Patient Health & Safety Standards
Criminal Background Check
Not only is the review of applicant character and conduct as a citizen an important consideration for the student entering medical school, but it also impacts possible future licensure as a practicing physician. In addition, it concerns the safety and well-being of patients and has implications for liability issues affecting the medical school and affiliated clinical facilities.
A criminal background check for medical school students is a standard affiliation agreement and requirement with the College of Medicine clinical training sites, especially in pediatrics (a required third-year clerkship) and geriatrics.
Ohio Law mandates criminal background checks for all prospective employees in positions where the individual will be caring for older adults (Ohio Senate Bill 160) or children (Senate Bill 38). Students who have lived in Ohio for more than five years (from the signature date of their medical school application) must present proof they have had a criminal background check completed through the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI).
If a candidate is not an Ohio resident or has been an Ohio resident for less than five years, he or she must request that the BCI obtain information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Candidates must give permission to the College of Medicine to obtain a copy of any arrest record or conviction record in the BCI files.
Health care providers in contact with patients, especially those with compromised immune systems, are at risk for contracting and transmitting infectious diseases. All candidates must maintain established College of Medicine immunization requirements for their own protection, and the protection of their patients and the populations they serve.
Candidates must present proof of immunizations (an immunization history signed by your personal physician who is not a relative), and complete the Medical Questionnaire. All immunizations are required unless medically contraindicated (personal physician documentation must be provided).
Additional testing, evaluation and documentation may be required in individual cases. Clerkships, electives, educational activities, as well as affiliated hospitals and programs, might require additional immunizations. It is the candidate’s responsibility to familiarize themselves with all immunization requirements and to meet all deadlines with the understanding that required immunizations and/or tests are a condition of continued enrollment.
Candidates who fail to submit their immunization history and Medical Questionnaire may have their seat in the College of Medicine rescinded. Students who are not in full compliance with all required immunizations within one year of matriculation will be suspended.
Technical & Health Standards
In addition to the acquisition of the appropriate knowledge in the sciences and the humanities, the College of Medicine faculty agree that the successful medical student should demonstrate the following skills and technical standards.
The candidate must demonstrate the ability to assimilate large amounts of detailed information, integrate that information and be capable of utilizing it for problem solving. He/she must be able to process information and demonstrate the ability to reason, comprehend, measure, calculate, analyze, memorize, organize and synthesize complex information. In order to appreciate experiences in the laboratory and clinical settings, the candidate must perceive and understand visual spatial relationship structures and three-dimensional relationships.
The candidate must be able to demonstrate and use (in English) the knowledge acquired during the medical education process to elicit, convey, clarify and transmit information (both in oral and written form) effectively, accurately, efficiently and sensitively to patients, their families and other members of the health care team. Candidates must be able to communicate with patients in order to elicit information regarding mood, activity and posture and perceive nonverbal communication.
Communication and transmission of information includes reading, writing, hearing and speaking. For example, candidates must be able to present legible, accurate and skillful information in oral and written form to preceptors, professors, teammates, patients, families and other members of the health care team.
Candidates must also be able to effectively and efficiently participate in small group discussions/interactions and patient care settings where clinical decisions may depend on rapid communication.
Behavioral and Social Skills
The candidate must possess the emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with others in a responsible manner, to use sound judgment and to use ethical and clinical reasoning. The ability to make decisions appropriate to the care of patients, to function in a stressful and demanding environment, to adapt to new and changing situations and to cope with ambiguity is essential to the development and performance of future physicians.
The candidate must be prompt in completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients.
The possession of human relations skills is equally important. The candidate should demonstrate compassion, empathy, a caring attitude, tolerance, an acceptance of differences, personal generosity toward others, thoughtfulness and a general concern and respect for other individuals.
The medical education process is both demanding and challenging. The candidate must have sufficient emotional and physical stamina to acquire the knowledge and skills required in the classroom, to perform the duties in the basic science laboratories, to participate in activities on clinical rotations, to tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads and function independently, competently and effectively under stress. The candidate must be able to complete the curriculum within the maximum time period specified by the faculty.
