Technical Standards

Students at the CMU College of Medicine must have capacities/abilities in five broad areas:

  1. Perception/observation
  2. Communication
  3. Motor tactile function
  4. Cognition
  5. Professionalism (mature and ethical conduct)

1. Perception/Observation

Students must be able to accurately perceive, by the use of senses and mental abilities, the presentation of information through:

  • Small group discussions and presentations.
  • Large-group lectures.
  • One-on-one interactions.
  • Demonstrations.
  • Laboratory experiments.
  • Patient encounters (at a distance and close at hand).
  • Diagnostic findings.
  • Procedures.
  • Written material.
  • Audiovisual material.

2. Communication

Students must be able to communicate skillfully (in English) with faculty members, other members of the health care team, patients, families, and other students in order to:

  • Elicit information.
  • Convey information.
  • Clarify information.
  • Create rapport.
  • Develop therapeutic relationships.
  • Demonstrate competencies.

3. Motor/Tactile function

Students must have sufficient motor function and tactile ability to:

  • Attend (and participate in) all classes, groups and activities that are part of the curriculum.
  • Read and write.
  • Examine patients.
  • Do basic laboratory procedures and tests.
  • Perform diagnostic procedures.
  • Provide general and emergency patient care.
  • Function in outpatient, inpatient and surgical venues.
  • Perform in a reasonably independent and competent way in sometimes chaotic clinical environments.
  • Demonstrate competencies.

4. Cognition

Students must be able to demonstrate higher-level cognitive abilities, which include:

  • Rational thought.
  • Measurement.
  • Calculation.
  • Visual-spatial comprehension.
  • Conceptualization.
  • Analysis.
  • Synthesis.
  • Organization.
  • Representation (oral, written, diagrammatic, three dimensional).
  • Memory.
  • Application.
  • Clinical reasoning.
  • Ethical reasoning.
  • Sound judgment.

5. Professionalism (Mature and Ethical Conduct)

Students must be able to:

  • Consistently display integrity, honesty, empathy, caring, fairness, respect for self and others, diligence and dedication.
  • Promptly complete all assignments and responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients (beginning with study in the first year).
  • Communicate with, examine and provide care for all patients—including those whose gender, culture, sexual orientation or spiritual beliefs are different from students' own.
  • Develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships, not only with patients but with all members of the medical school community and health care teams.
  • Maintain sobriety in all academic and clinical environments and refrain from the illegal use of substances at all times.
  • Abide by all state, federal and local laws, as well as, all CMU and the CMU College of Medicine codes of conduct.
  • Tolerate physically, emotionally and mentally demanding workloads.
  • Function effectively under stress and proactively make use of available resources to help maintain both physical and mental health.
  • Adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and be able to learn in the face of uncertainty.
  • Take responsibility for themselves and their behaviors.
All graduates of CMU College of Medicine must have the knowledge, skills and other competencies to function in a wide variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. Historically, undergraduate medical education in the United States has been structured as a broad general training, which is intended to produce "undifferentiated physicians" capable of undertaking their choice of medical specialty. 

Our academic standards and standards for capacity are based on that model, and whereas a truly undifferentiated physician may not be achievable, our standards attempt to ensure capable, well-rounded future clinicians. 

Without the essential capacities, students cannot fulfill the requirements of all the courses and clerkships at the College of Medicine. Meeting the Standards for Capacity is, therefore, required for matriculation (insomuch as the abilities can reasonably be determined before matriculation), subsequent promotion from term to term, and finally graduation from CMU College of Medicine.