Technical Standards

The M.D. degree is a broad undifferentiated degree attesting to the mastery of general knowledge in all fields required for entry into graduate medical education programs (residencies). Graduates must possess the essential knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care, safely and effectively.

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine has specified the following nonacademic criteria ("technical standards"), which all students must meet to participate in the medical education program and the practice of medicine.

1. Observation

  • The student must be able to participate actively in all demonstrations and laboratory exercises in the basic medical sciences.
  • The student must assess and comprehend the condition of all patients assigned to him or her for examination, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Such observation and information acquisition usually requires the functional use of visual, auditory and somatic sensation.

2. Communication

  • The student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and assess non verbal communications.
  • The student must be able to effectively and efficiently transmit information to patients, fellow students, faculty, staff and all members of the health care team.
  • The student must prossess required communication skills include speaking, reading and writing, as well as the observation skills described above.

3. Motor

  • The student must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers.
  • Students must be capable of performing basic laboratory tests, possess all skills necessary to carry out diagnostic procedures, and execute the motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients.

4. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

  • The student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities.
  • The student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
  • The student must have the capacity to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion.

5. Behavioral and Social Attributes

  • The student must be able to fully utilize his/her intellectual abilities and exercise good judgment. Prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients is required.
  • Students must be capable of developing mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and others.
  • Students must also be able to tolerate taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.
  • Compassion, integrity, concern for others, commitment and motivation are personal qualities which each student should possess.