University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Medical Student Admissions

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Technical Standards for Admission, Advancement and Graduation

The University of Vermont College of Medicine is committed to admitting qualified students without regard to race, color, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or religion. A qualified applicant is a person who demonstrates the intelligence and skills and behavioral attributes required to complete a very rigorous curriculum and to be a practicing physician. The Faculty of the University of Vermont College of Medicine believes that earning a Doctor of Medicine degree requires mastery of a coherent body of knowledge and skills as well as the ability to integrate synthesize and apply that knowledge and skill in a broad-based practice. Because the M.D. degree signifies that the holder is a physician prepared for entry into the practice of medicine in any specialty, it follows that graduates must be prepared to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. Medical students must acquire substantial competence in a number of areas throughout their medical education, including understanding and appreciating the principles and practices of several fields of basic medical science and clinical medicine, as well as the ability to relate appropriately to patients and other health care professionals.

The following minimum technical standards must be met for admission, advancement and graduation:


  • Students must be able to participate in all activities requiring observation and processing of information. The ability to observe is required for such activities as lectures, laboratories, demonstrations and visual presentations..
  • Students must have functional vision, hearing and tactile sensations to observe patients accurately and completely.


  • Communication skills, including speaking, listening, reading and writing, are essential throughout the curriculum. The faculty of the College of Medicine expects applicants to have mastered basic skills in the use of the English language.
  • Students must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and their families during clinical encounters.
  • Students must be able to transmit information effectively and efficiently to patients and all members of the health care team.

Motor Skills

  • Students must have sufficient motor abilities to obtain clinical information by performing basic physical examinations on patients in accordance with currently acceptable medical practice.
  • Students must be able to carry out diagnostic procedures and provide general and emergency care to patients. These activities require gross and fine motor coordination as well as balance and equilibrium, touch, vibratory sensation, and temperature sensation.

Intellectual Skills

  • Students must possess and demonstrate the analytical, conceptual, integrative, quantitative and reasoning skills that are critical to a physician's ability to assimilate and integrate large volumes of information from diverse sources.
  • Students must be able to use these skills in a timely manner to solve medical problems in order to deliver appropriate patient care.

Professional & Ethical Conduct

  • Consistently display integrity, honesty, empathy, caring, fairness, respect for others, diligence, and dedication.
  • Consistently appreciate and preserve patient confidentiality.
  • Communicate with, examine, and provide care for all patients,including those whose gender, culture, sexual orientation, or beliefs are different from students' own.
  • Display mature and respectful interactions with patients and with members of the medical school community and health care teams.
  • Maintain sobriety in all academic and clinical environments.
  • Abide by local, state, and federal laws, as well as all University of Vermont and College of Medicine codes of conduct.
  • Tolerate physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding workloads.
  • Function effectively under stress, and make use of available resources to help maintain health.
  • Adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and be able to learn in the face of uncertainty.
  • Take responsibility for themselves and their behaviors.
  • Maintain a professional demeanor especially in clinical settings (e.g. use of name tag, appropriate attire, neat appearance and respectful speech).
  • Statement on Medical Professionalism (PDF)


The University of Vermont College of Medicine recognizes that the path each medical student takes to becoming a doctor is unique. For some students, that path is made more difficult by physical, cognitive or emotional challenges (see Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act) that might deter otherwise qualified applicants from pursuing careers in medicine. While the University of Vermont College of Medicine is committed to providing all aspiring doctors with an opportunity to seek medical school admission, it is important for applicants and students to be informed of the technical standards as outlined above and to be able to meet these standards with or without reasonable accommodation. These technical standards represent the observational, communication, motor, intellectual, professional, and behavioral abilities and attributes required for successful completion of the educational program leading to the M.D. degree at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

Reasonable accommodation will be determined on an individual basis and using an interactive process. It is the student's responsibility to initiate the accommodation request in a timely manner. The College seeks applications from all qualified applicants who are able to meet these standards. Technological accommodation is available to assist in certain cases of disability and may be permitted under certain circumstances. However, a candidate for the M.D. degree must be able to perform and demonstrate mastery of knowledge in a reasonably independent manner. Therefore, the candidate's judgment cannot be mediated, nor influenced, by another person's powers of selection and observation. The use of a third party to assist a student in meeting the technical standards will be assessed for reasonableness on a case by case basis.

Last modified July 18 2016 10:30 AM