Minimum Technical Standards

The DO degree requires general knowledge of medicine and the basic skills required for the practice of medicine. Each student must develop a deep and robust osteopathic medical knowledge base and outstanding osteopathic clinical skills, with the ability to effectively interpret information, apply them appropriately, and contribute to decisions across a broad spectrum of medical situations.

The UIWSOM is committed to the full and meaningful inclusion of qualified applicants and students with disabilities. The following Technical Standards reflect reasonable expectations for applicants and students in educational and clinical settings but are not intended to deter any person for whom reasonable accommodations made pursuant to Section 504 and/or the ADA will allow the fulfillment of the complete curriculum.

Candidates must be able to observe, perceive, collect, use and interpret information from examinations, demonstrations, diagnostic and assessment procedures and tools, and all other modes of patient assessment in different contexts, including laboratory studies, medication administration, imaging studies and all other patient care activities (e.g., symmetry, asymmetry, ROM, discoloration, etc.). Candidates must also be able to document observations, maintain accurate records, and distill and use pertinent information from such records.
Candidates must be able to understand, speak and write in English to carry out osteopathic duties in the classroom and clinical settings.
Candidates must possess sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of movements reasonably required of physicians include, but are not limited to, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds, performance of obstetrical maneuvers and osteopathic manipulative medicine, inserting an intravenous (IV) catheter and starting IV fluids. Such actions require physical mobility, coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, flexibility, balance and equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision. Individuals with disabilities must be able to achieve these standards with reasonable adaptations.
The practice of osteopathic medicine relies on sensory skills. Individuals with disabilities that affect their senses, including tactile or proprioceptive capacities, may be required to undergo an evaluation to determine their ability to meet this standard with or without reasonable adaptation.
Candidates must be able to concentrate, analyze, interpret and utilize data in settings that involve reasonable amounts of visual and auditory distraction. Candidates must be able to perform these functions within the limits and under a reasonable amount of stress in anticipation of the diverse and demanding clinical settings and circumstances in which they will practice as physicians. Candidates must be able to perform the following representative functions accurately in the presence of varying levels of distraction and urgency: write prescriptions, perform basic mathematical functions, and read patient charts. They also must demonstrate the ability to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand spatial relationships of structures.

Candidates in educational and clinical settings must take ownership of learning, exercise good judgment, and promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to their curriculum and to the diagnosis and care of patients. Candidates must display integrity, honesty, attendance and conscientiousness, empathy, a sense of altruism and a spirit of cooperation and teamwork. They must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and function within both the law and ethical standards of the UIWSOM and medical profession.

Candidates must also be able to interact in a courteous, professional and respectful manner with patients and their families, healthcare personnel, peers, colleagues, faculty, staff and all other individuals with whom they come in contact. 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. Candidates must have the physical and emotional stamina and resilience to tolerate taxing workloads and function in a competent and professional manner under stressful situations, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and manage the uncertainty inherent in the care of patients and the healthcare system.

Candidates must understand and comply with the legal and ethical standards to be licensed and practice medicine in the State of Texas and maintain and display ethical and moral behaviors commensurate with the role of a physician in all interactions with patients, their families, faculty, peers, staff, students and the public. A learner who is charged with or convicted of committing a crime at any time after acceptance to the UIWSOM and prior to graduation shall inform the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs or Director of Student Affairs within 10 business days of the charge or conviction. A learner shall also report information that might impair their ability to obtain a medical license within 10 business days of becoming aware of the information. Failure to report in accordance with this paragraph may result in referral to the Student Progress Committee for consideration of disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the program.

These Technical Standards, and any exceptions or accommodations granted to a learner, apply at the UIWSOM only and do not carry over to required licensing examinations or into residency. Therefore, each learner is independently responsible for meeting the requirements for licensure and residency.

Individuals who seek a reasonable accommodation as defined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Subpart E, and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, shall follow the University’s procedures for verification of eligibility, which are available through the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS).

Self-identification is always voluntary. Learners are encouraged to contact SDS to discuss their options if they have a documented condition or suspect they have a condition but have not yet had a formal evaluation and documentation. It is the candidate’s responsibility to have an evaluation and tests administered and interpreted. Any charges for an evaluation or forwarding of documentation are the candidate’s responsibility. A candidate may not rely on an alleged disability that has not been disclosed to and granted by SDS.

A candidate who must remediate a unit or who is suspended or dismissed for academic, behavioral, professional, or other reasons may not seek to excuse their conduct based on a disability that is not registered with SDS. It is solely the candidate’s responsibility to request a reasonable accommodation in a timely manner in advance of academic, clinical, and professional obligations.

UIWSOM may refer the candidate to a local provider for evaluation and testing if the information provided is not adequate to evaluate the candidate’s request for accommodation.