Technical Standards

EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY
JAMES H. QUILLEN COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL ADMISSION


Medical education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of skills and professional attitudes and behavior. Medical school faculties have a responsibility to society to graduate the best possible physicians, and thus admission to medical school has been offered to those who present the highest qualifications for the study and practice of medicine.

Graduates of medical school must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. The Admissions Committee of East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine acknowledges Section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and asserts that the ability to meet certain essential technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations must be present in the prospective candidates. Disclosure of a disability is voluntary; however, applicants who want to request accommodations during the admissions process should contact the East Tennessee State University Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.

A candidate for the M.D. degree must have aptitude, abilities, and skills in five areas: observation; communication; motor; conceptual, integrative and quantitative; and behavioral and social. Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in certain areas but a candidate should be able to perform in an independent manner.

Candidates for the M.D. degree must have somatic sensation and the functional use of the senses of vision and hearing. Candidates' diagnostic skills would be inadequate without the functional use of the senses of equilibrium, smell, and taste. Additionally, they must have sufficient exteroceptive sense (touch, pain, and temperature), sufficient proprioceptive sense (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, vibratory) and sufficient motor function to permit them to carry out the activities described in the section below. They must be able consistently, quickly, and accurately to integrate all information received by whatever senses employed, and they must have the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data.

OBSERVATION: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and participate in experiments in the basic sciences, including but not limited to physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations, microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.

COMMUNICATION: A candidate should be able to speak, to hear, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications.

MOTOR: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate must have the ability to perform both a complete and an organ system specific examination, including a mental status examination. Additionally, candidates must have the ability to perform routine technical procedures, including but not limited to, venipuncture, inserting an intravenous catheter, arterial puncture, thoracentesis, lumbar puncture, inserting a nasogastric tube, inserting a Foley catheter, and suturing lacerations. A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment include, but are not limited to, adult and pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (including two-rescuer scenarios and use of the bag mask), the opening of obstructed airways, automated external defibrillation, the administration of intravenous medication, application of pressure to stop bleeding, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require quick and immediate reaction. Coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision are required.

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. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES: A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his 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. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively when stressed. They 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. Empathy, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that should be assessed during the admissions and education processes.

The Admissions Committee of East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine will consider for admission to medical school any applicant who demonstrates the ability to perform or to learn to perform the skills listed in this document. Students will be judged not only on their scholastic accomplishments, but also on their physical and emotional capacities to meet the full requirements of the school's curriculum, and graduate as skilled and effective practitioners of medicine.