Technical Skills and Abilities
A candidate for the degree of Doctor of Medicine must have abilities and skills in the five broad areas of observation; communication; motor function; and behavioral and social skills.
Through independent observation, the candidate must be able to acquire information in the medical sciences, including that obtained from demonstrations and experiential activities.
The candidate must possess the auditory perception, visual perception and somatic sensation abilities, as well as the mental capacity, to be able to observe and accurately acquire information directly from the patient as well as from other sources including written documents, pictorial images, simulators, computer programs and videos, and to rapidly assimilate large volumes of technically detailed and complex information presented in formal lecture, small group discussions, individual learning activities, and individual clinical settings.
The candidate must be able to take in and process information received by whatever sensory function is employed, consistently, rapidly, and accurately.
A candidate must be able to speak, to hear and to observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications.
Communication includes not only speech but reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, sensitively, and efficiently, in English, in oral and written form with patients and all members of the health care team. In responding to emergency situations in the clinical setting, candidates must be able to understand and convey information essential for the safe and effective care of patients in a clear, unambiguous, and rapid fashion.
A candidate must possess the motor skills necessary to directly perform palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers, basic laboratory tests, and diagnostic procedures. A candidate must have the ability to perform both a complete and an organ system specific examination, including a mental status examination.
The candidate must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general and emergency medical care to patients.
Examples of emergency treatments include, but are not limited to, adult and pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation, airway management, automated external defibrillation, the administration of intravenous medication, application of pressure to control bleeding, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require quick and immediate reaction.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
Because the medical profession is governed by ethical principles, a candidate must have the capacity to learn and understand these values and perform within their guidelines. Candidates must be able to relate to patients, as well as staff and colleagues, with honesty, integrity, non-discrimination, self-sacrifice, and dedication.
Candidates must be able to develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to identify personal reactions and responses, recognize multiple points of view and integrate these appropriately into clinical decision making.
Candidates must be able to communicate and care for, in a non-judgmental way, persons whose culture, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs are different than their own. The candidate must be able to examine the entire patient, male or female, regardless of the candidate's social, cultural, or religious beliefs.
A candidate must possess the emotional health required to fully utilize their intellectual abilities, to exercise good judgment, to complete patient care responsibilities promptly and to relate to patients, families, and colleagues with courtesy, compassion, maturity, and respect for their dignity. The candidate must display this emotional health and flexibility in spite of stressful work, physically taxing workloads, changing environments, and in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.
Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admissions and education processes.