Baylor College of Medicine’s academic units are guided by standards set by the Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, and the National Commission on Prosthetic and Orthotic Education.

Although specific programs may have technical standards in addition to those listed below, we believe that these six essential areas are present among medical professionals, researchers and medical scientists. Please refer to the program’s student handbook for more detailed information. 


Students must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences. Students 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.


Students should be able to speak, to receive information in oral form, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, to describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and to perceive non-verbal communications. Students must be able to communicate effectively with patients. Communication includes not only speech, but also reading and writing. Students must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently, and rapidly, when required, in oral and written form with patients and with all members of the health care team.


Students should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. Students should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients within the specified scope of practice. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians and health providers include but are not limited to cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, application of pressure to stop bleeding, opening of obstructed airways, suturing of a simple wound, and performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

Students must be able to demonstrate ability in measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, synthesis and problem solving. Students must possess the intellectual, integrative and quantitative abilities to independently carry out these responsibilities.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization 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. Students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties and ambiguities 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 processes.

Ethical Standards

Students must demonstrate professional demeanor and behavior, and must perform in an ethical manner in all dealing with peers, faculty, staff and patients.