Essential Abilities and Characteristics Required for Completion of the MD Degree
The MD degree is a broad undifferentiated degree attesting to general knowledge in medicine and the basic skills required for the practice of medicine. Essential abilities and characteristics required for completion of the MD degree consist of certain minimum physical and cognitive abilities and sufficient mental and emotional stability to assure that candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation are able to complete the entire course of study and participate fully in all aspects of medical training. The School of Medicine intends for its graduates to become competent and compassionate physicians who are capable of pursing and completing graduate medical education, passing licensing exams and obtaining and maintaining medical licensure. The avowed intention of an individual student to practice only a narrow part of clinical medicine, or to pursue a non-clinical career, does not alter the requirement that all medical students take and achieve competence in the full curriculum required by the faculty. For purposes of this document and unless otherwise defined, the term “candidate” means candidates for admission to medical school as well as enrolled medical students who are candidates for promotion and graduation.
The School of Medicine has an ethical responsibility for the safety of patients with whom students and graduates will come in contact. Although students learn and work under the supervision of the faculty, students interact with patients throughout their medical school education. Patient safety and well-being are therefore major factors in establishing requirements involving the physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities of candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation. The essential abilities and characteristics described herein are also referred to as technical (or non-academic) standards. They are described below in several broad categories including: observation; communication; motor function; intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; and social and behavioral skills. In addition to these, candidates must have the physical and emotional stamina to function in a competent manner in settings that may involve heavy workloads and stressful situations. Individuals who constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of others are not suitable candidates for admission, promotion or graduation.
Delineation of technical standards is required for the accreditation of U.S. medical schools by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. The following abilities and characteristics are defined as technical standards, which in conjunction with academic standards established by the faculty, are requirements for admission, promotion, and graduation.
The School of Medicine only admits students for the purpose of training them to become competent and compassionate physicians who are capable of entering a residency program and requires that they must meet all requirements necessary to obtain a medical license.
Equal Access to the School of Medicine’s Educational Program
The University of California does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities who apply for admission to the MD degree program or who are enrolled as medical students. Otherwise qualified individuals shall not be excluded from admission or participation in the School of Medicine’s educational programs and activities solely by reason of their disability or medical condition. The School of Medicine provides reasonable accommodation in its academic programs to qualified individuals with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is one that does not create a fundamental alteration of the program or lower academic standards. Learning disabilities are included under this policy.
Any candidate who poses a threat to the health and safety of others may be denied admission or dismissed from school.
Any student with an existing disability, or who may develop a disability, who seeks an accommodation must notify the UCLA Center for Accessible Education in writing and provide adequate documentation prior to the start of coursework and/or education activity in which an accommodation is required.
The UCLA Center for Accessible Education will consult with the School of Medicine to notify them of a student’s request and recommended accommodations. The School of Medicine may require additional assessment or evaluation in consultation with the UCLA Center for Accessible Education in order to confirm if the student is able to meet these technical standards
Acknowledgment: This document was adopted by the University of California and approved by the UCLA SOM Faculty Executive Committee on May 24, 2016. It was developed and based upon consultation with experienced medical educators throughout the state and careful review and discussion of the technical standards and guidelines developed by California’s public and private medical schools.