Medical Education banner Click here for the Medical Education Home Page Click here for the UC Irvine Home Page Click here for the School of Medicine Home Page
 
 
 
 

Technical Standards

All students entering and continuing in the UC Irvine School of Medicine must meet all of the technical standards,
with reasonable accommodation if necessary, and each student will be expected to certify that he/she meets these standards.

The School of Medicine or the Disability Services Center may require that a candidate for the MD degree undergo an
evaluation to ascertain whether these technical standards can be met with reasonable accommodation, if necessary.

POLICY ON TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR ADMISSION AND GRADUATION

I. Background

Attainment of the MD degree signifies that its holder is a physician prepared to enter the practice of medicine within the context of post-graduate medical education. Thus those individuals receiving the MD degree must be able to assume the responsibility of safely and ethically providing care to patients. Because graduates of medical school must be prepared to assume care for patients in a wide variety of clinical disciplines, the education for the MD degree, is, of necessity, broad in nature. An avowed intention to practice only a narrow part of the curriculum does not alter the requirement that all students take the full curriculum.

The university recognizes that federal and state laws prohibit discrimination against disabled applicants and students, and that otherwise qualified candidates for the MD degree may be able to meet the technical standards described in this document, if provided reasonable accommodation. It should be noted, however, that the use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable in situations where the candidate's judgment is impacted by the intermediary's powers of selection and observation. Thus, the use of personal aids, assistants, caregivers, readers, and interpreters may not be appropriate, particularly in clinical education settings. The UC Irvine Disability Services Center will work with the candidate in determining whether reasonable accommodations are available.

To assure that students in the School of Medicine attain the desired level of competence prior to graduation, the faculty has established the following educational objectives:

  1. UC Irvine graduates will be knowledgeable. By the time of graduation students will have demonstrated relevant and sufficient knowledge in these broad areas:
    1. Knowledge of the structure and function of the major organ systems, including the molecular, biochemical, and cellular mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis
    2. Knowledge of the pathogenesis of diseases, interventions for effective treatment, and mechanisms of health maintenance to prevent disease
    3. Knowledge of basic clinical skills to meet the skills objectives, including interviewing, physical diagnosis, communication, and clinical reasoning processes
    4. Knowledge of population health, epidemiology principles, and the scientific basis of research methods relevant to healthcare
    5. Knowledge of medical practice, including healthcare economics and health systems impacting the delivery and quality of patient care
  2. UC Irvine graduates will be skillful. By the time of graduation, UC Irvine students will demonstrate:
    1. The ability to competently conduct a medical interview and counseling to take into account patient health beliefs, patient agenda, and the need for comprehensive medical and psychosocial assessment
    2. The ability to competently perform a complete and organ-system-specific examination including a mental health status examination
    3. The ability to articulate a cogent, accurate assessment and plan, and problem list, using diagnostic clinical reasoning skills in all the major disciplines
    4. The ability to search the medical literature, including electronic databases and to locate and interpret up-to-date evidence to optimize patient care
    5. The ability to practice effective preventive medicine by identifying, addressing and advocating for strategies to maintain health and well-being, to identify and treat disease early where appropriate, and to advise on lifestyle practices
    6. The ability to function effectively within the context of complexity and uncertainty in medical care
  3. UC Irvine graduates will be altruistic, developing and demonstrating professionalism and commitment. By the time of graduation students will demonstrate attitudinal learning and behaviors in these domains:
    1. Honesty and integrity reflecting the standards of the profession, in interacting with colleagues, patients, families and professional organizations
    2. Professional behaviors reflecting compassion and respect for patient privacy, altruism and a commitment to comprehensive, holistic medical care
    3. Sensitivity and awareness of diverse cultures, health beliefs, and social factors impacting patient health and illness
    4. The commitment to seek knowledge and skills to better serve the needs of the underserved in their communities
  4. UC Irvine graduates will be dutiful. By the time of graduation students will show:
    1. A commitment to lifelong learning and independently seeking new knowledge and skills in their own recognized areas of learning deficit
    2. A commitment to patient care and to the well being of patients and colleagues
    3. A commitment to serve their community
    4. A commitment to personal well-being and the well-being of family and friends

In order to attain these objectives the faculty of the School of Medicine has determined that prospective and enrolled students must demonstrate an ongoing record of academic achievement. They must also demonstrate the ability to meet a predetermined set of intellectual, physical, and behavioral/social requirements described below as technical standards.

