Health and Technical Standards
All candidates must meet health and technical standards to be admitted to, participate in and graduate from the medical education programs of RVUCOM. Because the DO degree signifies that the holder is a physician prepared for entry into diverse postgraduate training programs, RVUCOM graduates must have the knowledge and skills required to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and must be prepared to provide a wide spectrum of patient care. A candidate for the DO degree must have abilities and skills in the areas described below and meet the standards described as an obligation to patients and society.
Reasonable accommodations will be made as required by law; however, the candidate/student must be able to meet all technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation. Please refer to the section on the Americans with Disabilities Act. The use of a trained intermediary necessarily requires that a candidate’s judgment be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation, and is not a permissible accommodation. Enrolled students who are unable to meet these standards may be asked to appear before the Student Performance Committee and may be subject to dismissal.
Students must satisfy all requirements for immunizations at the time of admission and throughout their medical school career. Failure to do so will prevent matriculation or, in the case of an enrolled student, lead to dismissal.
Observation: Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and clinical sciences. This includes but is not limited to the ability to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation requires the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensations.
Candidates should be able to speak, hear and observe patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity and posture; and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication (in English) includes not only speech but also reading and writing. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively in verbal and written form with all members of the health care team.
Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to perform basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, blood glucose testing, etc.), carry out diagnostic procedures (endoscopy, paracentesis, etc.), and read EKGs and X-rays. A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care, osteopathic manipulation and emergency treatments to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, application of pressure to stop bleeding, opening of obstructed airways, suturing of simple wounds and performance of simple obstetric maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision. Candidates must be able to lift a minimum of 40 pounds and stand for a minimum of one hour.
Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities:
Candidates must possess conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities, including measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. Problem-solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationship of structures. Candidates must be able to sit in a classroom and participate in a full eight-hour day. The practice of medicine requires periods of distinct concentration in surgery, trauma, emergency room care, and other patient settings. Candidates must be capable of extended periods of intense concentration and attention.
Behavior and Social Attributes:
Candidates must have the emotional health required for full use of the 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 patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to 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, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admission and educational processes.
Osteopathic Principles and Practices (OPP) and Principles of Clinical Medicine (PCM) Laboratory Policies
All OPP and PCM courses include didactic presentations, demonstrations, practical laboratory experiences and clinical opportunities. During these activities, students establish their knowledge and ability to recognize and utilize the relationships between structures and function that are integral to osteopathic medicine.
The student must develop the knowledge and skills necessary to integrate the principles and coordinate the proper osteopathic and clinical techniques to prevent and treat pathology and dysfunction. Concurrently, the students will learn other medical approaches to the treatment of disease and dysfunction in the systems courses. Each course provides education on the principles, philosophy and history of osteopathic medicine, examination and evaluation of the patient, and the proper selection and application of osteopathic treatments and techniques. The OPP and PCM courses require the active participation of all students in the laboratory setting where the student, through the active and tactile examination of others along with reciprocal examination, will learn and demonstrate the ability to evaluate and proficiently treat their future patients.
The training of an osteopathic physician requires the ability to perform tactile examinations and osteopathic manipulative techniques on members of the same and opposite sex. The training of an osteopathic physician also requires that a student experience and understand tactile diagnostic exercise and manipulative treatment. Students are required to participate both as patients and as trainees in the OPP laboratory and PCM laboratory, and examine and be examined by members of the same and opposite sex.
A graduate from RVUCOM has the ability to apply for licensure as a physician in all fifty states. Their license is not restricted to any one particular sex, and candidates for graduation must demonstrate the ability to practice medicine on both males and females.
All students must sign the following waivers at the point of interview:
Code of Student Conduct & Academic Responsibility and Code of Behavioral Conduct: this states that students have read the University’s Code of Student Conduct and Academic Responsibility policy and the COM’s Code of Behavioral Conduct policy. Both policies can be found in this catalog.
Statements for Students of RVUCOM Regarding Physical Exposure in Classroom Activities: this states that students understand that curriculum often times dictates physical examination and osteopathic diagnosis and treatment by fellow students or faculty. Additionally, this states that these examinations require physical exposure of and access to regions of the body. This policy excludes such areas as the genitals of male and female students, as well as the breasts of female students.
Health and Technical Standards: the description of this policy can be found in this section of the catalog.
Healthcare Employment During School (Practice of Medicine)
Employment of any kind during medical school is highly discouraged. The demands of medical school are so high as to preclude most employment opportunities. Student doctors should contact the Office of Student Financial Services for help with budgeting or emergency loans rather than seeking outside employment.
Medical students are prohibited from engaging in any activities (from the time of matriculation to the University until graduation or other termination of student status) that might be construed as the practice of medicine without the proper supervision and direction of designated members of the faculty, whether such activities are engaged in for compensation, done as a volunteer, or otherwise. Any student who is a healthcare worker and wishes to be employed in the health-related field must contact the Office of Student Affairs and forward a request to the Dean. All decisions of approval or disapproval will come from the Dean.
Students who are not in compliance with the requirements above maybe requested to appear before the Honor Code Committee and are subject to dismissal from the University.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
All medical students involved in clinical courses at Rocky Vista University must complete a training course over the privacy laws which apply to the Health Professions to meet requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Annual refresher training is required as well.
Biosafety, Universal Precautions, and Bloodborne Pathogens
All medical students must complete a basic training course in biosafety, as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Because patient contact is a required part of the RVUCOM curriculum: shadowing physicians in the 1st & 2nd years, clinical rotations in the 3rd & 4th years, various labs, and other hands-on learning, all RVUCOM students must complete OSHA training annually. The avenue chosen for completion of this training is the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) online program.
Instructions for registering and logging onto the CITI website, and specific instructions on which courses are required, are provided annually by the Compliance Office.