Applicants to the University of Virginia School of Medicine are considered for admission without regard to disability but with the expectation that all parts of the curriculum can be completed. Because the M.D. degree signifies that the holder is a physician prepared for entry into the practice of medicine within postgraduate training programs, graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care.
While technological compensation can be made for deficiencies in certain areas, candidates for the M.D. degree should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner in the following areas and with the indicated abilities and skills.
I Observation: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences including but not limited to physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the senses of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.
II Communication: A candidate should 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. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.
III Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should be capable of learning to do basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, etc.), carry out diagnostic procedures (proctoscopy, paracentesis, etc.), and read EKG's and x-rays. A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airway, the suturing of simple wounds, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
IV. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurements, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
V. Behavioral and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgement; the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function 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 should be evident during the admissions and educational processes.
Applicants who do not meet these criteria will be evaluated on a case by case basis.