FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE M.D. DEGREE
UCSD School of Medicine, September 8, 2009
The educational objective of the UCSD School of Medicine is to prepare students in the care of patients for the practice of medicine. Students admitted to the UCSD School of Medicine must have the intellectual, emotional and physical abilities, with reasonable accommodations as needed for those with disabilities, to acquire the knowledge, behaviors, and clinical skills that they will need to successfully complete the core curriculum in order to pursue any pathway of graduate medical education. The ability, with reasonable accommodations as needed for those with disabilities, to meet the technical standards essential for the fulfillment of the requirements for the M.D. degree and the educational objectives established by the faculty are evaluated in all candidates for admission and graduation. The technical standards outlined below (“Technical Standards”), in conjunction with established academic standards, are followed by the Admissions Committee to select students who possess the intelligence, integrity, physical, and personal as well as emotional characteristics that are necessary to become an effective physician. The academic and technical standards established by the faculty require that all students accepted by the UCSD School of Medicine possess the physical, cognitive, and behavioral abilities that insure that they will be able to complete all aspects of the curriculum. All applicants are held to the same academic and technical standards of admission and training, with reasonable accommodations as needed for students with disabilities. Although the School of Medicine will engage in an interactive process with applicants with disabilities, the School of Medicine reserves the right not to admit any applicant who, upon completion of the interactive process, cannot meet the Technical Standards set forth below, with reasonable accommodations.
Those individuals who would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of others are not considered suitable candidates for admission.
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. Accordingly, candidates for the M.D. degree must be able to perform specific essential functions that the faculty deem requisite for the practice of medicine. These functions fall into several broad categories, including: observation; communication; motor; conceptual, integrative and quantitative; and behavioral and social. Candidates must also have the physical and emotional stamina to function in a competent manner in a setting that may involve heavy workloads and stressful situations. The School of Medicine has determined that those individuals who are currently impaired by alcohol or substance abuse cannot meet the Technical Standards.
Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, medical illustrations and models, microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. They must also be able to directly and accurately see a patient’s physical condition, must be able to obtain a medical history and perform a physical examination correctly on the patient in order to integrate the information derived from these observations in order to develop an accurate diagnostic and treatment plan. These skills require the functional use of vision, hearing and somatic sensation.
Candidates must be able to speak, hear, and observe patients in a clinical setting. They must be able to record information accurately and clearly, speak fluent English, and communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Candidates must also be able to communicate effectively with other members of the healthcare team in oral and written form, and in patient care settings in which decisions based upon those communications must be made rapidly.
Candidates must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers necessary to complete a full physical examination. They must possess the motor function sufficient to perform basic laboratory tests (e.g., urinalysis, CBC, etc.), and carry out diagnostic procedures (e.g., venipuncture, arterial puncture, paracentesis, thoracentesis, lumbar puncture, etc.). Candidates must be able to execute the appropriate motor movements required to provide general care as well as emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the management of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers.
Candidates for the M.D. degree must have effective and efficient learning techniques and habits that allow mastery of the complex medical curriculum. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, clinical instruction, small group activities, laboratory activities, individual study, preparation and presentation of reports, and use of computer technology. They must be able to memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize. They must also be able to comprehend spatial relationships and three-dimensional models.
Candidates must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and function within the guidelines established by the law and by the ethical standards of the medical profession. They must be able to relate to patients and their families, colleagues, and other members of the healthcare team with courtesy, maturity, and respect for the dignity of individuals. This requires that they place the welfare of their patients foremost, and demonstrate honesty, integrity, dedication, compassion and nondiscrimination in the care of their patients. They must at all times demonstrate the emotional stability to be able to exercise good judgment, and carry out prompt completion of all the responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of their patients in a sensitive and effective manner. This sensitivity includes self-examination of personal attitudes, perceptions, and stereotypes in order to avoid potential negative impact on relationships and patient care. Applicants must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and professional responsibility to their patients, and to learn to function in an environment of uncertainty, in which changes may occur rapidly and without warning. All of these personal qualities will be assessed during the admissions and educational process.