COM Health and Technical Standards

As a candidate, as well as an enrolled medical student for the DO degree, you must have abilities and skills in the areas described below and meet the standards described as an obligation to patients that you’ll interact with as a student physician and to society as an osteopathic physician.

Reasonable accommodations will be made as required by law; however, you must be able to meet all technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation. Please refer to the section on the Americans with Disabilities Act. The use of a trained intermediary necessarily requires that a candidate’s judgment be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation, and is not a permissible accommodation. Enrolled students who are unable to meet these standards may be asked to appear before the Student Performance Committee and may be subject to dismissal.

Immunizations

Although universal precautions are required in patient interactions, the risk of infection is increased. In order to protect you, and to prevent the spread of disease to patients, you must satisfy the immunization requirements at the time of admissions and throughout your medical school career. Failure to do so will prevent matriculation or lead to dismissal.

Observation

Physical diagnosis is based upon your ability to see, hear, touch and interact with patients. Direct observation of body stature, body position, ambulation, facial expression, skin color, range of motion, eye color, etc., are just a few examples of the necessary capability you must have to master the requirement of physical diagnosis. You must be able to observe demonstrations, experiments and patients in the basic and clinical sciences. This includes but is not limited to the ability to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation requires the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensations.

Communication

You must be able to speak, hear and observe patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity and posture; and perceive nonverbal communications. You must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and other health care professionals. Communication (in English) includes speech, hearing, reading and writing.

Sensory/Motor

You must have sufficient motor function to elicit information by palpation, auscultation, percussion, as well as other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers. You should be able to perform basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, blood glucose testing, etc.), carry out diagnostic procedures (endoscopy, paracentesis, etc.) and read EKGs and X-rays.

You should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care, osteopathic manipulation and emergency treatments to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, application of pressure to stop bleeding, opening of obstructed airways, suturing of simple wounds, the Heimlich maneuver and performance of basic obstetric maneuvers.

Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, the ability to stand and equilibrium with the functional use of the senses of touch and vision. You must be able to lift a minimum of 40 lbs. and stand for a minimum of one hour.

Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

You must possess conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities, including measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, you must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationship of structures. You must be able to sit in a classroom and participate in a full eight-hour day. The practice of medicine requires periods of distinct concentration in surgery, trauma, emergency room care and other patient settings. You must be capable of extended periods of intense concentration and attention.

Behavior and Social Attributes

You must have the emotional health required for full use of the intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. You must be able to tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. You 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 many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admission and educational processes.

Osteopathic Principles and Practices (OPP) and Principles of Clinical Medicine (PCM) Laboratory Policies

All courses that include osteopathic manipulation and clinical skill courses include didactic presentations, demonstrations, practical laboratory experiences and clinical opportunities. These courses require the active participation of all students in the laboratory setting where you, through the active and tactile examination of others along with reciprocal examination, will learn and demonstrate the ability to evaluate and proficiently treat your future patients.

The training of an osteopathic physician requires the ability to perform tactile examinations and osteopathic manipulative techniques on members of the same and opposite sex. The training of an osteopathic physician also requires that you experience and understand tactile diagnostic exercise and manipulative treatment. You are required to participate both as patients and as trainees in the OPP laboratory and PCM laboratory, and examine and be examined by members of the same and opposite sex. 

As a graduate from our College of Osteopathic Medicine you’ll have the ability to apply for licensure as a physician in all fifty states. Your license is not restricted to any one particular sex, and you must demonstrate the ability to practice medicine on both males and females.