The School of Medicine intends for its graduates to become competent and compassionate physicians who are capable of pursing and completing residency, passing licensing exams and obtaining and maintaining medical licensure. Thus, all matriculants are expected to achieve competence in the full curriculum required by the faculty. Essential abilities and characteristics required for completion of the MD degree consist of certain minimum physical, cognitive, mental, and emotional abilities to assure that candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation can participate fully in all aspects of medical training with or without reasonable accommodation. DGSOM is committed to diversity and to attracting and educating students who will make the population of healthcare professionals’ representative of the national population. Diversity enriches the educational and clinic settings and informs the quality of care we provide to patients and their families. Therefore, we welcome the diverse experiences of learners with unique lived experience. 

Technical Standards

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; intellectual, conceptual, integral, integrative, and quantitative abilities; and social and behavioral skills. 

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.

I.                OBSERVATION:     Candidates must be able to obtain information from demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences and participate in experiments of science, including but not limited to such things as dissection of cadavers; examination of specimens in anatomy, pathology, and neuroanatomy laboratories; and microscopic study of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. Candidates should be able to assess a patient and evaluate findings accurately. 


II.              COMMUNICATION:    Candidates must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with patients, their families, and members of the health care team.  They must be able to obtain a medical history in a timely fashion, interpret non-verbal aspects of communication, and establish therapeutic relationships with patients.  Candidates must be able to record information accurately and clearly; and communicate effectively with other health care professionals in a variety of patient settings.


III.             MOTOR FUNCTION:    Candidates must possess the capacity to learn to perform physical examinations and diagnostic maneuvers. Students should be able to execute some motor movements required to provide general care to patients and provide or direct the provision of emergency treatment of patients. Such actions require some coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements balance and equilibrium.


IV.            INTELLECTUAL, CONCEPTUAL, INTEGRAL, INTEGRATIVE, AND QUANTITATIVE ABILITIES: Candidates must have sufficient cognitive (mental) abilities and effective learning techniques to synthesize the detailed and complex information presented in the medical student curriculum. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction; small group, team, and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; and use of computer and information technology.  Candidates must be able to memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and transmit information by multiple methods.  They must recognize and draw conclusions about three-dimensional spatial relationships and logical sequential relationships among events.  They must be able to formulate and test hypotheses that enable effective and timely problem-solving in diagnosis and treatment of patients in a variety of clinical settings.

V.              BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES:  Candidates should possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibility’s attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, family members, fellow students, faculty, and staff. They should be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Candidates must be able to contribute to collaborative, constructive learning environments; accept constructive feedback from others; and take personal responsibility for making appropriate positive changes. They must adhere to universal precaution measures and meet safety standards applicable to inpatient and outpatient settings and other clinical activities. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, professionalism, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that are expected during the education processes.

VI:            ETHICAL AND LEGAL STANDARDS: Candidates should maintain and display ethical behaviors commensurate with the role of a physician in all interactions with patients, faculty, staff, students, and the public. Candidates are expected to understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and function within the law and ethical standards of the medical profession.

Reasonable Accommodation

DGSOM is committed to excellence in accessibility and encourages students with disabilities to disclose and seek accommodations. The technical standards are not intended to deter any candidate for whom reasonable accommodation will allow the fulfillment of the complete curriculum.  Students who, after review of the technical standards, determine that they require reasonable accommodation to fully engage in the program should contact DGSOM Disability Servicesto confidentially discuss their accommodations needs. Given the clinical nature of our programs, time may be needed to create and implement the accommodations. Accommodations are never retroactive; therefore, timely requests are essential and encouraged.

Required Disclosures of Arrest, Charge, or Conviction

Candidates must meet the legal standards for licensure as specified by the Federation of State Medical Boards. As such, candidates for admission must acknowledge and provide written explanation of any felony or misdemeanor offense(s) action taken against them prior to matriculation at the School of Medicine.  In addition, after matriculation, students must immediately notify the Associate Dean of Students of any arrest, charge, or conviction occurring thereafter. Felony conviction or failure to disclose prior or new offenses can lead to disciplinary action by the school that may include dismissal.


This document was approved by the UCLA SOM Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) on April 25, 2024.