Technical Standards for Admission and Graduation

An applicant for the M.D. degree, and an enrolled student seeking the M.D. degree, must possess certain abilities and skills deemed essential functions for the care of patients. These abilities and skills, as determined by Georgetown University School of Medicine, are: 

  1. Observation: Students enrolled in the M.D. degree program must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments required by the medical curriculum established by the medical faculty, and be able to participate in such with adequate vision and other sensory modalities, including the senses of hearing and smell. A student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand.
  2. Communication: Students must be able to speak intelligibly, and to hear sufficiently to affect an adequate exchange of information with patients, family members, and other health professionals. A student must be able to read and write English effectively in order to fulfill academic requirements, and to maintain accurate clinical records on patient care.
  3. Motor: Medical students are required to possess motor skills sufficient to elicit independently information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other manually-based diagnostic procedures. Students should be able to conduct laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, etc.), carry out diagnostic procedures (paracentesis, etc.), and provide basic medical care (clearing the airway, placing catheters, controlling bleeding, simple obstetrical maneuvers, etc.) in the general care environment, and coordinate fine and gross muscular movements to treat patients in emergency situations. Emergency situations include any circumstance in which a patient experiences either a physical or mental medical event requiring immediate remedy.
  4. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include an aptitude for rapid problem solving, the capability to access and interpret medical files independently, and evaluate physical examinations, and to formulate a logical diagnosis and effective medical treatment plan. Students must possess good judgment in patient assessment, and the abilities to incorporate new information, comprehend three-dimensional relationships, and retain and recall pertinent information in a timely fashion.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: Students must possess the physical and emotional health required for the application of his/her intellectual abilities and the employment of sound judgment in an appropriate and prompt manner. Students must be able to function effectively under physically taxing workloads, and in times of physical and mental stress. Students must display compassion, sensitivity, and concern for others, and maintain professional integrity at all times. 

These five areas of enumerated skills and abilities are the minimum attributes required of applicants for admission to the School of Medicine, and of students who are candidates for graduation. The School of Medicine is committed to meeting the special needs of students within established legal and institutional guidelines. However, the integrity of the medical curriculum, and the required mental and physical capabilities to fulfill the obligation of that education must be sustained. The employment of an intermediary potentially compromises a student’s judgment and their acquisition of powers of selection and observation, and is probably unacceptable.