Technical Standards

Essential Abilities and Characteristics Required for Completion of the MD Degree


The MD degree is a broad undifferentiated degree attesting to general knowledge in medicine and the basic skills required for the practice of medicine. Essential abilities and characteristics required for completion of the MD degree consist of certain minimum physical and cognitive abilities and sufficient mental and emotional stability to assure that candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation are able to complete the entire course of study and participate fully in all aspects of medical training. The Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) intends for its graduates to become competent and compassionate physicians who are capable of entering residency training (graduate medical education) and meeting all requirements for medical licensure. The avowed intention of an individual student to practice only a narrow part of clinical medicine, or to pursue a non-clinical career, does not alter the requirement that all medical students take and achieve competence in the full curriculum required by the faculty. For purposes of this document, and unless otherwise defined, the term "candidate" means candidates for admission to medical school, as well as current SSOM medical students who are candidates for retention, promotion or graduation. SSOM’s broad-based education draws upon the Jesuit tradition, which emphasizes the full development of students through rigorous academic programs and through opportunities for leadership in the service of others.

The School of Medicine has a societal responsibility to train competent healthcare providers and scientists who demonstrate critical judgment, extensive knowledge and well-honed technical skills. Although students learn and work under the supervision of the faculty, students interact with patients throughout their medical school education. Patient safety and wellbeing are therefore major factors in establishing requirements involving the physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities of candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation. The essential abilities and characteristics described herein are also referred to as technical standards. They are described below in several broad categories including: observation; communication; motor function; intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; and social and behavioral skills. Candidates must adhere to universal precaution measures and meet safety standards applicable to inpatient and outpatient settings and other professional activities. Individuals whose performance is impaired by use of alcohol or other substances are not suitable candidates for admission, retention, promotion or graduation.

Delineation of technical standards is required for the accreditation of U.S. medical schools by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The following abilities and characteristics are defined as technical standards, are requirements for admission, retention, promotion, and graduation. Candidates and current students who have questions regarding the technical standards or who believe they may need to request reasonable accommodation(s) in order to meet the standards are encouraged to contact the Academic Center for Excellence and Accessibility.

Technical Standards

I. OBSERVATION: Candidates must be able to acquire information from demonstrations and participate in experiments of science, including but not limited to such things as dissection of cadavers; examination of specimens in anatomy, pathology, and neuroanatomy laboratories; and microscopic study of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. Candidates must be able to accurately acquire information from patients and assess findings. They must be able to perform a complete physical examination in order to integrate findings based on this information and to develop an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan. These skills require the use of vision, hearing, and touch or the functional equivalent.

II. COMMUNICATION: Candidates must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with patients, their families, health care personnel, colleagues, faculty, staff, and all other individuals with whom they come in contact. Candidates must be able to obtain a medical history in a timely fashion, interpret non-verbal aspects of communication, and establish therapeutic relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to record information accurately and clearly; and communicate effectively and efficiently in English with other health care professionals in a variety of patient settings.

III. MOTOR FUNCTION: Candidates must, after a reasonable period of training1, independently possess the capacity to perform physical examinations and diagnostic maneuvers. They must be able to respond to clinical situations in a timely manner and provide general and emergency care. These activities require some physical mobility, coordination of both gross and fine motor neuromuscular function and balance and equilibrium.

IV. INTELLECTUAL-CONCEPTUAL, INTEGRATIVE, AND QUANTITATIVE ABILITIES: Candidates must be able to assimilate the detailed and complex information presented in the medical student curriculum. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction; small group, team and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; simulations and use of computer technology. Candidates must be able to memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and transmit information. They must recognize and draw conclusions about three-dimensional spatial relationships and logical sequential relationships among events. They must be able to formulate and test hypotheses that enable effective and timely problem-solving in diagnosis and treatment of patients in a variety of clinical settings and health care systems.

V. BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES: Candidates must demonstrate the maturity and emotional stability required for full use of their intellectual abilities. They must accept responsibility for learning, exercising good judgment, and promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to their curriculum and to the diagnosis and care of patients. Candidates must display characteristics of integrity, honesty, attendance and conscientiousness, empathy, a sense of altruism, and a spirit of cooperation and teamwork. They must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and function within both the law and ethical standards of the medical profession. Candidates must be able to interact with patients and their families, health care personnel, colleagues, faculty, staff, and all other individuals with whom they come in contact in a courteous, professional, and respectful manner. The candidate for the MD degree must accept responsibility for learning, and exercise good judgment. Candidates must be able to contribute to collaborative, constructive learning environments; accept constructive feedback from others; and take personal responsibility for making appropriate positive changes. Candidates must have the physical and emotional stamina and resilience to tolerate physically taxing workloads and function in a competent and professional manner under highly stressful situations, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and manage the uncertainty inherent in the care of patients and the health care system. In accord with the Jesuit educational tradition of SSOM, students must be genuinely able to take into account the spiritual needs and faith tradition of patients and to call upon the resources of chaplains as members of the healthcare team.

