Policy on Essential Capacities for Matriculation, Advancement, and Graduation for MD Students

(Technical Standards for MD Students)


All medical students must meet our academic, professionalism, and technical standards to matriculate, progress through the curriculum, and meet the requirements for graduation from the Zucker School of Medicine.

Medical education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous development of specific skills and competencies. Without the capability to meet our technical standards, students cannot fulfill the requirements of all the courses and clerkships at the Zucker School of Medicine.

Reasonable accommodations may be required by otherwise qualified individual candidates to meet the technical standards specified below. The Zucker School of Medicine is committed to providing qualified students with reasonable accommodations in accordance with applicable law so that they may complete their course of study and clinical experiences. The Zucker School of Medicine will provide accommodations that do not cause an undue hardship on the university, are consistent with the standards of the medical profession, and are recommended by the Office of Academic Success, in consultation with the University's Office of Student Access Services. For more information about the school's policy on equal access and accommodations, please refer to the Policy on Equal Access to the Educational Program.

Academic & Professionalism Standards

Refer to the Zucker School of Medicine's Statement of Professionalism for a full listing of the school's professionalism standards. For a full listing of the Zucker School of Medicine's advancement and graduation requirements, please refer to the Policy on Academic Advancement and Graduation.

Technical (Non-Academic) Standards

All students at the Zucker School of Medicine must meet the technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations, which are grouped in six broad areas:

1. Perception/Observation

Students must be able to perceive, by the use of senses and mental abilities, or functional equivalent, the presentation of information through: small group discussions and presentations; large-group lectures; one-on-one interactions; demonstrations; laboratory experiments; patient encounters (at a distance and close at hand); diagnostic findings; procedures; written material; audiovisual material.

2. Communication

Students must be able to skillfully (in English) communicate verbally, non-verbally, and in written form in a timely fashion with faculty members, other members of the healthcare team, patients, families, and other students, to: elicit information; convey information, orally and in writing; clarify information; create rapport; interpret non-verbal aspects of communication; develop therapeutic relationships.

3. Motor/Tactile Function

Students must have requisite motor function and tactile ability, or functional equivalent, to meet the competencies required for graduation and to: attend (and participate in) classes, groups, and activities which are part of the curriculum; examine patients (including observation, auscultation, palpation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers); do basic laboratory procedures and tests; perform diagnostic procedures; provide general and emergency patient care; function in outpatient, inpatient, and surgical venues; perform in a reasonably independent, efficient, and competent way in sometimes chaotic clinical environments or under time constraints.

4. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

Students must exhibit the requisite cognitive abilities and effective learning techniques to assimilate the detailed and complex information presented in the medical school curriculum, and to: learn through a variety of modalities, including but not limited to: classroom instruction, small group, team, and collaborative activities, learning from patients, individual study, preparation and presentation of reports, and use of computer technology; retain, retrieve, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize and transmit information across modalities; recognize and draw conclusions about three-dimensional spatial relationships and logical sequential relationships among events; formulate and test hypotheses that enable effective and timely problem-solving in a variety of settings.

5. Behavioral Attributes, Social Skills, and Professional Expectations

Students must be able to demonstrate the requisite behavioral, social, and professional skills to meet the competencies required for graduation and to: fully utilize their intellectual abilities, exercise good judgment, promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients and develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients; handle and manage heavy workloads and to function effectively and independently under stress for up to 24 hours; adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients; care for all individuals in a respectful and effective manner regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other protected status identified in the University’s Non-Discrimination Policy; display professionalism, compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation throughout the educational processes.

6. Ethical and Legal Standards

Candidates must meet the legal standards for licensure to practice medicine in the State of New York. As such, candidates for admission must acknowledge and provide a written explanation of any felony offense or disciplinary action taken against them by another educational institution prior to matriculation in the Zucker School of Medicine. In addition, should the student be convicted of any felony offense while in medical school, the student must immediately notify the associate dean for student affairs of the nature of the conviction. Failure to disclose prior or new offenses can lead to disciplinary action, which may include dismissal, by the Zucker School of Medicine.

References to Regulations and/or Other Related Policies:
LCME Element 10.5: Technical Standards
Policy on Academic Advancement and Graduation
Policy on Equal Access to the Educational Program
Statement of Professionalism

Last Updated: July 2020