Technical Standards

School of Medicine Technical Standards

Because the M.D. degree signifies that the holder is a physician prepared for entry into the practice of medicine within postgraduate training programs, it follows that candidates for graduation must have the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and judgment to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. Candidates must demonstrate the capacity to develop academic and emotional maturity and leadership skills to function effectively in a medical team.    

Therefore, all students admitted to the School of Medicine must be able to meet, with or without reasonable accommodation, the following abilities and expectations. 

Students/Applicants who may have questions regarding the technical standards or who believe they may need to request reasonable accommodation in order to meet the standards are encouraged to contact the Education & Student Affairs Office.

The School of Medicine's Technical Standards include:

  • Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences.
  • Candidates must have sufficient use of the sensory, vision, hearing, motor, and the somatic sensation necessary to perform a physical examination. Candidates must be able to perform activities such as palpation, auscultation, percussion, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the movements, equilibrium and functional use of the sense of touch and vision.
  • Candidates must be able to learn to respond with precise, quick and appropriate action in emergency situations.
  • Candidates must be able to communicate with accuracy, clarity, efficiency, and sensitivity.
  • Candidates must have the skills to be able to analyze and synthesize information,  solve problems, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments.
  • Candidates must be able to acknowledge evaluation and respond appropriately.
  • Candidates must possess the interpersonal skills to develop rapport and positive relationships with patients.
  • Candidates are expected to possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the medical school curriculum. Candidates, therefore, must be able to tolerate physically and emotionally taxing workloads, to function effectively under stress, to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.

Revised: 10/09

OHSU Technical Standards

Health Sciences programs have a societal responsibility to train competent healthcare providers and scientists that demonstrate critical judgment, extensive knowledge and well-honed technical skills. All candidates for an OHSU degree or certificate must possess essential skills and abilities necessary to complete the curriculum successfully. These include academic (e.g., examination scores, grade point average) as well as technical standards. These technical standards are nonacademic criteria, basic to all of OHSU’s educational programs. Each OHSU program may develop more specific technical standards.

OHSU’s Technical Standards include:

  • Acquire information from experiences and demonstrations conveyed through online coursework, lecture, group seminar, small group activities, and other.

  • Ability to recognize, understand and interpret required instruction materials including written documents, computer-information systems, and non-book resources.

  • Ability to manipulate the equipment, instruments, apparatus, or tools required to collect and interpret data appropriate to the domain of study, practice or research.

  • Ability to follow universal precautions against contamination and cross contamination with infectious pathogens, toxins and other hazardous chemicals.

  • Solve problems and think critically to develop appropriate products and services (e.g., treatment plan, a scientific experiment.)

  • Synthesize information to develop and defend conclusions regarding observations and outcomes.

  • Use intellectual ability, exercise proper judgment, and complete all responsibilities within a timeframe that is appropriate to a given setting.

  • Maintain effective, mature, and sensitive relationships under all circumstances (e.g., clients, patients, students, faculty, staff and other professionals.)

  • Communicate effectively and efficiently with faculty, colleagues, and all other persons encountered in any OHSU setting.

  • Work in a safe manner and respond appropriately to emergencies and urgencies.

  • Demonstrate emotional stability to function effectively under stress and adapt to changing environments inherent in clinical practice, health care and biomedical sciences and engineering.


It is our experience that a number of individuals with disabilities, as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, are qualified to study and work as health care professionals and scientists with the use of reasonable accommodations. To be qualified for health sciences programs at OHSU those individuals must be able to meet both our academic standards and the technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations.

For further information regarding services and resources for students with disabilities and/or to request accommodations, please contact the Office for Student Access.

Approved: 10/30/09