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Technical Standards & Expectations

Technical Standards Policy

The Medical School's technical standards policy is available in our Student Handbook.

All applicants accepted to the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry must be able to meet the School’s technical standards. Students are required to review the standards and to sign a form certifying they have read, understand, and are able to meet the standards with or without reasonable accommodations.

The School of Medicine is prepared to provide reasonable accommodations to students who are accepted by the School and who have physical and learning disabilities (e.g., mobility impairments, chronic illnesses, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities). The University will review the information in order to determine whether a reasonable accommodation can be made. The University reserves the right to reject any requests for accommodation, that in its judgment, would involve the use of an intermediary that would in effect require a student to rely on someone else’s power of selection, detection and observation, fundamentally alter the nature of the School’s educational program, lower academic standards, cause an undue hardship on the School, or endanger the safety of patients or others.

Questions should be directed to Dr. Flavia Nobay at (585) 275 - 7245.

Technical Standards

All candidates for the M.D. degree must possess essential skills and abilities necessary to complete the medical school curriculum successfully either with or without reasonable accommodations for any disabilities the individual may have. Note: The use of an intermediary that would in effect require a student to rely on someone else’s power of selection, detection, and observation will not be permitted. The School of Medicine’s Technical Standards are as follows:

Ability to:

  • Record historical information
  • Detect, understand, and interpret physical findings
  • Communicate physical findings, develop and record diagnoses as well as treatment plans
  • Ability to manipulate equipment and instruments traditionally used by physicians and physicians-in-training
  • Ability to recognize, understand, and interpret instructional materials required during undergraduate medical education
  • Ability to detect and appreciate alterations in anatomy or other abnormalities encountered as part of the general physical examination
  • Ability to recognize, interpret, and evaluate diagnostic studies
  • Ability to review and interpret notes prepared by other members of the healthcare team
  • Ability to perform calculations necessary to deliver appropriate care to the patient
  • Ability to communicate effectively with patients, families, and other healthcare personnel
  • Ability to perform all of the above skills within a timeframe that is appropriate for a clinical setting

Medical Student Honor Code

Candidates who accept offers of admission to the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry simultaneously agree to follow the terms of the Medical Student Honor Code.

Entering medical school is the beginning of the student’s life as a professional. Physicians and medical students should be altruistic and dedicated to providing competent medical service with compassion and respect for human dignity. Physicians have a responsibility to behave ethically at all times in their interactions with patients and patients’ families, colleagues, and others with whom they interact in their professional lives. The Medical Student Honor Code addresses specific expectations regarding medical student conduct.

The School of Medicine & Dentistry Honor Board is a group composed of students, residents, and faculty that work together to educate the community regarding ethics and professionalism in medicine, investigate and evaluate reports of potential violations of the Honor Code, and are available as consultants to develop curricula relating to professional conduct.

The Honor Code exists in conjunction with other University, School of Medicine & Dentistry, and regulatory policies. The Honor Code is not in lieu of, nor does it replace or supersede existing University, School of Medicine & Dentistry, and/or regulatory policies and procedures. In addition, the Medical Student Promotions and Review Board (MSPRB) retains the right to review professionalism, behavioral and other student cases directly, (independent of the Honor Code process) where health and safety concerns exist and in instances, determined by the MSPRB, to be egregious violations of the Medical School’s professionalism standards.

All applicants are encouraged to review the full Honor Code and Guidelines to prevent the mistreatment of students.

Expectations of Medical Students

View the Expectations of Medical Students Policy in the Student Handbook.

It is unethical for a student to refuse to participate in the care of a person based on that person’s race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age, sexual orientation and/or perceived lifestyle choices. It is also unethical to refuse to participate in the care of a patient solely because of medical risk, or perceived risk, to the student. It is not, however, unethical for the pregnant student to refuse to participate in activities that pose a significant risk to her fetus.

Essential components of the education requirements for University of Rochester medical students include: practicing under supervision, evaluating, counseling and referring assigned patients. Consequently, while students are required to evaluate, counsel, and refer all assigned patients, they retain the option, via the prevailing process, to opt out of select procedures in non-emergency settings due to conscientious objections. View the Opting Out of Education Experiences Due to Conscientious Objection Policy in the Student Handbook.