Health & Technical Requirements for Admissions to the College of Medicine

All candidates must meet the health and technical standards required for admission and participation in the educational programs of the College. Because the D.O. 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.

A candidate for the D.O. degree must demonstrate proficiency in the following six skills and abilities: observational, communicative, motor, conceptual, integrative, quantitative, behavioral and social. Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in some of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary implies that the candidate's judgment must be mediated by someone else's powers of selection and observation.

  • Observation — The candidate should be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, including, but not limited to: physiologic, pharmacologic and microbiologic demonstrations involving animals, microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate should be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the senses of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.
  • Communication — A candidate should be able to speak, to hear and to observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity, posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate should be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech, but also reading and writing. The candidate should be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of a health care team.
  • Motor — Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to do basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, etc.), carry out diagnostic procedures (proctoscopy, paracentesis, etc.), and read EKG's and X-rays. A candidate should be able to reasonably execute motor movements required to provide general care, osteopathic manipulation and emergency treatment to patients. Examples include resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, application of pressure to stop bleeding, opening of obstructed airways, suturing of simple wounds and the performance of obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and the functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
  • Intellectual — Conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities are required of a candidate, including the ability to perform the following: measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
  • Behavioral and Social — Candidates must possess the emotional health required for full use of their intellect, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities in the diagnosis and care of patients and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and colleagues. Candidates must be able to cope with strenuous workloads and changing environments with flexibility, and to cope with ambiguity in decision making. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are essential for the successful functioning physician. Candidates must be free of psychopathic or sociopathic behaviors which are contrary to professional and ethical standards. Emotional instability precludes the successful completion of the medical curriculum. Any of the above behaviors are inconsistent with the standards of LECOM and will result in denial of admission or expulsion from the college. Candidates must be intellectually honest, ethical, law-abiding and without felony convictions. Candidates should have no record of suspensions for academic misconduct or behavior showing disregard for the law or other individuals, other than minor traffic violations.
  • General Health — Candidates must have sufficient physical stamina to perform strenuous workloads for long periods. Candidates should be free of chronic debilitating diseases that preclude successful completion of the medical curriculum. Candidates must be free of active infectious diseases, which are highly contagious in a health care setting.