It is the policy of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine that no person shall be denied admission nor graduation on the basis of any disability, provided that the person demonstrates ability to meet the minimum standards set by the faculty for entry into and progression through the medical curriculum. Standards have been developed to achieve the Doctor of Medicine degree in preparation for postgraduate training and for licensure as a practicing physician. Additionally, the safety of the patient, on whom the medical education process is largely focused, must be the final and ultimate consideration.
The College of Medicine recognizes that certain student disabilities can be accommodated without compromising standards required by the college and the integrity of the curriculum. The college is committed to the development of innovative and creative ways of opening the curriculum to competitive and qualified candidates with disabilities, while protecting the care of patients.
Mastery of the curriculum is required of all students. The standards encompass cognitive, physical, and behavioral requirements in six areas judged necessary by the faculty for satisfactory completion of the medical curriculum. These include, but are not limited to:
- Use of motor skills such as palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers;
- Use of sensory skills such as observing demonstrations, obtaining a medical history directly from a patient, and observing a patient's medical condition and/or non-verbal behaviors;
- Communication with patients, physicians, and others on the medical team about a patient's condition in settings where communication is written and in settings where the time span available for communication is limited;
- Intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities necessary for problem-solving and diagnosis;
- Activities which have a behavioral and/or social context including professional responsibility to patients, typical daily work-loads, working in an environment which is subject to rapid change without warning and in unpredictable ways;
- Ethical and professional attitudes and conduct.
The standards summarized above refer to desired ends rather than the means to achieve each standard because a person with a disability may be able to achieve the standards using reasonable accommodation. The use of a trained intermediary to observe or interpret information compromises the essential function of the physician.
Questions regarding standards for completion of the curriculum are dealt with on an individual basis so that reasonable accommodation can be arranged appropriately. A copy of the policy will be furnished with each application packet, and may be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions.
When a letter of acceptance to the College of Medicine is mailed to an applicant, a detailed copy of the standards for completion of the curriculum will be included with the letter. The applicant will be asked to respond in writing whether he/she can meet the standards with or without accommodation. In the event that accommodation is requested, the student must submit documentation of disability with proposed accommodation from a certified specialist to the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions. The college may require verification by a specialist whom it has approved. A judgement will be made by a committee composed of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, legal counsel, and appropriate ad hoc faculty members who are knowledgeable in the field of the particular disability. If reasonable accommodation cannot be achieved, the letter of acceptance will be withdrawn.
A detailed copy of the Standards for Completion of the Curriculum may be obtained from:
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine
Office of Student Affairs and Admissions
Room 159, Reynolds Medical Building
College Station, TX 77843-1114