It is inherent that a candidate for the MD Degree possesses certain abilities and skills. The technical standards set forth below establish the essential qualities considered necessary for medical students at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine to achieve the knowledge, skills, and levels of competency necessary both for medical education and for graduation.
Reasonable technical accommodation can be made in certain areas. However, the student must still be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner with such accommodation. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable in many clinical situations; a student's judgment is then mediated by someone else's power of selection and observation. If you believe that you may need accommodations, please consult the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.
I. Observation Skills
A medical student must be able to:
- Acquire a defined level of required information as presented through demonstrations and experiences in the basic sciences, including, but not limited to, information conveyed through physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations in animals, microbiological cultures, and microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states.
- Observe a patient accurately, both at a distance and close at hand.
- Acquire information from written documents.
- Visualize information as presented in images from paper, films, slides, or video.
- Interpret x-ray and other graphic images as well as digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomenon (such as EKGs).
Such observation and information acquisition requires the functional use of visual, auditory, and somatic senses, enhanced by the functional use of other sensory modalities. When a medical student's ability to observe or acquire information through these sensory modalities is compromised, the student must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to acquire the essential information conveyed in this fashion.
II. Communication Skills
A medical student must be able to:
- Skillfully communicate, in English, both verbally and in written form.
- Speak, hear, and observe patients by sight to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity and posture; and perceive nonverbal communications.
- Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients; communication includes speech and writing.
- Communicate effectively and efficiently, in oral and written form, with all members of the health care team.
Such communication requires the functional use of visual, auditory, and somatic senses, enhanced by the functional use of other sensory modalities. When a medical student's ability to communicate through these sensory modalities is compromised, the student must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to meet communication standards.
III. Motor Skills
A medical student must possess the motor skills necessary to:
- Directly perform palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers.
- Perform basic laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures.
- Execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general and emergency medical care, such as airway management, placement of intravenous catheters, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, application of pressure to control bleeding, suturing of wounds, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers.
Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
IV. Social and Behavioral Abilities
A medical student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities. In addition, a medical student must be able to:
- Exercise good judgment.
- Promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients.
- Develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients.
- Function effectively under stress.
- Tolerate physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding workloads.
- Adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients.
- Communicate with and care for, in a nonjudgmental way, persons whose culture, spiritual beliefs, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, and/or age are different from their own.
- Examine the entire patient, male or female, regardless of the social, cultural, or religious beliefs of the patient or of the medical student.
V. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities
A medical student must be able to solve problems. Effective problem solving, a critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of the abilities above. In addition to the above, a medical student must be able to:
- Remain awake and alert.
- Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize.
- Comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures.
- Perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion.