Feb 08, 2023  
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Catalog 2015-2016 
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Catalog 2015-2016 [Archived Catalog]

Health and Technical Standards

Health and Technical Standards for Admission and Graduation

All persons who seek admission, enrollment and graduation from the educational programs of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine must meet health and technical standards. The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree signifies the holder is a physician prepared for entry into the practice of medicine; it follows that all graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and be able to provide a wide spectrum of patient care.

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.

Technical Standards for Matriculation, Retention and Graduation

The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (Heritage College) indicates the holder is a physician who is prepared to enter into supervised practice in a Graduate Medical Education Training Program.

In order to be qualified for the D.O. degree, future training, and subsequent licensure, the candidate must have demonstrated competency in five requisite areas: observation and sensory; communication; motor; intellectual-conceptual; and behavioral and social attributes.  Matriculants are required to demonstrate said competencies to provide safe and effective medical care in a wide variety of clinical environments. 

Heritage College requires that matriculants to the college be capable of meeting the technical standards, with or without, reasonable accommodation, as a condition of enrollment in the osteopathic medical program. Reasonable accommodations, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended, include those assistive devices and strategies that enable matriculants to successfully meet the established standards of academic performance and requirements of the osteopathic curricular program. These assistive devices and strategies do not alter the essential requirements of the osteopathic curricular requirements and do not change the established standards of performance determined to be acceptable. The use of trained intermediaries to obtain and interpret data from patients will not be considered as acceptable or reasonable assistive strategies.  National Board of Osteopathic Examiners (NBOME) technical requirements may have more stringent standards than outlined in this document. Students seeking accommodations during the application process or after matriculation, are encouraged to contact Student Accessibility Services at 740.593.2620.

Observation and Sensory

The matriculant must be able to participate in demonstrations and experiments in the biomedical sciences including, but not limited to microbiologic cultures, microscopic examination of microorganisms and tissues, cadaver dissection, interpretation of ECGs and radiographic images.  The matriculant must be able to observe a patient by gathering visual and olfactory information to detect disease and dysfunction. Additionally, matriculants must be able to use touch and detect changes of temperature and pressure to complete required physical examinations and perform osteopathic structural assessments.


A matriculant shall be able to assess and communicate with patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in affect, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. A matriculant must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. The matriculant must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all members of the health care team.


The matriculant must be able to independently perform physical examination maneuvers such as auscultation, palpation and percussion in order to learn to detect disease and dysfunction.  The matriculant must be able to independently perform a variety of procedures required for general and emergency patient care including, but not limited to venipuncture, bladder catheterization, arthrocentesis, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, application of pressure to stop severe bleeding, management of obstructed airways, suturing of simple wounds and performance of routine obstetrical and gynecologic procedures. Additionally, the matriculant must be able to perform these procedures within prescribed time limitations relative to the context of the practicing physician. The matriculant must be able to independently perform therapeutic touch including osteopathic manipulative medicine techniques, and must be agreeable to have these modalities performed upon them as part of the curriculum requirements for the D.O. degree. The matriculant must be able to assist in surgical procedures for prolonged periods of time, participate in simulation exercises, and participate in medical/surgical rounds on hospital wards.

Intellectual – Conceptual

The matriculant must be able to demonstrate the ability to observe, measure, calculate, and utilize information in order to engage in critical thinking and problem solving in both individual and group contexts that are essential to the function of a physician. Matriculants must also be able to comprehend multi-dimensional spatial relationships.

Behavior and Social Attributes

Matriculants must exercise good judgment and act professionally, complete all responsibilities promptly and effectively, and attend to the diagnosis and care of patients while maintaining mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. Matriculants must be able to function effectively under stressful conditions, adapt to changing environments and function in the face of the uncertainties inherent in the clinical care of patients. Compassion, integrity, empathy, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the educational process.

Patient Safety Measures

Infectious Diseases: Health care providers in contact with patients are at risk for contracting and transmitting infectious diseases. All health care providers must maintain immunization requirements that are established for their own protection and that of served populations against preventable communicable illness.

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine requires documentation of appropriate immunization and vaccination of all students. Requirements are guided by current recommendation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for healthcare personnel.

Prior to matriculation, students are expected to receive required immunizations/vaccinations and provide documentation of proof of immunity. Influenza immunization is recommended during flu season. Clinical affiliates may have other more stringent requirements for immunizations and vaccinations.

If a student is unable to provide documentation, he/she is considered unvaccinated.

Please consult the Medical Student Immunization/Vaccination requirements and Proof of Immunity policy for details on each vaccination requirement and documentation of immunity.

Note: Students participating in the Summer Scholars program are required to provide additional documentation of one Meningitis vaccination.

Tuberculosis (TB) screening is also required of all incoming students and students participating in summer programs involving clinical activities through Heritage College. Please consult the Tuberculosis Screening Policy for guideline details and recommendations.

Students who are accepted to Heritage College 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.

Charges for immunization and antibody titers are the responsibility of the student.

Criminal Background Check

The matriculant must submit to a criminal background check that includes both Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCI & I) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) searches. The college mandates the criminal background check of the matriculant to be in compliance with the requirements of the state of Ohio and the clinical affiliates of the college. A criminal background check will be required every two years the matriculant is enrolled in the college.

Charges for background check is the responsibility of the student.