Technical Standards

Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine complies with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Pikeville and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age or disabilities. In doing so, however, KYCOM must maintain curriculum requirements deemed essential to the education of an osteopathic 35 physician. Regarding disabled (or handicapped) individuals, KYCOM does not discriminate against such individuals who are otherwise qualified, but it does require applicants and students to meet certain minimum technical standards.

Students who, with reasonable assistance, can meet the technical standards to be successful in the KYCOM curriculum and to safely and competently practice osteopathic medicine are considered for admission. KYCOM recognizes that there are varying levels of disability and needs and is committed to supporting those with disabilities who, with reasonable assistance, can meet the technical standards. These standards identify reasonable expectations of osteopathic medical students and physicians in performing common functions.

A candidate for the D.O. degree must have multiple abilities and skills including: observation; communication; motor; conceptual; integrative and quantitative; and behavioral and social attributes. Accommodations can be made for various handicaps, but a candidate must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner throughout their enrollment at KYCOM.

The candidate must be able to acquire a level of required information as represented through demonstrations and experiences in the basic sciences. This includes but is not limited to information conveyed through physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations in animals, as well as microbiologic cultures and microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. Furthermore, a candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately, at a distance and close at hand; acquire information from written documents; and see information presented in images on paper, film, slide, or video. Observing and acquiring information from these sources usually requires functional visual, auditory, and somatic sensation, enhanced by other sensory modalities. The use of a trained intermediary in such cases would compromise performance, as it would be mediated by another individual’s power of selection, observation, and experience.

The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently, and sensitively with patients and their families, and with all members of the health care team. A candidate must be able to interpret X-ray and other graphic images and digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomenon (such as EKGs). Assistive devices may be used if necessary.

Candidates and students should possess the motor skills necessary to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients and to directly perform palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers, basic laboratory tests, and diagnostic procedures. Examples include cardiopulmonary resuscitation; administering intravenous medication; applying pressure to stop bleeding; opening of obstructed airways; suturing of simple wounds; and performing simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements; equilibrium; and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

Osteopathic candidates need exceptional sensory skills. It is therefore necessary to thoroughly evaluate individuals who are otherwise qualified but who have significant tactile sensory or proprioceptive disabilities. This would include individuals with significant previous burns, sensory motor deficits, cicatrix formation, and any malformations of the upper extremities.

Strength and Mobility
Osteopathic treatment often requires upright posture with sufficient lower extremity and body strength. Therefore, individuals with significant limitations in these areas would be unlikely to successfully complete the requirements for a D.O. degree. Mobility required for emergency codes and CPR is also required.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities
The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize in a timely fashion. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structure.

Behavioral and Social Attributes
Candidates must possess the emotional health required to fully use their intellectual abilities, to responsibly attend to the diagnosis and care of a patient, and to develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients.

Candidates and students 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 patients.

Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and educational processes.

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