Technical Standards

Candidates for the M.D. degree must be able to fully and promptly perform the essential functions in each of the following categories: Observation, Communication, Motor, Intellectual, Behavioral/Social, and Task Completion.  However, it is recognized that degrees of ability vary widely between individuals. Individuals are encouraged to discuss their disabilities with the College of Medicine's Director of Student Counseling Services and the FSU Student Disability Resource Center to determine whether they might be eligible to receive accommodations needed in order to train and function effectively as a physician. The Florida State University College of Medicine is committed to enabling its students by any reasonable means or accommodations to complete the course of study leading to the medical degree.

Observation. The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, including but not limited to physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, anatomic dissections and gross pathologic abnormalities in humans, radiologic imaging studies, evaluation of microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. The candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand.  Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.

Communication. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients.  The focus of this communication is to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. Communication includes not only speech but also reading, writing, and computer literacy. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.

Motor. The candidate must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers in a timely manner. The candidate must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatments to patients. 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). A candidate must have the ability to measure, calculate, reason and analyze; the candidate must be able to synthesize and apply complex information. All personal qualities are assessed during the admission and education processes. Candidates must be fully alert and attentive at all times in clinical and educational settings.

Behavioral/Social Attributes. A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her 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 adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Commitment, integrity, compassion, motivation, and interpersonal skills are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admission and education processes.

Task Completion. A candidate must possess the intellectual, motor, and communication abilities to perform duties in a timely manner that enhances patient recovery and survival.

All correspondence concerning applications should be addressed to the Florida State University College of Medicine Admissions Office, .

For more information, read the Frequently Asked Questions