Essential Functions

Future Students

Requirements for Admission, Promotion, Continuation and Graduation

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is committed to the mission of providing competent, caring physicians through quality undergraduate and post-graduate medical education. The School of Medicine thereby recognizes the M.D. degree as a broad, undifferentiated degree requiring the acquisition of general knowledge and basic skills in all fields of medicine. The education of a physician requires the assimilation of knowledge and the acquisition of highly specialized skills. It also includes the development of the discipline of life-long learning and critical judgment in preparation for independent and appropriate decisions required in medical practice.

To meet our stated mission, the School of Medicine retains the freedom and ultimate responsibility for the selection of students, the design, implementation, evaluation of its curriculum, evaluation of students, and the final determination of granting a medical degree. Admissions, promotion, continuation, and graduation decisions are based on academic factors which include both cognitive and non-cognitive elements. These serve to ensure that the candidate can complete the essential functions requirements of the academic program required for graduation.

The School of Medicine is committed to the principle of equal opportunity and as such deplores all forms of discrimination. As part of this policy, the School of Medicine encourages applications from people of all color, race, creeds, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability, both visible and invisible.

During the admissions process, qualified candidates* with disabilities will be considered without regard to their ability status by the Admissions Committee in accordance with the Essential Functions Requirements of the School of Medicine. Appropriate accommodations to help the candidate successfully meet the requirements for graduation from the School of Medicine must be planned and discussed with the appropriate committees prior to matriculation. Disabilities occurring after matriculation will be dealt with on an individual basis by the Student Progress and Conduct Committee in accordance with the Essential Functions Requirements to best meet the needs of the candidate and the school.

The faculty has established essential functions criteria to ensure careful and individual attention to the needs of each candidate and to meet the School of Medicine's responsibility to society of providing competent caring physicians. Reasonable technical accommodations can be made to facilitate the progress of the disabled candidate in areas where such accommodations do not significantly interfere with the essential functions requirements of the medical school or significantly affect the rights of other students. A candidate, however, should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

Central to the schools mission, it is recognized that all candidates for the M.D. degree must demonstrate intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities. Candidates must also demonstrate skills in observation, communication and motor functions, as well as mature behavioral and social attributes.

All accepted candidates will be required to sign that they have read and understood their responsibility of meeting the essential functions as outlined. This signed form becomes a part of the permanent record of all matriculating candidates.

Observational Skills: Candidates must be able to learn a defined level of information. This information will be presented in a variety of formats including, but not limited to, lectures and demonstrations in the basic sciences, physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations with animals and on computers, observations of microbiologic cultures, microscopic studies of microorganisms, and both microscopic and gross studies of human tissues in normal and pathologic states. Beyond the observational skills necessary to acquire information in the basic sciences, the candidate must possess certain observational skills in assessing the patient. The candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately from a distance and close at hand, as well as observe written and graphic information (such as EKGs and x-rays) regarding the patient. Observing the patient includes the use of visual, auditory and somatic sensation, and is enhanced by the functional use of other sensory modalities.

If for any reason the candidate's ability to observe or acquire information through the above mentioned sensory modalities is inhibited, the candidate must demonstrate the ability to obtain the acquired information, whether basic science or patient related, in an alternative fashion.

Communication Skills: The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively using both oral and written communication skills with patients, their families, and with all members of the health care team using traditional or non-traditional means. The candidate must be able to create and comprehend written materials such as medical records, laboratory reports, and pharmacological prescriptions. The candidate must possess adequate interpersonal skills, empathy toward others, and a willingness to interact cooperatively in all professional environments.

Motor Skills: The candidate must have sufficient motor skills to carry out all necessary procedures involved in the learning of the basic and clinical sciences, as well as those required in the hospital and clinical environment. These include, but are not limited to, physical examinations, surgical, clinical laboratory, and other technical procedures required for diagnosis and treatment. The candidate must possess the motor skills necessary to perform palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers to complete basic and specialized portions of the physical examination of a patient. The candidate is expected to execute movement and assume reasonable bodily postures required to provide general diagnosis and treatment of patients including emergency medical care.

The candidate who cannot perform these activities independently should be able, at least, to understand and direct the methodology involved in such cases.

Intellectual/Conceptual Abilities: The candidate must have sufficient cognitive capabilities to assimilate the technically detailed and complex information presented in formal lectures, small group discussions, individual teaching sessions, and clinical settings. The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, recall and synthesize information across various modalities. In addition, the candidate should be able to form and test hypotheses, comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships of structure. Problem solving, the critical and essential skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. These problem-solving skills must be performed in a timely fashion.

Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must possess the demeanor and maturity required for full utilization of intellectual abilities. In addition the candidate must exercise good judgment in diagnosis and treatment of patients, interaction with faculty, colleagues, staff, and the population in general. Required skills include the ability to function in stressful and demanding environments, and demonstration of the flexibility to cope with changing situations and the ambiguity inherent in medical problem solving.

The candidate must consistently demonstrate compassion, honesty, integrity, concern, and respect for self and others. In addition to possessing an intrinsic desire for excellence, the candidate must possess tolerance for and acceptance of difference, and show interest and motivation to become an effective physician.

Students are expected to demonstrate appropriate behavior at all times in their personal and professional life. Failure to do so can result in dismissal. Examples of inappropriate behavior include but are not limited to substance abuse, sexual harassment, violent behavior, and illegal activities.

Candidates must understand and accept their roles as health care providers within their communities.

The School of Medicine retains the right to review and approve or decline any or all requests for accommodation. If you have a disability that necessitates accommodation to meet the School of Medicines Essential Functions, then you must provide, at your own expense, appropriate documentation from a qualified professional describing the disability and setting forth any reasonable accommodations necessary to ensure that you are able to meet the essential functions.

*Within the context of this form, the term candidate refers to both applicants to the School of Medicine and matriculated students.