Technical Standards

Candidates for the M.D. degree must have the abilities and skills to perform all required functions and tasks in each of the following categories: Observational Skills, Communication Skills, Motor Functions, Intellectual and Conceptual Skills, Behavioral Attributes, Social Skills, and Professional Expectations in a reasonably independent and timely manner. The Florida State University College of Medicine is committed to providing equal opportunity to students with disabilities to complete the course of study leading to the medical degree by providing reasonable accommodations to those who qualify for them according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Individuals are encouraged to discuss their questions about the accommodation process with the College of Medicine's Office of Student Counseling Services and self-identify to the FSU Office of Accessibility Services (OAS).  Eligibility for accommodations will be determined by OAS, followed by an interactive process with the COM to determine an accommodation plan which does not fundamentally alter the COM’s academic or professional standards or the expectations of the medical profession.

Observational Skills

The candidate must be able to obtain information and skills through observation of demonstrations and experiments in the foundational sciences, including but not limited to activities such as physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, cadaver dissections and gross pathologic abnormalities in humans, radiologic, ultrasound, and advanced 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; they must be able to perform, observe, and interpret a complete physical examination, and correctly observe and interpret a patient’s condition and responses, and to integrate findings based on these observations in order to develop an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan.  Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of hearing and the sense of smell.

Communication Skills

The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, patient families, health care personnel, faculty, staff, peers, and all others with whom they come into contact. They must be able to obtain a medical history, elicit the patient’s story, and perceive and describe nonverbal communications, such as changes in mood, activity, and posture. Communication includes speech, reading, writing, and computer literacy. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written forms with all members of the health care team.

Motor Functions

The candidate must have sufficient motor capacity to perform physical examinations and diagnostic maneuvers independently, including palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers in a timely manner. The candidate must be able to provide timely general care and emergency treatments to patients, including but not limited to CPR, intravenous medication, suturing of simple wounds, pressure to stop bleeding, opening an obstructed airway, and simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require some physical mobility, coordination of both gross and fine neuromuscular functions, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

A candidate must be able to assimilate and engage with detailed and complex information presented in both didactic classroom and clinical settings in which there is a reasonable amount of visual and auditory distraction. They must have the ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and comprehend three-dimensional and spatial relationships among structures under reasonable time limitations and reasonable stress. They must be able to interpret connections, make accurate, fact-based conclusions based on available data, and report that information in person and remotely. Candidates must be able to adapt to different learning environments and modalities and must be able to collaborate and contribute effectively as part of a team. They must be able to formulate hypotheses, investigate potential answers and outcomes, and formulate appropriate and accurate conclusions.

Behavioral Attributes, Social Skills, and Professional Expectations

A candidate must possess the maturity and emotional stability required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, including but not limited to the responsibility for learning, the exercise of good judgment and the prompt completion of all assignments and duties within the curriculum and to the diagnosis and care of patients. Candidates must exhibit honesty, integrity, professionalism, and compassion in all activities and interact with patients, families, faculty, staff, and peers in a professional, courteous, and respectful manner. They are expected to display a spirit of collaboration and teamwork, to contribute to a constructive learning environment, to accept constructive feedback and take responsibility for making appropriate positive changes. They are expected to understand and adhere to the legal and ethical aspects of the medical profession.  Candidates must possess the physical and emotional endurance to tolerate demanding workloads, to function in a competent and professional manner in high-stress, fast-paced situations, to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and manage the uncertainties inherent in patient care and the health care system.

Ability to Comply with Clinical Patient Safety and Health Standards Policies

Students are required to comply with all patient safety standards and public health requirements at all sites where they have scheduled activities in the curriculum. This includes but is not limited to wearing hospital‐approved operating room attire, following regulations related to sterilization procedures, and receipt of specific immunizations and/or evidence of immunity from specific diseases. Students must undergo periodic health testing and drug screening in order to receive instruction in clinical settings and perform the essential functions of a medical student. Individuals with medical conditions or sincere moral or religious beliefs that would prevent them from receiving vaccines must present documentation to apply for a waiver. It should be noted that failure to meet the requirements for patient safety, public health, vaccination and/or health testing and drug screening will prohibit the student from training in some affiliated clinical facilities, thereby potentially preventing the student from completing the required curricular activities needed to receive the M.D. degree.

If a student, with or without reasonable accommodation as determined by OAS, is unable to satisfy these Technical Standards, or if the student’s disability would interfere with patient or peer safety or otherwise impede the ability to complete the COM curriculum and advance to graduation, then the student may be dismissed.

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