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Technical Standards


The College of Medicine strives to select students who possess the intelligence, integrity and personal and emotional characteristics that are considered necessary to become an effective health professional.

Students admitted to the College of Medicine should have the intellectual and physical abilities to acquire the knowledge, behaviors and skills taught in the program of study. The curriculum is designed to provide the general education necessary for the students selected for medicine. Students will learn the fundamental principles, develop critical judgment and apply principles and skills wisely in solving scientific and health related problems. Curricular goals and/or minimal graduation requirements have been developed to fulfill these objectives and to prepare graduates to pursue further education, if desired.

In addition to satisfactory academic performance in all coursework, students are expected to fulfill the non-academic essential functions of the curriculum in a reasonably independent manner. These functions are specified by the physical, cognitive, and behavioral standards (referred to collectively as technical standards) necessary for the completion of the program.

SUNY Downstate's College of Medicine will consider for admission and advancement any individual able to perform pursuant to the standards, which are used as guidelines. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to qualified individuals with a disability in accordance with applicable laws and policies, while maintaining the integrity of program standards. Requests for accommodations will be determined on a case by case basis.

College of Medicine Technical Standards

The College of Medicine's curriculum is designed to provide the general education necessary for the practice of medicine. It permits students to learn the fundamental principles of medicine, to acquire skills of critical thinking and clinical assessment based on education and experience, and to develop an ability to use principles and skills wisely in maintaining health and treating illness. Curricular goals and minimal graduation competencies have been developed to fulfill these objectives and prepare our graduates to pursue any pathway of graduate medical education.

Students are expected to:

  • Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences in the basic sciences, including but not limited to information conveyed through lectures, small group activities, laboratory dissection and demonstrations, microbial cultures, and microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states.
  • Acquire information from written documents and computer information systems (including literature searches and data retrieval) and identify information presented in images from paper, films, slides, or video.
  • Acquire, use, and interpret information from diagnostic maneuvers (e.g., palpation, auscultation, percussion) and from diagnostic instruments (e.g., sphygmomanometer, otoscope, ophthalmoscope) during the course of conducting a comprehensive physical examination of a patient.
  • Accurately elicit from a patient, a medical history and other information required to adequately and effectively evaluate a patient's medical condition.
  • Perform specific procedures including, but not limited to, Basic Life Support (BLS) techniques, such as CPR, starting an IV, drawing arterial and venous blood, inserting and removing a Foley catheter, obtaining specimens, performing basic laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures, and providing wound care (e.g., simple debridement, simple suturing and suture removal, dressing changes).
  • Respond appropriately to emergencies, urgencies, and other situations within the hospital, clinic, ambulatory facility, or other location, and assist co-workers in providing appropriate care.
  • Communicate effectively and efficiently with patients their families, and all members of the health care team about a patient's condition as called for under the circumstances.
  • Interpret x-ray and other graphic images and digital of analog representations or physiologic phenomena (such as EKG's).
  • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize. This includes comprehending and understanding three-dimensional relationships. Problem solving must be performed in a timely manner.
  • Adapt and function effectively under the various circumstances and rigors which are inherent in the clinical practice of medicine.
  • Utilize intellectual ability, exercise proper judgment, and in a timely fashion accurately complete responsibilities intrinsic to patient care.
  • Develop effective and appropriate relationships with patients, colleagues, coworkers, and relevant others.
  • Comply with laboratory safety measures and regulations, and practice universal precautions against contamination and cross-contamination with infectious pathogens (e.g., wearing personal protective equipment; working with sharp objects and hazardous chemicals; treating patients with infectious diseases).

Students With Disabilities

Students with disabilities who wish to request accommodations for their academic program are required to complete the appropriate form prior to matriculation. The Office of Student Affairs coordinates arrangements for students with disabilities.

Students who wish to request accommodation(s) after they have matriculated into the college are required to complete the appropriate form available from the Office of Student Affairs. Please note that accommodations require time to process or to put in place.