The above standards are a means to fulfill our obligation to give medical students a comprehensive medical education, rooted in common knowledge, skills, competencies and behaviors, which is the prerequisite for entry into specialized post graduate training programs. It is possible that SSOM’s adherence to these standards may disqualify some students, including some with disabilities. If the candidates are unable to fulfill the essential functions of the academic training program, they are not appropriate candidates for admission, matriculation, or graduation. Students who have been accepted for admission to SSOM are required to acknowledge that they understand and can meet the minimum technical standards required to complete the curriculum.

There are two sets of circumstances when issues regarding disabilities might arise:

1. Pre-enrollment. In compliance with the ADA, SSOM makes no pre-admission inquiry regarding disability. In general, students with disabilities are identified or self-identify before enrollment in order to qualify for the possibility of accommodation(s). Once identified, students must submit documentation requesting any reasonable accommodation and submit to an evaluation process (see Appendix A) to determine whether and which accommodations are deemed reasonable and consistent with the technical standards of SSOM.

2. Post Matriculation. Students who wish to request reasonable accommodations post matriculation are expected to notify the Director of the Academic Center for Excellence and Accessibility regarding their requests in order to begin the Technical Standards evaluation process (see Appendix B). Candidates must be aware that approval for, and the provision of, reasonable accommodations at SSOM does not mean that similar accommodations would be granted elsewhere or by national licensing review boards.

Ability to Meet the Technical Standards

SSOM intends for its students and graduates to become competent and compassionate physicians through an undifferentiated medical degree and who are capable of entering residency training (graduate medical education) while meeting all requirements for medical licensure. Criminal background checks and drug testing may be conducted as part of the process of admission, participation, promotion, and/or graduation.

Equal Access to the SSOM Educational Program

SSOM provides reasonable accommodations for all qualified individuals with disabilities who apply for admission to the MD degree program and who are enrolled as medical students. Otherwise qualified individuals will not be excluded from admission or participation in the School of Medicine's educational programs and activities based solely on their status as a person with a disability.

Should, despite reasonable accommodation (whether the candidate chooses to use the accommodation or not), a candidate or student’s existing or acquired disability interfere with patient or peer safety, or otherwise impede the ability to complete SSOM’s undifferentiated UME program and advance to graduation, residency, training, or licensure, the candidate may be denied admission, or may be separated, discontinued, or dismissed from the program.

It is the responsibility of a candidate with a disability, or a candidate who develops a disability, who requires accommodations in order to meet these technical standards, to self-disclose to the Academic Center for Excellence and Accessibility and request accommodations. Candidates must provide documentation of the disability and the specific functional limitations during the registration process with the Student Disability Services. Candidates who fail to register with Academic Center for Excellence and Accessibility or who fail to provide necessary documentation shall not be considered to be claiming or receiving accommodations under the federal or state disability laws. Students are held to their performance, with or without accommodation. No candidate will be assumed to have a disability based on poor performance alone. Accommodations are not applied retroactively, and a disability-related explanation will not negate poor performance.

The offices of the Dean and the Vice Dean for Medical Education works in consultation with the Academic Center for Excellence and Accessibility and the Technical Standards Review Committee to determine and coordinate approved accommodations, disability documentation remains confidential.


New students must:

• complete forms that include biographical information, legal residency, proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency or a current two-year grant of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the time of application, and education history
• obtain a student identification card
• complete a Criminal Background Investigation Consent Form through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)
• complete the matriculation and registration process
• provide payment of tuition and fees to the Bursar by the end of orientation week

Current students are required to keep their contact information up to date with the college. Current students who have renewed their two-year grant of DACA must present their updated Employment Authorization Document. The registration and cancellation of specific elective courses must be in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in the Elective Course Catalog.

Tuition and Fee Payment

All tuition, required fees, and hospitalization insurance payments are due and payable by the end of Friday of the first week of classes for M2, M3, and M4 students and the Friday of orientation week for M1 students. Failure to make payments or financial arrangements according to the above schedule will result in a late fee and may result in the student being denied participation in educational activities, including removal from enrollment in all courses and no credit for that period.

All indebtedness to the university (tuition, fees, and fines) must be discharged in order to be eligible for graduation.

Bursar policies:
Financial Aid Office policies:


Local, state, and federal agencies and regulations mandate student participation in training sessions, certification programs, or clearance activities. Other sessions are required by Loyola to enable students to learn about specialized software used in patient care settings or other skills. Sessions are typically scheduled in coordination with registration activities and new academic year orientations. These requirements may vary from year to year.

The roster of such activities and e-learning modules is published annually and may include topics such as the following or others that will be announced:

• Basic Life Support
• Clinical Staff Annual Mandatories (safety, compliance, HIPAA, and patient safety)
• Clinical Tools
• Criminal history records background check
• EPIC Electronic Medical Record
• Evidence-Based Medicine
• OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)