Motor Coordination and Sensory Skills
Sufficient motor function and tactile and sensory abilities are required to attend and participate effectively in all classrooms, laboratories, conferences, clinical settings and activities that are part of the curriculum. Candidates must be able to respond to emergency situations in a timely manner. Candidate must be able to perform CPR, airway management (both endotracheal ventilation and mask/bag), nasogastric tube, placement of intravenous and foley catheters, simple wound repair, the application of pressure to stop bleeding and basic obstetrical procedures.
Candidates must be able to perform simple lab tests (i.e.,urinalysis, pregnancy test, etc.), use a standard light microscope, ophthalmoscope, stethoscope, prepare slides and use a computer.
Other essential requirements include the ability to elicit patient information, such as performing a complete physical exam that includes inspection, auscultation, palpation and percussion as well as other diagnostic maneuvers and procedures such as a venipuncture, subcutaneous injection, intramuscular injection and PPD/skin test battery. Other required examinations include, but are not limited to, neurological, gynecological, prostate, pediatric and obstetric examinations (with appropriate instruments).
The candidate is also expected to execute both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and assume reasonable bodily postures required to provide a general and specific diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Observation and Sensory Skills
Through independent observation, the student must be able to acquire information in the basic medical sciences, including that obtained from demonstrations and experiential activities. For example, a candidate must be able to evaluate radiographic imaging studies and identify sub cellular structures, cells, tissues and organs on microscopic and macroscopic levels. Observation of patients necessitates the functional use of vision and other senses.
Candidates must have sufficient exteroceptive sense (touch, pain and temperature) and proprioceptive sense (pressure, position, movement, stereognosis and vibratory). A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately from a distance and close at hand.
Candidates must not lack any of the senses to the point that they cannot recognize normal versus abnormal and cannot acquire or perceive sufficient factual material to accurately assess a patient’s health status.
Qualified students with documented disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. The determination of whether an applicant or current student meets the technical standards is done on an individual, case-by-case basis utilizing the College of Medicine procedures.
Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in the technical areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner without a trained intermediary.
The use of a trained intermediary means that a candidate's judgment is mediated by someone else's power of selection, observation, perception or cognitive support. For instance, relying on an intermediary to perform physical exams for a student with a severe physical disability is not acceptable and would alter the fundamental nature of the medical programs.
Accommodations may involve an auxiliary aid, but none that substitute essential technical skills or supplement clinical and ethical judgment. Candidates must be free of, and not dependent on, illicit drugs.
Admission & Graduation Standards
The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine strives to graduate physicians of the highest quality. The college has a tradition of training outstanding clinicians committed to the delivery of excellent patient care, training leaders in biomedical research and promoting careers in academic medicine.
The college provides the opportunity to achieve diverse goals in medicine. Regardless of the professional role chosen, a graduate from the College of Medicine is expected to have a strong commitment to serve his/her community, to adhere to high ethical standards and to be sensitive to individual, cultural and ethnical differences existing in society.
The admissions process will select those applicants who have demonstrated an ability to excel in a rigorous academic program and who present evidence of significant academic and personal achievement.
The accepted student is expected to have acquired a firm understanding of the sciences preparatory for the study of medicine and be knowledgeable of the basic social, cultural and behavioral factors that influence individuals, families and communities. In addition, the accepted student is expected to have acquired effective learning, communication and problem-solving skills.
All students are expected to act as professionals and to be responsible for their own behaviors and actions. Professional behavior would include such things as attendance, being prepared and completing all assignments and responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients.
Candidates will continually demonstrate integrity, honesty, caring, fairness, respect for others and self, empathy, maturity, dedication and the ability to distinguish and practice confidentiality. Working with others in an effective, mature and sensitive manner with all members of the medical community, health care teams and medical school community is required.
Candidates are expected to make an effort to understand prejudices and preconceptions that might affect patient, medical community or collegial relationships, especially in the areas of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age and religion.
It is the goal of the College of Medicine to provide an environment facilitating success in medical school. Although each entering student has impressive credentials, we realize each student is unique and individual needs may vary; therefore, we encourage you to contact the Office of Student Affairs if you have any questions.
The Admissions and Graduation Standards and the Essential Technical and Health Standards will be periodically reviewed and modifications will reflect the changing medical education curriculum and educational environment.