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Program Standards

Students earning the MD degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine are expected to have a strong sense of commitment to serving their community, to adhere to high ethical standards, and to be sensitive to individual, cultural and ethnic differences that exist in society. We intend for our graduates to become competent and compassionate physicians who are capable of entering residency training and meeting all requirements for medical licensure. All graduates are required to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to provide safe and effective medical care in a wide variety of clinical settings. The avowed intention of an individual student to practice only a narrow part of clinical medicine or to pursue a non-clinical career does not alter the requirement that all medical students take and achieve competence in the full curriculum required by the faculty. The curriculum requires certain minimum abilities to assure that candidates are appropriate for admission, promotion and graduation within the MD program.

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, 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 prior to matriculation into medical school is a standard requirement of the College of Medicine and of several clinical training sites. Candidates for matriculation to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine must complete and pass two criminal background checks prior to commencing their studies. The existence of a conviction does not automatically disqualify an applicant for the medical school (relevant considerations may include but are not limited to: the date, nature, and number of convictions, the relationship of the conviction to the profession, and any rehabilitation efforts). The College of Medicine retains the sole discretion to decide whether an applicant with a conviction(s) may enter the program.

Failure to complete all criminal background check requirements by the deadlines provided by the College of Medicine can result in the withdrawal of an offer of admission. Clerkships, electives, educational activities as well as affiliated hospitals and programs might require additional background checks. Compliance with these background checks is a condition of continued enrollment.


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 that they serve against preventable communicable illness. To this end, candidates must present proof of immunizations (an immunization history signed by your personal physician who is not a relative) prior to matriculation in accordance with immunization requirements of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine or their offer of admission can be withdrawn. 

All immunizations are required unless a variance is approved by University Health Services. Additional testing, evaluation, and documentation may be required in individual cases. Clinical training sites might require additional immunizations. Compliance with these immunizations is a condition of continued enrollment. Students who do not remain in full compliance with all required immunizations may be suspended.

Drug & Alcohol Testing

Individuals who are dependent on or impaired by alcohol or other substances are not suitable candidates for providing care to patients and, therefore, for admission, promotion, or graduation. Health care providers within our primary health system (UCHealth) are expected to maintain a safe, productive, and drug- and alcohol-free environment and to perform their assigned duties safely and efficiently. Participation in clinical rotations at UCHealth is an essential requirement of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine’s curriculum. UCHealth requires all participants to submit a negative drug screen prior to participation in clinical rotations. Therefore, all College of Medicine candidates must pass a comprehensive, pre-matriculation drug screen according to the standards and requirements set forth and maintained by UCHealth. Failure to pass this drug screen may result in the rescinding of an applicant’s acceptance.

Following matriculation, “for cause” drug and alcohol testing may be initiated when concerns are raised regarding the performance, behavior, or actions of a medical student that indicate a reasonable suspicion for substance impairment.  Compliance with “for cause” drug and alcohol testing of medical students is a condition of continued enrollment.

Technical & Health Standards

In addition to the acquisition of the appropriate knowledge in the sciences and the humanities, the faculty of the College of Medicine agree that the successful medical student should demonstrate the following abilities and skills (defined as technical standards). These technical standards are requirements for admission, promotion, and graduation.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended, the College of Medicine Council of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine requires that candidates meet the following standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, as a condition of participation in the medical education program. Assistive strategies that use trained intermediaries to obtain and interpret data from patients on behalf of the student will not be accepted as reasonable. Qualified students with documented disabilities are provided with reasonable and appropriate accommodations. Candidates are responsible for requesting accommodations in writing using the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook.  All requests will be considered. The determination of whether a candidate meets the technical standards will be done on an individual, case by case basis utilizing the existing College of Medicine procedures outlined in the Student Handbook. If at any point in time after matriculation a candidate is no longer able to meet the technical standards s/he must notify the Assistant Dean for Academic Support to address these technical standards.

  • Demonstrate the ability to assimilate large amounts of detailed information from varied learning formats, integrate that information and be capable of utilizing it for problem solving.

  • Process information and demonstrate the ability to reason, comprehend, measure, calculate, analyze, memorize, organize and synthesize complex information.

  • Perceive and understand visual spatial relationship structures and three dimensional relationships in order to appreciate experiences in the laboratory and clinical settings.

  • Be able to use sound judgment, ethical and clinical reasoning and possess the ability to make decisions appropriate to the care of patients.

  • Demonstrate and use (in English) the knowledge acquired during the medical education process to elicit, convey, clarify and transmit information (in oral and written form) effectively, accurately, efficiently and sensitively to patients, their families and other members of the health care team.

  • Be able to elicit information regarding mood, activity and posture and perceive nonverbal communication.

  • Be able to present legible, accurate and skillful information in oral and written form to educators, patients, families and other members of the health care team.

  • Be able to effectively and efficiently participate in sometimes fast paced small group discussions/interactions and in patient care settings where clinical decisions may depend on rapid communication.

  • Possess the emotional stability and maturity necessary to participate in the various learning formats of the curriculum, interact with others in a responsible and collaborative manner, function in a stressful and demanding environment, adapt to new and changing situations and cope with ambiguity.

  • Be prompt in completion of all responsibilities including but not limited to their own learning and the diagnosis and care of patients.

  • Demonstrate integrity, respect, compassion, empathy, tolerance for differences and a general concern and respect for others.

  • Be able to contribute to collaborative, constructive learning environments, accept constructive feedback from others, and take personal responsibility for making appropriate positive changes.

  • Possess sufficient motor function/coordination and all sensory abilities to participate effectively in all aspects of medical training.

  • Through independent observation, the candidate must be able to acquire information across a broad range of learning modalities in the basic medical sciences and clinical experiences.

  • Be able to recognize normal versus abnormal and must be able to acquire and perceive sufficient medical information to accurately assess a patient’s health status.

  • Be able to respond to emergency situations in a timely manner.

  • Be able to personally perform a comprehensive physical exam including inspection, palpation, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers and procedures.

  • Either personally perform or direct and evaluate the performance by others of life-saving procedures (e.g. BLS, ACLS).

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 ethnic 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.

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University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine

CARE/Crawley Building
Suite E-870
3230 Eden Avenue
PO Box 670555
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0555

Mail Location: 0555
Phone: 513-558-7333
Fax: 513-558-3512
Email: College of Medicine