Technical Standards for Admission

Background

Applicants for admission to The University of New Mexico School of Medicine (UNMSOM) and current students must possess the capability to complete the entire medical curriculum, achieve the degree Doctor of Medicine, and practice medicine with or without accommodation. The University recognizes that otherwise qualified candidates for the MD degree may be able to meet the Technical Standards described in this document if provided reasonable accommodation. Requests for University-provided accommodations will be granted if the requests do not cause a fundamental alteration of the medical education program, do not cause an undue hardship on the University, are consistent with the standards of the medical profession, and are recommended by the University’s Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) or UNMSOM liaison. For accommodations information please contact the UNM Accessibility Resource Center or the Director of ARC or UNMSOM liaison.

Student must self-disclose and provide documentation of the disability and the specific functional limitations to the SoM liaison or director of ARC prior to determination of reasonable accommodations. The student with a disability then meets with the director of ARC and/or SoM liaison to determine accommodations. Students with disabilities are required to accept ongoing responsibilities for planning, managing, and expressing accommodation needs to appropriate personnel. Technological equipment that aids in completion of in certain technical standards areas may be appropriate, but a student should be able to perform the standards in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary, a person trained to perform essential skills on behalf of the student, or a person used so that a student’s judgment is mediated by someone else’s power of selection is not permitted.

Students must also be aware that approval for and the provision of reasonable accommodations at UNMSOM does not mean that similar accommodations would be granted elsewhere or by national licensing review boards.

Policy

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The University of New Mexico School of Medicine will implement policy and procedures to ensure equal access to educational opportunities for persons with disabilities. 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 complete the full curriculum.

TECHNICAL STANDARDS REQUIRED TO PERFORM THE ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF THE MEDICAL SCHOOL CURRICULUM

The medical curriculum requires demonstrated proficiency in a variety of cognitive, problem- solving, manipulative, communicative, and interpersonal skills. To achieve these proficiencies, the School of Medicine requires that each student be able to meet the following Technical Standards.

  1. Observation: Through independent observation, the student must be able to acquire information in the basic medical sciences, including that obtained from demonstrations and experiential activities. The student must also be able to observe and accurately acquire information directly from the patient as well as from other sources including written documents, images, slides, videos, and computers. These skills require the use of vision, hearing, and touch or the functional equivalent.
  2. Communication: Students must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with patients, their families, health care personnel, colleagues, faculty, staff, and all other individuals with whom they come in contact. Students must be able to obtain a medical history in a timely fashion, interpret non-verbal aspects of communication, and establish therapeutic relationships with patients. Students must be able to record information accurately and clearly, and communicate effectively and efficiently in English with other health care professionals in a variety of patient settings.
  3. Motor Coordination: Students must, after a reasonable period of training, possess the capacity to perform physical examinations and diagnostic maneuvers. They must be able to respond to clinical situations in a timely manner and provide general and emergency care. These activities require some physical mobility, coordination of both gross and fine motor neuromuscular function, and balance and equilibrium.
  4. Intellect: Students must be able to identify, define, and solve problems in a timely and effective manner. This critical skill demanded of physicians requires the ability to work effectively with measurements and calculations, to learn and reason in a variety of settings including formal lectures, small group discussions, individual teaching sessions, clinical teaching sessions and independent learning activities, to self-evaluate, and to integrate, analyze, and synthesize data concurrently in a multi-task setting. In addition, the students must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: Students must possess the emotional health and the self- discipline required for full use of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the timely and safe completion of all tasks and responsibilities. They must be able to adapt to rapid change, to display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of stressful situations and uncertainties. Students must consistently demonstrate honesty, integrity, altruism, empathy, and concern for patients, their families, colleagues, members of the healthcare team, and the community at large.

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