Because the M.D. degree signifies that the holder is a physician prepared for entry into the practice of medicine within postgraduate training programs, it follows that graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. Therefore, the following abilities and expectations listed below must be met by all students admitted to, retained by, and graduated from the School of Medicine. After acceptance to the medical school, students are asked to attest to their ability to meet these standards, with or without accommodations.
- Observation: The student must be willing and able to observe demonstrations and experiences in the basic sciences, including but not limited to, dissection of human cadaveric tissue in gross anatomy, physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.
- Communication: A student should be able to speak, to hear, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. A student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing. The student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.
- Motor and Sensory: A student should have sufficient motor and sensory function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A student should be physically able to do basic laboratory tests, carry out diagnostic procedures (suturing, paracentesis, etc.), and read electrocardiograms and radiographs. A student should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are 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 gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
- Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: The abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the student should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
- Behavioral and Social Attributes: A student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective professional relationships with patients. A student must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. A student must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical problems. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skill, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and education process.