Health and Technical Standards for Admission and Graduation
A candidate for the D.O. degree must have abilities and skills in five areas: observation; communication; motor and sensory; intellectual-conceptual; and behavioral and social as well as be able to comply with established patient safety measures. Physician and patient safety during clinical encounters throughout the continuum of medical education are of utmost importance. Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in certain areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary means a candidate’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation.
- Abilities and Skills
- Observation. The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences including, but not limited to, microbiologic cultures, microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states, and reading of EKGs and radiographs. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation requires the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensations such as touch, pressure and temperature. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.
- Communication. A candidate shall be able to speak, hear and 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 speaking, reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health-care team.
- Motor and Sensory. Candidates shall have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers. A candidate shall be able to do basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, etc.) and carry out diagnostic procedures such as proctoscopy, pap smears and arthrocentesis. A candidate shall be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care, osteopathic manipulation 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 airways, 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.
In addition, a candidate should be able to execute these procedures within prescribed time limitations relative to the context of a practicing physician.
Osteopathic students and physicians, in particular, utilize the tool of touch as part of the osteopathic approach to diagnosis and treatment. As part of the learning process, candidates must be able to practice being touched, as well as touching others, in a sensitive, professional manner.
- Intellectual. Candidates must possess conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities. These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates shall be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships in order to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
- Behavior and Social Attributes. Candidates must have the mental health required for full use of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, 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 function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, and 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 will be assessed during the admissions and education process.
- Patient Safety Measures
- Infectious Diseases. Health care providers, especially those having a compromised immune system, are at risk for contracting infectious diseases and subsequently transmitting those diseases to patients, particularly those who have a compromised immune system. All health-care providers must maintain immunization requirements that are established for their own protection and that of served populations against preventable, communicable illness.
Tuberculosis (TB) screening is required of all incoming students even if Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin (BCG) has been given in the past. If a TB skin test has not been administered within the past 12 months, two skin tests will be administered during the first month of classes. If a TB skin test has been administered within the past twelve months, a single TB skin test will be administered in August. Please refer to the OU-HCOM policy for TB screening and follow-up for more information.
Documentation of immunizations against the following diseases must be received prior to matriculation: measles (rubeola), German measles (rubella), mumps, chicken pox (varicella), tetanus and hepatitis B. The OU-HCOM policy for medical student immunizations specifies:
- measles, mumps, rubella (MMR): Two immunizations are required.
- Tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap): One Tdap vaccine is required, prior to matriculation if last tetanus/diphtheria (Td) was given two years or more ago. If the last Td was given within two years of matriculation, then the Tdap will be required at the end of the two-year period. Following administration of one Tdap, a Td will be required every 10 years. International students must provide documentation of receiving the primary DTP series as well as a current Tdap. Any student may be asked to provide complete documentation of the DTP/DT and polio primary series depending upon individual hospital requirements. This documentation, however, is not required for OU-HCOM matriculation.
- Hepatitis B: At least two of the three doses of the hepatitis B series must be completed prior to the start of Clinical and Community Experiences. The third dose must be received prior to February 1 of year one.
- Varicella: A positive personal history or two vaccines required. A student who cannot verify through personal history or history obtained from a parent/guardian that he/she has had chicken pox is required to receive the varicella vaccine. Students who are uncertain of chicken pox history may elect to first obtain a titer.
Serologic proof of immunity (antibody titers) against measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and hepatitis B is to be obtained at the time of matriculation to the OU campus. The Centers for Disease Control Guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be referenced and taken into consideration for those candidates who test negative for serum antibodies (i.e., non-responders). For more information about serologic proof of immunity required of medical students, please see the policy on immunity.
Students who are accepted to OU-HCOM and students on the alternate list will receive a letter explaining immunization and serologic proof of immunity requirements and the Immunization Status Report form from Academic Affairs. If a student is unable to provide documentation, he/she is considered unvaccinated. Except for TB skin tests, students are expected to receive required immunizations prior to the first day of classes. Charges for immunizations and antibody titers are the responsibility of the student.
Criminal Background Check. Ohio Law mandates criminal records checks for all prospective employees in positions where the individual will be caring for older adults (Senate Bill 160) or children (Senate Bill 38). A standard criterion in affiliation agreements with clinical training sites, especially in pediatrics and geriatrics, is a requirement of a criminal record check for students. Review of an applicant’s character and conduct as a citizen is important to his or her future licensure as a practicing physician. At the time of matriculation, candidates must request that the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI & I) obtain information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The candidate must give permission to OU-HCOM to obtain a copy of any arrest or conviction record in the BCI & I files.
The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is committed to making its medical programs accessible to people with disabilities. In order to receive accommodations, the candidate or student must document the need and make a request through the college’s Office of Student Affairs. For incoming, as well as enrolled students, the request should be submitted at least one term before the accommodations are needed. Reasonable accommodations can be made for some disabilities in certain of these technical areas. With reasonable accommodation, a candidate still must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner, the essential functions and tasks required in the five ability and skill areas noted above under Section A.