All medical schools are expected to develop technical standards to assist them in determining whether applicants for admission to the school of medicine or candidates seeking the degree of Doctor of Medicine are qualified to pursue a career in medicine. The document, “Qualifications for Doctor of Medicine Degree” (Qualifications), contains Avalon’s technical standards. This document is also published in the Student Handbook, which is distributed to all matriculating candidates. All applicants who reach the interview stage sign a copy of the technical standards as outlined below to indicate that they understand the requirements and expectations. The signed form is kept as part of the record of all matriculating students.
Medicine is a physically and mentally demanding profession in which practitioners are asked to place the interests of their patients above their own, which requires commitment to a life of service and dedication to continuous learning. The rigorous four-year medical school curriculum is where candidates begin to develop the qualities necessary for the practice of medicine. It is during this period of undergraduate medical education that the candidate acquires the foundation of knowledge, attitude, skills, and behaviors that he or she will need throughout his or her professional career. During this period, it is critical for the school of medicine to evaluate whether the candidate is qualified to receive Doctor of Medicine degree. The school of medicine has a responsibility to society to train physicians competent to care for their patients with critical judgment, broadly based knowledge, and well-honed technical skills. The abilities that physicians must possess to practice safely are reflected in the technical standards that follow. Thus, applicants and candidates must be able to meet these standards and successfully complete all identified requirements to be admitted and ultimately receive a Doctor of Medicine degree from Avalon University School of Medicine. Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Medicine must perform in defined areas: Visual, Oral-auditory, Motor, Cognitive and Social.
Candidates must be able to observe and participate in experiments in the Basic Sciences. For example, physiologic demonstrations and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues. To make proper clinical decisions, candidates must be able to observe a patient accurately. Candidates must be able to acquire information from written documents, films, slides, or videos. Applicants must also be able to interpret X-ray and other graphic knowledge, and digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomena, such as EKG’s, with or without the use of assistive devices. Thus, functional use of vision is necessary (closed and at a distance).
Candidates must be able to be fluent in English and communicate effectively, sensitively, and rapidly with patients (must be able to speak and hear) and members of the health care team (both verbal and written). In emergency situations candidates must be able to understand and convey information essential for the safe and effective care of patients in a clear, unambiguous, and rapid fashion. In addition, candidates must have all the ability to relate information to and receive it from patients in a caring and confidential manner.
Candidates must possess the motor skills necessary to perform palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers. Motor skill demands require reasonable endurance, strength, and precision. Candidates should have sufficient motor function to 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 execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of this are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medication, 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 senses of touch and vision.
Candidates need enhanced sensory skills, including accuracy within specific tolerances and functional use for laboratory, classroom, and clinical experiences. Students who are otherwise qualified, but who have significant tactile sensory or productive disabilities, must be evaluated medically. These disabilities included individuals who were injured by significant burns, have sensory motor deficits, cicatrix formation, or have malformation of upper extremities.
Strength and Mobility
Candidates must have sufficient posture, balance, flexibility, mobility, strength, and endurance for standing, sitting, and participating in the laboratory, classroom, and clinical centers.
To effectively solve clinical problems, candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize in a timely fashion. In addition, they must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of others.
Candidates must possess the emotional health required for the full utilization of their intellectual abilities, for the exercise of good judgment for the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and for the development of effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients.
The unpredictable needs of patients are at the heart of becoming a physician. Academic and clinical responsibilities of students must require their presence during day and evening hours, any day of the week.
Students will be evaluated on their scholastic accomplishments as well as their physical and emotional capacities to meet the full requirements of the school’s curriculum and to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners of medicine.
The Following Technical Requirements Apply:
- Is the candidate able to observe demonstrations and participate in experiments in the Basic Sciences?
- Is the candidate able to analyze, synthesize, extrapolate, solve problems, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments?
- Does the candidate have sufficient use of the senses of vision and hearing and the somatic sensation necessary to perform a physical examination? Can the candidate perform palpation, auscultation, and percussion?
- Can the candidate be expected to reasonably relate to patients and establish sensitive, professional relationships with patients?
- Can the candidate be expected to reasonably learn and perform routine laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures?
- Can the candidate be expected to reasonably communicate the results of the examination to the patient and to his colleagues with accuracy, clarity, and efficiency?
- Can the candidate be expected to reasonably perform routine invasive procedures as part of training using universal precautions without substantial risk of infection to patients?
- Can the candidate be expected to reasonably perform with precise, quick, and appropriate actions in emergency situations?
- Can the candidate be expected to reasonably display good judgment in the assessment and treatment of patients?
- Can the candidate be expected to reasonably possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the medical school curriculum and enter the independent practice of medicine?
- Can the candidate be expected to reasonably accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior?