Essential Requirements for Admission, Academic Advancement & Graduation
The mission of the University of Maryland School of Medicine is to graduate the best future physicians. It is the responsibility of the faculty to society to select applicants who are best qualified to complete the required training and most likely to become skilled, effective physicians. Applicants and students will be judged not only on their scholastic achievement and ability, but also on their intellectual, physical and emotional capacities to meet the essential requirements of the school's curriculum. The Committee on Admissions is instructed to exercise judgment on behalf of the faculty to select the entering class, and to consider character, extracurricular achievement, and overall suitability for the medical profession based upon information in the application, letters of recommendation, and personal interviews.
Medical education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of skills and professional attitudes and behavior. The essential requirements presented in this document are pre-requisite for admission, academic advancement and graduation from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. All courses in the curriculum, including ongoing self-directed learning, are required in order to develop essential knowledge, attitudes and skills required to become a competent physician.
Graduates of the medical school must have the attitudes, knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. The University of Maryland School of Medicine acknowledges Section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and PL 101-336, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but maintains certain minimum technical standards that must be present in the prospective candidate for the M.D. degree.
The University of Maryland School of Medicine will consider for admission to the medical school any applicant who demonstrates the ability to perform or to learn to perform the skills listed in this document. Deficiencies in knowledge base, judgment, integrity, character, or professional attitude or demeanor which may jeopardize patient care may be grounds for course or rotation failure and possible dismissal.
Aptitudes, Abilities and Skills
A candidate for the M.D. degree must have aptitude and abilities, and must have or attain within a reasonable time after admissions, skills in five areas: observation; communication; sensory and motor coordination and function; conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities; and behavioral and social attributes.
The student must be able to observe demonstrations and participate in experiments in the basic and clinical sciences determined essential by the respective faculties. A student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and at close hand, noting non-verbal as well as verbal signals. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities.
A student must be able to speak intelligibly, to hear adequately, and to observe closely patients in order to elicit and transmit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive non-verbal communications. A student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech, but reading and writing. In addition, the student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written English with all members of the health care team. A student must possess reading skills at a level sufficient to accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care for patients. The student must be capable of completing appropriate medical records and documents and plans according to protocol in a complete and timely manner.
Sensory and Motor Coordination and Function
A student must have sufficient sensory and motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A student should be able to do basic laboratory tests, carry out diagnostic procedures, and read ECG's and radiographs. A student must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
Candidates for the M.D. degree must have somatic sensation and the functional use of the senses of vision and hearing. The student's diagnostic skills will also be lessened without the functional use of the senses of equilibrium, smell and taste. Additionally, a student must have sufficient exteroceptive sense (touch, pain and temperature), sufficient proprioceptive sense (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis and vibratory) and sufficient motor function to permit them to carry out the activities described above. The student must be able to consistently, quickly, and accurately integrate all information received by whatever senses are employed; and the student must have the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data.
Clinical training may require the ability to transport oneself to a variety of off-site settings in a timely manner. Rounds and patient care may require prolonged and/or rapid ambulation or movement. Reasonable accommodations will be determined on an individual basis and at the discretion of the Committee on Admissions or the Advancement Committee with faculty consultation.
Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities and often must be performed quickly, especially in emergency situations. A student must be able to identify significant findings from history, physical examination, and laboratory data, provide a reasoned explanation for likely diagnoses, prescribe appropriate medications and therapy, and retain and recall information in an efficient and timely manner. The ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature in formulating diagnoses and plans is essential. Good judgment in patient assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic planning is essential; a student must be able to identify and communicate knowledge to others when appropriate.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
The student must possess the emotional health required for full use of 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. The student must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively when stressed. The student must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. A student is expected to accept appropriate suggestions and criticism and, if necessary, respond by modification of behavior. Empathy, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that should be assessed during the admission and educational processes.
The University of Maryland School of Medicine will consider for admission to medical school any applicant who demonstrates the ability to perform, or to learn to perform within a reasonable time, the skills listed in this document.
Applicants with Disabilities
State and federal law require the University of Maryland School of Medicine to provide reasonable accommodations for applicants with disabilities. In the context of the School of Medicine's curriculum, some disabilities cannot be accommodated, while others can be accommodated.
An applicant is not disqualified from consideration due to a disability. Applicants are not required to disclose the nature of disabilities to the Committee on Admissions. Applicants with questions about the School's Essential Requirements for admission, academic advancement and graduation in relation to their disabilities are encouraged to discuss the issue of accommodation with the Committee on Admissions prior to the interview process. If appropriate, and upon the request of a Medical School applicant or student, academic adjustments and/or reasonable accommodations may be provided. For applicants, the Committee on Admissions will work with the appropriate advancement committee and course director to determine whether requested accommodations are feasible and reasonable.
Some of the aptitudes, abilities, and skills described in the Essential Requirements can be attained by some applicants with technological compensation or other reasonable accommodations. However, applicants using technological supports or other accommodations must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of trained intermediaries to carry out functions described in the Essential Requirements will not be permitted by the School of Medicine. Intermediaries, no matter how well trained, are applying their own powers of selection and observation, which could affect the student's judgment and performance. Therefore, the School will not permit third parties to be used to assist a student in the clinical training area in accomplishing curriculum requirements in the five skill areas identified in the Essential Requirements. Other accommodations will be given due consideration, and reasonable accommodations will be made where consistent with curriculum objectives and legal requirements applicable to the School.
Requests for Accommodation
An applicant who has not been offered admission to the School of Medicine may disclose a disability and request accommodation during the admission process. THIS IS NOT REQUIRED. However, an applicant may want to determine the School's response to a specific accommodation request early in the admissions process. An applicant who chooses voluntarily to disclose a disability should write, call or visit the Associate Dean for Admissions to disclose the disability and discuss accommodation requests.
After admission, students (including admittees who have not yet accepted a place in a class of the School of Medicine, admittees who have accepted a place, and matriculating students) can disclose disabilities and request accommodation by writing, calling or visiting the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
The Associate Dean to whom a disability is disclosed will interview the applicant or student and gather all relevant information. The applicant or student will be required to submit in writing the requested accommodation and pertinent supporting information. The pertinent information will include a history of accommodations granted previously in other educational programs and references who can discuss with the Associate Dean the experience of the applicant or student in other educational settings.
The School may require medical or other verification of disabilities and proof of information presented concerning accommodations. Such proof may include demonstration of assisted physical abilities. The School may require independent medical examinations or testing to verify claimed disabilities, determine the extent and effects of disabilities, and assess the utility of accommodations.
After gathering all relevant and necessary information, the Associate Dean will contact the Chair of the Advancement Committee. The Chair will receive and review the information gathered and convene a subcommittee to consider the accommodation request and advise the Dean concerning the request. The subcommittee will be composed of four members of the Advancement Committee and four members of the Admissions Committee in the case of an applicant who has not been offered admission. The subcommittee will be composed of six members of the Advancement Committee in the case of an admittee or matriculated student. The subcommittee may request additional information and may seek technical and medical consultations from resources in the School and University and from other resources. The subcommittee will make a written recommendation to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, who will forward it to the Dean or his designee. The recommendation will set forth the reasons for the subcommittee's recommendation.
The Dean or his designee will make a final decision concerning a request for accommodation.
The following deadlines and goals will be observed:
Any student who is not yet a matriculant must make requests for accommodation of disabilities within one week after accepting admission to a School class. Any matriculating student who becomes aware of a disability requiring accommodation, or of need for accommodation of a previously known disability, must request the accommodation as soon as the need for accommodation has been identified. A student can expect a response from the Dean's Office within 21 days of submitting all required documentation, as described above. The time may be extended if the School requests additional information which cannot reasonably be gathered within the period.
Is the student able to observe demonstrations and participate in experiments in the basic and clinical sciences?
Is the student able to analyze, synthesize, extrapolate, solve problems, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments?
Does the student 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 student reasonably be expected to relate to patients and establish sensitive, professional relationships with patients?
Can the student reasonably be expected to communicate the results of the examination to the patient and to his colleagues with accuracy, clarity and efficiency?
Can the student reasonably be expected to learn and perform routine laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures?
Can the student reasonably be expected to perform with precise, quick and appropriate actions in emergency situations?
Can the student reasonably be expected to display good judgement and assume responsibility in the assessment and treatment of patients?
Can the student reasonably be expected to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modifications of behavior?
Can the student reasonably be expected to possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the medical school curriculum and enter the independent practice of medicine?