II. Technical Standards for the UC Irvine School of Medicine

A. Intellectual Abilities:

A candidate for the MD degree (a prospective or enrolled student) must have sufficient intellectual cognitive capacities to assimilate a large volume of technically detailed and complex information presented through formal lectures, small group discussions, individual teaching sessions, clinical teaching sessions and independent learning activities. He/she must be able to critically analyze such information, to identify relevant material and appropriately apply such material to solve problems in a timely and effective manner. A candidate must be able to measure, calculate, analyze and synthesize data, appreciate three-dimensional spatial relationships among structures and logical sequential relationships among events. He/she must also be able to form and test hypotheses.

B. Physical abilities:

Observation

A candidate for the MD degree must, be able to acquire a defined level of information as presented through demonstrations and experiential activities in the basic sciences including but not limited to anatomic dissections, microscopic examination of tissues and microbial organisms and physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations in animals. He/she must also be able to accurately observe a patient at a distance and close at hand, acquire information from written documents and visualize information presented in images from paper, films, slides or video. A candidate must be able to interpret radiological images, and other digital or analog graphic representations of anatomic, physiologic or pathologic data (such as ECGs). Such observation and information acquisition requires the functional use of visual, auditory, and somatic sensory functions.

Communication abilities
A candidate for the MD degree must be able, after a reasonable period of training and experience, to communicate in an effective and sensitive manner with patients. The candidate must also be able, after a reasonable period of training and experience, to communicate with other health care providers effectively and efficiently in both oral and written forms and to in turn receive and understand oral and written communications.

Motor
abilities

A candidate for the MD degree must after a reasonable period of training and experience, possess the capacity to perform physical examination and diagnostic maneuvers including but not limited to palpation, percussion auscultation, digital rectal examination, pelvic examination and obtaining blood urine and other basic body fluid or tissue samples. He/she must be able to respond to emergency situations in a timely manner and provide general emergency care such as airway management, CPR, placement of intravenous catheters, simple wound repair, and basic obstetrical procedures. Such activities require physical mobility, coordination of both gross and fine motor neuromuscular function and balance and equilibrium.

C. Behavioral and social abilities:

A candidate for the MD degree must possess the emotional health, maturity, discipline, and professional attributes necessary for the competent practice of medicine. Certain characteristics are particularly crucial to the attainment of this competence. They include but are not limited to integrity, honesty, attendance and conscientiousness, empathy, a sense of altruism, and a spirit of cooperation and teamwork. The candidate for the MD degree must accept responsibility for learning, and exercise good judgment. He/she must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and manage the uncertainty inherent in the care of patients. The candidate must be able and willing to be physically present for all required educational activities.

D. Safety:

UC Irvine and the School of Medicine have a responsibility to consider the safety of patients and others. Should a candidate for the  MD degree pose a direct threat to the health or safety of patients or others, he/she may be denied admission or dismissed from the School of Medicine.

III. Evaluation and determination of adherence to the technical standards

All students entering and continuing in the School of Medicine must meet all of the technical standards, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, and each student will be expected to certify that he/she meets these standards. The School of Medicine or the Disability Services Center may require that a candidate for the MD degree undergo an evaluation to ascertain whether these technical standards can be met with reasonable accommodation, if necessary.

IV. Responsibilities

Applicants and students should contact the Disability Services Center, if they have any questions about reasonable accommodations. Students with disabilities who require accommodation shall register with the Disability Services Center. Students who fail to register with the Disability Services Center, or fail to provide necessary documentation, shall not be considered to be claiming or receiving accommodations under the federal or state disability laws.

The Disability Services Center shall work with applicants with disabilities or students who request accommodation. The Disability Services Center shall make recommendations to the associate dean for medical student affairs concerning reasonable accommodations.

The associate dean for medical student affairs shall be responsible for administering this policy and determining whether a reasonable accommodation can be provided without fundamentally altering the college’s academic standards, and that the accepted or matriculated student can meet the  technical standards with the accommodation.

The chair of the School of Medicine Faculty Senate Executive Committee shall appoint an ad hoc Committee on Technical Standards to consider appeals concerning an alleged failure to reasonably accommodate an accepted or matriculated student with a disability. The committee shall be comprised of two clinical School of Medicine faculty, two pre-clinical School of Medicine faculty, and one staff person knowledgeable of the disability laws and policies. The ad hoc committee shall be appointed within five working days after the chair of the executive committee receives notice of the appeal.