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Technical Standards

These technical and interpersonal skills are expected of all students admitted to the KU Doctor of Medicine (MD) program.

The MD degree is a broad undifferentiated degree attesting to general knowledge in medicine and the basic skills required for the practice of medicine.  KU 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.  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. The avowed intention of an individual student to practice only a narrow part of clinical medicine, or to pursue a non-clinical career, does not alter the requirement that all medical students take and achieve competence in the full KU School of Medicine curriculum. 

The following technical standards, in conjunction with the academic standards, are requirements for admission, promotion, and graduation. The term “candidate” refers to candidates for admission to medical school as well as current medical students who are candidates for retention, promotion, or graduation. KU School of Medicine maintains a strong commitment to equal educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities who apply for admission to the MD program or who are already enrolled.  The technical standards are not intended to deter any candidate for whom reasonable accommodation will allow the fulfillment of the complete curriculum.  Candidates with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Academic Accommodations Office at (913) 945-7035 or early in the application process to begin a confidential conversation about what accommodations they may need to meet these standards. This process is informed by the knowledge that students with varied types of disabilities have the ability to become successful health professionals. 

  1. Observational Skills: Candidates must acquire information as presented 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: Candidates must exhibit interpersonal skills to enable effective caregiving of patients, including the ability to communicate effectively, with all members of a multidisciplinary health care team, patients, and those supporting patients, in person and in writing. Candidates must be able to clearly and accurately record information and accurately interpret verbal and nonverbal communication.
  3. Clinical Skills: Candidates must perform physical examinations and diagnostic maneuvers.  Candidates must be able to provide general care and emergency treatment for patients and respond to emergency situations in a timely manner.  These activities require some physical mobility, coordination of both gross and fine motor neuromuscular function, balance and equilibrium.  Candidates must meet applicable safety standards for the environment and follow universal precaution procedures. 
  4. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Cognitive Skills: 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 Attributes, Social Skills, and Professional Expectations: 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 effectively handle and manage heavy workloads, 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 and to respect boundaries and care for all individuals in a respectful and effective manner regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other protected status. Candidates should understand, and function within, 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, faculty, staff, students, and the public. Interest and motivation throughout the educational processes are expected of all candidates.
KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
School of Medicine
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160