Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

Technical Standards

The Nova Southeastern University Health Professions Division is pledged to the admission and matriculation of qualified students and wishes to acknowledge awareness of laws that prohibit discrimination against anyone on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability. Regarding those students with verifiable disabilities, the university will not discriminate against such individuals who are otherwise qualified, but will expect applicants and students to meet certain minimal technical standards (core performance standards) as set forth herein, with or without reasonable accommodation. In adopting these standards, the university believes it must keep in mind the ultimate safety of the patients whom its graduates will eventually serve. The standards reflect what the university believes are reasonable expectations required of health professions students and personnel in performing common functions.

The holders of health care degrees must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. In order to carry out the activities described below, candidates for Health Professions Division degrees must be able to integrate consistently, quickly, and accurately all information received, and they must have the ability to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data.

Candidates for degrees offered by the Health Professions Division must have, with or without reasonable accommodation, multiple abilities and skills including intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; interpersonal communication; mobility and strength; motor skills; and hearing, visual, tactile, behavioral, and social attributes. Candidates for admission and progression must be able to perform these abilities and skills in a reasonably independent manner.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Qualitative Abilities

These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving—a critical skill—requires all of these intellectual abilities. Candidates and students must have critical thinking ability sufficient for good clinical judgment. This is necessary to identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations and to develop plans of care. In addition, candidates and students should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. An individual is expected to be able to perform multiple tasks in a diverse, dynamic, highly competitive, and challenging learning environment. All individuals are expected to meet their program requirements on a satisfactory level as determined by HPD administration or the applicable college /program administration. Osteopathic medical students must be able to perform multiple tasks in a diverse, dynamic, highly competitive, and challenging environment. They must be able to think quickly and accurately in an organized manner, despite environmental distractions.

Interpersonal Communication

Candidates and students should be able to interact with and observe patients in order to elicit information; perform examinations; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; and perceive nonverbal communications. They must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech, but also reading and writing. Candidates and students must also be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in all written forms with all members of the health care team. They must have interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.

Motor Skills

Candidates and students should have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of some health care professionals are cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, and the ability to calibrate and use various pieces of equipment. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision. Physical therapy and occupational therapy students must be able to position patients for treatment, as well as teach the functions involving gross and fine movements. Pharmacy candidates and students must have sufficient motor skills to weigh chemical and pharmaceutical (including intravenous) solutions, prepare prescriptions, and carry out sterile procedures.

Strength and Mobility

Candidates and students must have sufficient mobility to attend emergency codes and to perform such maneuvers as CPR when required. They must have the physical ability to move sufficiently from room to room and to maneuver in small places. Osteopathic medical students must have the ability to position patients for the administration and delivery of osteopathic manipulative treatment in a variety of settings and to position and move patients when required.

Pharmacy students must be able to move about within a pharmacy setting and a patient’s room.

Physical therapy and occupational therapy students must be able to administer treatment in a variety of settings and positions and move patients when required.

Hearing

Candidates and students should have sufficient auditory ability to monitor and assess health needs. They must be able to hear information given by the patient in answer to inquires; to hear cries for help; to hear features in an examination, such as the auscultatory sounds; and to be able to monitor equipment.

Visual

Candidates and students must have visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in patient care. It must be consistent in many cases with being able to assess asymmetry, range of motion, and tissue texture changes. Osteopathic medicine, optometry, and physician assistant students must have sufficient visual ability to use ophthalmologic instruments. It is necessary to have adequate visual capabilities for proper evaluation and treatment integration. Candidates and students must be able to observe the patient and the patient’s responses, including body language, and features of the examination and treatment. Pharmacy students must be able to interpret prescriptions and medical orders, as well as to inspect medicine for deterioration or expiration.

Tactile

Candidates and students must have sufficient tactile ability for physical assessment. They must be able to perform palpation and functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic intervention. Pharmacy students must be able to measure and compound, sometimes transferring from container to container, and to carry out sterile procedures. Dental students must be able to deliver appropriate treatment using high technology equipment such as dental drills and surgical instruments.

Sensory

Osteopathic students and physician assistants are required to have an enhanced ability to use their sensory skills. These enhanced tactile and proprioceptive sensory skills are essential for appropriate osteopathic evaluation and treatment of patients.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Candidates and students must possess the emotional 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 the patients. Candidates and students must be able to physically tolerate taxing workloads, 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. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and education process.