Learning Center

Student Accessibility Services

Student Accessibility Services Policy & Procedure Manual

Approved by: University Student Accessibility Services Committee (previously Disabilities and Accommodations Committee), July 2016
Reviewed: July 2017
Revised: October 4, 2018

College of Medicine Essential Functions

The primary mission of the College of Medicine (COM) is to provide all students with the training to become qualified physicians oriented to the practice of medicine at the community level. As such, faculty are responsible to develop and implement a medical curriculum designed to educate humane physicians for the highest standards of the practice of medicine.

Preparation and training to become a physician requires each student to understand and to meet the Essential Functions Required for Admission, Continuation and Graduation identified below with or without accommodations. The faculty has developed the course requirements and activities to provide critical elements of physician training. It is expected that students will participate in all course activities (including but not limited to lectures, seminars, laboratories, clinics, physical examinations, patient procedures) and adhere to individual hospital rules and regulations as well as COM policies regarding these activities. Learning is based on active student participation rather than simple observation and/or note taking.

A candidate for the Doctor of Medicine degree must be able to demonstrate intellectualconceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities; skills in observation, communication, motor functions; and mature behavioral and social attributes. Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in certain 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 must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation.)


The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, including but not limited to physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must be able to observe examinations and procedures in the clinical environment, and be able to read test results such as electrocardiograms (EKG) and x-rays. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.


A candidate must be able to communicate effectively in English, and to 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. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively with all members of the health care team.


Candidates must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers that comprise a complete physical examination. A candidate must be able to perform the basic and advanced clinical procedures that are requirements of the NEOMED College of Medicine curriculum. A candidate must be able to execute motor activities reasonably required to provide general care, to perform diagnostic procedures and to provide emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment and motor functions reasonably required of physicians include but are not limited to:

  • performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation/basic life support (CPR/BLS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and applying pressure to stop bleeding,
  • administering injections, and starting intravenous lines and administering intravenous medication,
  • making incisions, suturing and tying knots,
  • performing diagnostic procedures and examinations such as funduscopic, otoscopic, breast, rectal and pelvic examinations. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, & 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, the candidate must be able to comprehend threedimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

Behavioral & Social Attributes

A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of 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 to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Commitment to excellence, service orientation, goal setting skills, academic ability, self-awareness, integrity and interpersonal skills are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admission and education process. Because the nature of medical education is based on a mentoring process, candidates are expected to be able to accept criticism and to respond by appropriate modification of behavior.


Heidi Der, Ed.S.
Assistant Director, Learning Center & Accessibility Services
Phone: 330.325.6756
Email: accommodations@neomed.edu

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