The education of a physician encompasses a preparatory phase in college, a rigorous undergraduate medical professional education leading to the M.D. degree, postgraduate or residency training and finally, lifelong continuing education after the conclusion of all formal training. The M.D. degree awarded at the completion of the undergraduate medical educational process certifies that the individual has acquired a broad base of knowledge and skills requisite for the practice of medicine.
Toward this end, the School of Medicine requires that the educational process prepare an individual to be a physician. The educational process at the School of Medicine is structured to allow the student to achieve this general goal and is in accord with the objectives defined by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the established agency in the United States for accreditation of medical schools.
Admissions standards of the School of Medicine, therefore, are rigorous and exacting.
Candidates for the M.D. degree must have abilities and skills in five domains: observation, communication, motor, conceptual/integrative and quantitative, behavioral and social. Technological or other accommodations can be made for some disabilities in certain of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. Nevertheless, the candidate must be able to perform a full physical examination, must consistently, quickly and accurately integrate all information received by whatever sense(s) employed, and must have the intellectual ability to learn, gather information, communicate, and integrate, analyze and synthesize data.
The candidate must be able to observe experiments and demonstrations in the basic sciences including, but not limited to, microbiologic cultures and microscopic studies of organisms 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 requires the functional use of the senses of hearing, vision and touch.
A candidate should be able to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity and posture; and perceive nonverbal communications in interactions with patients. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively, professionally, and sensitively with patients. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all members of the health care team.
Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to perform investigative and diagnostic procedures and read and interpret imaging studies. A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, and the opening of obstructed airways. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
These abilities include measurement, calculations, 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 understand the spatial relationships of structures.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
Candidates must possess the emotional health required for full use of their 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 under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that should be assessed during the admissions and education process.
Candidates for the M.D. degree must gather data from, communicate with, and care for, in a non-judgmental way, persons whose culture, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs are different from their own. Throughout the clinical curriculum, students must be able to consistently perform a complete history and physical exam on any patient regardless of the patient's race, color, national origin, marital status, military status, citizenship, disability, genetic predisposition, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age, or sexual orientation.
Adherence to these technical standards is designed to ensure that the M.D. degree attests to the basic acquisition of general knowledge in all fields of medicine, as well as the acquisition of the basic skills necessary for medical practice.
From the University of Connecticut School of Medicine Academic Policies and Procedures Manual, Updated August 20, 2018.