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School of Medicine

School of Medicine Technical Standards

Master
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A. Baylor College of Medicine’s School of Medicine seeks to produce highly skilled and compassionate doctors. Medical students are expected to develop a robust medical knowledge base and the requisite clinical skills, with the ability to appropriately apply their knowledge and skills, effectively interpret information, and contribute to patient centered decisions across a broad spectrum of medical situations and settings.

B. The following technical standards have been formally adopted by the School of Medicine. School of Medicine faculty members, through service on school committees, apply these standards when selecting, retaining, promoting, and graduating candidates. Candidates for the M.D. degree program must demonstrate abilities and skills with respect to observation, communication, motor, intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities, behavioral and social attributes, and ethical standards and professional expectations as described below. Candidates must acknowledge that fulfillment of the technical standards required for graduation from the School of Medicine does not guarantee that a graduate will be able to fulfill the technical requirements of any specific residency program.

C. A qualified candidate with a disability is one who is able to meet the degree program’s admission, academic, and technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation. Candidates with disabilities are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Title IX and Disability Services early in the application process to begin a confidential consultation about accommodations that may be required. Candidates must acknowledge their personal responsibility to initiate disability accommodation procedures. 

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Stakeholders Affected by this Policy

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All BCM faculty appointed and/or elected to serve on a SOM committee will apply with these standards when evaluating candidates for admission, retention, promotion, and graduation. All candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation must meet these standards (i.e., demonstrate requisite skills and abilities) with or without reasonable accommodation.   

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Definitions

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  • BCM – Baylor College of Medicine.
  • Candidate – individual who is an applicant for admission to or a currently enrolled student seeking promotion or graduation in the BCM SOM M.D. Degree Program. 
  • M.D. – Doctor of Medicine.  
  • SOM – School of Medicine.
  • Technical Standards – personal attributes and capabilities that are essential to an individual’s eligibility for admission to, participation in, and graduation from the BCM SOM M.D. Degree Program.   
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Policy

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A. Technical Standards. In addition to admission and academic standards provided in the M.D. Program Handbook and other BCM policies, these technical standards establish criteria by which all candidates for admission, retention, promotion and graduation from the School of Medicine will be assessed. Consistent with the requirements of the Background Checks and Criminal Convictions Policy for Program Applicants and Current Students (23.1.00), it is a breach of professional conduct for provisionally accepted applicants or currently enrolled BCM students to knowingly misrepresent their skills or abilities or to otherwise provide false information for purposes of admission, academic assessment, promotion, or graduation.

  1. Observation Skills and Abilities. Candidates must acquire information through demonstrations and experiences in the foundational sciences. In addition, Candidates must be able to evaluate patients accurately and assess their relevant health, behavioral, and medical information. Candidates must be able to obtain and interpret information through a comprehensive assessment of patients, correctly interpret diagnostic representations of patients’ physiologic data, and accurately evaluate patients’ conditions and responses.
  2. Communication Skills and Abilities. Candidates must exhibit interpersonal skills that enable effective caregiving of patients, including the ability to communicate effectively both in person and in writing with all members of a multidisciplinary health care team, patients, and those supporting patients. Candidates must be able to record information clearly and accurately and interpret verbal and nonverbal communication accurately. 
  3. Motor Skills and Abilities. Candidates must perform routine clinical skills including physical examination, diagnostic maneuvers, and procedures. Under the appropriate supervision of a licensed physician, candidates must be able to provide or direct general care and emergency treatment for patients and respond to emergency situations in a timely manner. Candidates must meet applicable safety standards for the environment and follow universal precaution procedures.
  4. Intellectual-Conceptual, integrative, and Quantitative Abilities. Candidates must effectively interpret, assimilate, and understand the complex information required to function within the medical school curriculum, including, but not limited to, the ability to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures; effectively participate in individual, small-group, and lecture learning modalities in the classroom, clinical, and community settings; learn, participate, collaborate, and contribute as a part of a team; synthesize information both in person and via remote technology; interpret causal connections and make accurate, fact-based conclusions based on available data and information; formulate a hypothesis and investigate potential answers and outcomes; and reach appropriate and accurate conclusions.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes. Candidates must exercise good judgment; promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients; and develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. The skills required to do so include the ability to handle and manage heavy workloads effectively, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of the uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients. Candidates are expected to exhibit professionalism; personal accountability; compassion; integrity; concern for others; and interpersonal skills, including the ability to accept and apply feedback, to respect boundaries, and care for all individuals in a respectful and effective manner regardless of gender identity, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other protected status.
  6. Ethical Standards and Professional Expectations. Candidates must adhere to the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine, and maintain and display ethical and moral behaviors commensurate with the role of a physician in all interactions with patients, those who support patients, faculty, staff, students, and the public. Interest and motivation throughout the educational processes are also expected of all candidates and students.

B. Accommodations for Candidates with Disabilities. 

  1. Disclosure of Disability. Disclosure of disability status is voluntary. Candidates who do not believe they require disability services may choose not to disclose their disability. BCM is not obligated to identify Candidates who may have a disability, nor is any Candidate obligated to inform BCM that they have a disability. However, Candidates are responsible for notifying BCM of their disability if they require disability-related services. 
  2. Requests for Reasonable Accommodation. Candidates with a disability who may be entitled to reasonable accommodation pursuant to state and federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (as amended in 2008) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, must contact the Office of Title IX and Disability Services (713-798-8646 or disability@bcm.edu) to request accommodations. The Office of Title IX and Disability Services will grant requests for accommodations that are reasonable, do not cause a fundamental alteration of the M.D. degree program or an undue hardship on the College, and are consistent with the standards of the medical profession. Consult the Student Disability Policy (23.1.07) for more information.
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Responsibilities

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School of Medicine faculty must implement this policy’s standards across the educational continuum, primarily through the operation of the SOM Admissions, Curriculum, and Student Promotions & Academic Achievement Committees. It is the responsibility of all elected and appointed members to these faculty committees to interpret and apply the standards in individual cases. The Office of Title IX and Disability Services handles sensitive personal information necessary to document disabilities, reviews accommodation requests, and grants reasonable accommodations. 

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Procedures for Implementation and Review

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This policy may be reviewed and revised as necessary to maintain compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and standards or changes in BCM operations, but at least every three years. 

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Stakeholder Compliance

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Questions regarding this policy’s technical standards, what constitutes a “disability” under applicable laws, or how to request reasonable accommodation(s) in order to meet technical or other academic standards should be directed to the Office of Title IX and Disability Services (713-798-8646 or disability@bcm.edu).