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| Admissions | Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine | MCOM | Technical Standards

Technical Standards Required of MCOM

All candidates must meet health and technical standards to be admitted to, participate in, and graduate from MCOM. Because the DO degree signifies that the holder is a physician prepared to enter postgraduate training programs (residency programs), MCOM 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 called Disabilities and Academic Accommodations in the RVU Student Handbook. 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 investigated by the Student Performance Committee and may be subject to dismissal.


Students must satisfy all requirements for immunizations at the time of matriculation and throughout their medical school career. Failure to do so will prevent matriculation or, in the case of an enrolled student, lead to dismissal. For specific information, please see the section called "Health Records and Immunizations" in the RVU Student Handbook.


Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and clinical sciences in various learning environments, including classrooms, labs, and clinical settings.  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 vision and other senses.


Candidates should be able to speak, hear, and observe patients to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; and perceive nonverbal communication. Candidates must have a strong command of the English language. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively in verbal and written form with patients and all members of the healthcare team.


Candidates must have sufficient motor function to obtain information by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to perform basic laboratory tests (e.g. urinalysis, blood tests, etc.), perform medical procedures (e.g. ultrasound, venipuncture, catheter insertion, etc.), and interpret diagnostics test (e.g. ECG, radiological images, etc.). A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general medical and surgical 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 adequate emotional health and emotional intelligence required for full use of intellectual abilities to exercise of good judgment and behave in a professional manner at all times.  Candidates must be able to successfully interact with other people with appropriate social skills. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically and mentally demanding 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 various clinical scenarios.

Employment During School 

Employment of any kind during medical school is highly discouraged. The demands of medical school are rigorous and extremely time-consuming 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.

Practice of Medicine

RVU students are strictly prohibited from engaging in any activities that might be construed as the practice of medicine without the proper supervision and direction of designated members of the clinical 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.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

Refer to "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)" of the University section of this catalog.

OSHA - Biosafety, Universal Precautions, and Bloodborne Pathogens

Refer to "OSHA - Biosafety, Universal Precautions, and Bloodborne Pathogens" in the University section of this catalog.

RVU Student Hanbook


The University tuition, fees and cost of attendance are updated annually. To learn more about the tuition costs, individual health insurance and the tuition refund process, click on Tuition and Fees above.

The Office of Admissions processes thousands of applications for admissions each year. Learn more about requirements for admissions including residency status, minimum prerequisite course work, and GPA requirements.

The mission of MCOM is to educate and inspire students to become highly competent osteopathic physicians and lifelong learners prepared to meet the diverse healthcare needs of tomorrow through innovative education, relevant research, and compassionate service.


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Billings, MT 59106


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