidates must be able to perform the duties of a student and of a physician in a reasonably independent manner.  The use of a trained intermediary would result in mediation of a candidate's judgment by another person's powers of selection and observation.  Therefore, the use of trained intermediaries to assist students in meeting the technical standards for admission or graduation is not permitted.

The College of Medicine will consider for admission and as a candidate those students who demonstrate the ability to perform or to learn to perform the skills and abilities specified in these technical standards. Candidates for the M.D. degree will be assessed on a regular basis, not only on the basis of their academic (intellectual)  abilities, but also on the basis of their nonacademic (physical, interpersonal, communication, and emotional) abilities to meet the requirements of the curriculum and to graduate as skilled and effective medical practitioners.

Curriculum Accommodation

MUSC COM will provide reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.  Students wishing to request accommodations should make application to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Application procedures include documentation of the nature of the disability and the specific accommodation requested, supported by appropriate test results and diagnostic information from a qualified professional. The application must be made in a timely manner prior to any coursework for which accommodation is requested. The application will be reviewed and the student notified in writing of the accommodations to be provided if a disability under Section 504 has been determined.  If accommodation is to be provided, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs will advise course directors and other pertinent faculty as to the nature and extent of the accommodation to be provided.


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