Technical Standards Policy


The holder of the M.D. degree must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. Essential abilities and characteristics required for completion of the M.D. degree consist of certain minimum physical and cognitive abilities, as well as 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 school, with or without reasonable accommodation.  Additionally, the Boonshoft School of Medicine (BSOM) has an ethical responsibility for the safety of patients with whom students and graduates come in contact. These considerations inform the establishment of standards for physical, cognitive and emotional abilities of candidates for admission, promotion and graduation.  Candidates must have the physical and emotional stamina to function competently in classroom and hospital settings that may require long hours and stressful situations. Individuals whose performance is impaired by abuse of alcohol or other substances are not suitable candidates for admission, promotion, or graduation.  

The Boonshoft School of Medicine intends for its graduates to become competent and compassionate physicians who are capable of entering residency training and meeting all requirements for medical licensure. For purposes of this document, the term “candidate” means candidates for admission to M.D. program as well as enrolled medical students who are candidates for promotion and graduation.

The following abilities and characteristics are defined as technical standards that, in conjunction with academic standards established by the faculty, are requirements for admission, promotion, and graduation. Delineation of technical standards is required for the accreditation of U.S. medical schools by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, per LCME Element 10.5, which states: 

"A medical school develops and publishes technical standards for the admission, retention, and graduation of applicants or medical students with disabilities, in accordance with legal requirements."

Although these standards serve to delineate the necessary physical and mental abilities of all candidates, they are not intended to deter any candidate for whom reasonable accommodation will allow the fulfillment of the complete curriculum. The Boonshoft School of Medicine fully complies with state and federal laws and regulations, including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Technical (Non-Academic) Standards

OBSERVATION SKILLS: Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and participate in experiments of science, including but not limited to such things as anatomic dissection of cadavers, microscopic studies, and standardized patient demonstrations.  Candidates must be able to accurately observe patients and assess findings. They must be able to obtain a medical history and perform a complete physical examination in order to integrate findings based on these observations and to develop an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan. The required observation, information acquisition and analysis skills necessitate the functional use of visual, auditory, and somatic sensations. In any case where a candidate’s ability to observe or acquire information through these sensory modalities is compromised, the candidate must demonstrate alternate means to observe and assess findings.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: 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 listen carefully and develop rapport with patients in order to elicit information and perform appropriate examinations; observe patients attentively; perceive changes in mood, activity and posture; and interpret non-verbal communication such as facial expressions, affects, and body language. Candidates must be able to record information accurately and clearly, and communicate effectively in English. In any case where a candidate’s ability to communicate is compromised, the candidate must demonstrate alternate means and/or abilities to communicate with patients and teams.

MOTOR, VISUAL, AUDITORY AND TACTILE FUNCTIONS:  Candidates must be able to gather data from written and illustrated reference material, oral presentations, demonstrations and experiments, observations of patients and clinical procedures, digital and analog representations of physiologic phenomena, and physical examinations of patients.  They must possess the capacity to perform physical examinations and diagnostic maneuvers. They must be able to respond to emergency situations in a timely manner and provide general and emergency care. They must adhere to universal precaution measures and meet safety standards applicable to inpatient and outpatient settings and other clinical activities.

INTELLECTUAL-CONCEPTUAL, INTEGRATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE ABILITIES: Candidates must have sufficient cognitive (mental) abilities and effective learning techniques to assimilate the detailed and complex information within the medical school curriculum. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, reading textbooks; small group, team and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; and use of computer technology. Candidates must be able to memorize, reason, perform scientific measurements and calculations, comprehend three dimensional and spatial relationships, and analyze and synthesize information from a variety of sources. Ultimately, they must be able to think critically, analytically, and intuitively to solve complex, multifactorial problems that include making diagnostic and therapeutic decisions.

BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES:  Candidates must demonstrate the maturity and emotional stability to effectively use their intellectual abilities. They must accept responsibility for learning, exercising good judgment, and promptly completing all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, compassionate and effective relationships with patients, families and colleagues. Candidates must be able to work effectively, respectfully, and professionally as part of the healthcare team, and to interact with patients, their families, and health care personnel in a courteous, professional, and respectful manner. They must be able to maintain and display emotional and mental health while engaged in stressful work, changing environments, and clinical uncertainties. They must be open to examining personal attitudes, perceptions, and stereotypes that may negatively affect patient care and professional relationships. They must be capable of regular, reliable, and punctual attendance at classes and in regard to their clinical responsibilities. 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.

ETHICAL AND LEGAL STANDARDS: Candidates for admission must acknowledge and provide written explanation of any felony or misdemeanor conviction or disciplinary action taken against them prior to matriculation in the Boonshoft School of Medicine. In addition, should the student be convicted of any felony or misdemeanor offense while in medical school, they agree to immediately notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.  Failure to disclose prior or new offenses can lead to disciplinary action by the BSOM that may include dismissal.


Admitted candidates who have a disability and need accommodations should initiate discussions with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs as soon as the offer of admission is received and accepted. It is the responsibility of a candidate with a disability to provide sufficiently current information documenting the general nature and extent of his/her disability, and the functional limitations that may need accommodation. Admitted candidates with disabilities are reviewed individually by the Deans’ Council, who makes a recommendation to the Dean of the BSOM, on a case-by-case basis, with a complete and careful consideration of all the skills, attitudes, and attributes of each candidate to determine whether there are any reasonable accommodations or available options that would permit the candidate to satisfy the standards. An accommodation is not reasonable if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of self and/or others, if it requires a substantial modification in an essential element of the curriculum, or if it lowers academic standards. Should applicants be unable to meet these requirements with reasonable accommodations, the school will rescind its offer of acceptance. This decision may not be appealed.

Candidates who identify a disability and request accommodations after acceptance to the Boonshoft School of Medicine will be referred to the Wright State University Office of Disability Services for evaluation and recommendations regarding accommodations. The report will be reviewed with the candidate and an advisory committee, made up of the Directors of Foundations and Assessment, chair of the Doctoring subcommittee, and the Academic Advisor. As stated above, an accommodation is not reasonable if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of self and/or others, if making it requires a substantial modification in an essential element of the curriculum, or if it lowers academic standards.  Candidates should be aware that the National Board of Medical Examiners is the sole authority for granting accommodations for the United States Medical Licensing Examinations. The provision of special consideration or accommodations by a medical school does not ensure that the National Board of Medical Examiners will provide any similar accommodations for the United States Medical Licensing Examinations.

Enrolled students are required to attest that they meet the BSOM technical standards either with, or without, reasonable accommodations upon acceptance of the BSOM offer of admission.  If a student experiences any changes in their ability to meet the BSOM technical standards with, or without, reasonable accommodation, after initial admission to the BSOM, the student must notify the Associate Deans of Medical Education and Student Affairs & Admissions to discuss options available to the student. Failure to meet these standards, with or without reasonable accommodations, requires a student to appear before the Student Promotion Committee to determine a plan for the student to regain a successful path within the BSOM.   


Revisions submitted by CQI Steering Committee, January 2019

Approved by Executive Committee, January 10, 2019

Revisions approved by Faculty Curriculum Committee on April 22, 2020

Last edited on 07/10/2020.