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Technical Standards for Admission

I. Purpose

A candidate for the M.D. degree at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine (UC San Diego SOM) must demonstrate the ability to acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to complete the core UC San Diego SOM educational requirements, including those Technical Standards outlined in this document; achieve the UC San Diego SOM competencies in the basic and clinical sciences; and be able to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners of medicine.

The goal of medical education is to receive the training and skills needed to integrate the arts and science of medicine and be positioned to have meaningful locally, regionally, nationally, and/or globally impactful careers aimed at bettering humanity. To do this, candidates for the M.D. degree at UC San Diego SOM connect to a mission greater than themselves and develop both deep and robust medical knowledge bases and outstanding clinical skills. Furthermore, candidates develop the ability to appropriately apply this knowledge base and skills, effectively interpret information, and contribute to decisions across a broad spectrum of medical situations in varied settings—all while attending to self-care and seeking help when needed, both professionally and personally. Critical skills needed for the successful navigation of core experiences are outlined below, and include the ability to observe and communicate, as well as to understand, integrate core knowledge and skills, and to behave appropriately in varied educational and professional situations.

The University of California San Diego SOM is committed to the full and equitable inclusion of diverse qualified learners with and without disabilities and fully supports the use of reasonable accommodations when needed.

II. Standards

Observational Skills

Students must be able to obtain information from demonstrations and experiments in the basic and clinical sciences. Students must be able to assess a patient and:
  • Evaluate examination findings accurately
  • Accurately incorporate data derived from written documents, still and video images, and diagnostic studies of physiologic function

Communication Skills

Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in the English language and be able to communicate verbally and in written form with patients, families, faculty members, other students, and all members of the healthcare team, to:

  • Elicit information
  • Convey information
  • Clarify information
  • Collaborate and create rapport
  • Develop therapeutic relationships
  • Complete the UCSD SOM general requirements for graduation as outlined in the Advisor and Student Handbook

Examination and Diagnostic Skills

Students must possess the capacity to appropriately gain information and to provide or direct physical and diagnostic examinations, general care and the provision of emergency treatment to patients, including, but not limited to:
  • Basic airway management
  • CPR
  • Emergency bleeding control
  • Injury stabilization and dressing
  • Emergency medication administration
  • Emergency delivery

Intellectual-Conceptual Skills

Students must be able to demonstrate a wide variety of intellectual-conceptual skills, including:
  • Assimilate detailed and complex information presented in both didactic and clinical coursework and engage in problem solving
  • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and transmit information
  • Understand the spatial relationships of structures
  • Effectively learn, participate, collaborate, and contribute as a part of a team
  • Synthesize information effectively both in person and via remote technology
  • Interpret causal connections and make accurate, fact-based conclusions based on available data and information
  • Formulate a hypothesis, investigate the potential answers and outcomes, and formulate appropriate and accurate conclusions
  • Adapt to different learning environments and modalities
  • Achieve all the above within academically and clinically appropriate time frames

Behavioral Attributes, Social Skills and Professional Expectations

Students must exhibit sufficient maturity and emotional stability required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Exercise of good judgment and the prompt completion of responsibilities associated with the diagnosis and care of patients
  • Exhibit integrity, honesty, professionalism, and compassion
  • Display a spirit of cooperation and teamwork
  • Understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and function within the law and ethical standards of the medical profession
  • Interact with patients and their families, health care professionals, colleagues, faculty, and staff in a courteous, professional, and respectful manner
  • Accept responsibility for learning and exercising good judgment
  • Contribute to collaborative, constructive learning environments
  • Accept constructive feedback from others
  • Assume personal responsibility for making appropriate positive changes, including seeking mentorship and help when needed
  • Possess the physical and emotional endurance needed to tolerate physically demanding workloads and function in a competent and professional manner in high stress, fast-paced situations
  • Adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and manage the uncertainty intrinsic to the care of patients and the health care system.

III. Procedure

Technical Standards and Technical Standards Committee

At the time of acceptance to the UC San Diego SOM, students will be provided with a copy of the Technical Standards and will be asked to certify that they understand they must meet those standards.

The Technical Standards will be periodically reviewed and updated as needed. The version of the technical standards at the time of a student’s matriculation will be applicable throughout the student’s enrollment.

Evaluation and Implementation of Reasonable Accommodations

Students with disabilities should contact the UC San Diego SOM Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD) prior to matriculation or during enrollment if accommodation needs arise. The OSD will engage in a collaborative process with the student, the Technical Standards Committee, and/or other UC San Diego SOM faculty members as needed to determine reasonable accommodations. Given the clinical nature of medical education, additional time may be needed to implement accommodations. Timely information and requests by students are essential and encouraged as accommodations are not applied retroactively.

IV. Statement of Understanding and Agreement

I understand that fulfillment of the technical standards for graduation from the UC San Diego SOM does not mean that I will be able to fulfill the technical requirements of every residency program.

This document applies to all years of my medical school training at the UC San Diego SOM.

I have read and understood the above University of California San Diego School of Medicine Technical Standards. I agree to adhere to the stated procedures.