Essential Capacities for Matriculation, Promotion, & Graduation

All Medical Education students must meet both our academic standards and our technical standards to matriculate, to progress through the curriculum, and to meet the requirements for graduation from the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Medical education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous development of specific skills and competencies. Without the capability to meet our academic and technical standards, students cannot fulfill the requirements of all the courses and clerkships at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Meeting the University of Minnesota Medical School academic and technical standards are, therefore, required for:

  • matriculation (insomuch as the abilities can reasonably be determined before matriculation),
  • subsequent promotion from term to term, and
  • graduation from the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Please Note: Any medical school applicant or medical student, who has a question about whether he or she can meet these standards due to the functional limitations from a disability, should contact the Disability Resource Center for a confidential discussion.

Academic Standards of the University of Minnesota Medical School

In addition to passing courses and clerkships, all medical students need to achieve proficiency in the competency domains. These competency domains correspond to the core competencies that all physicians need for success in residency, certification, and practice.

For detailed information:

Technical Standards of the University of Minnesota Medical School

All students at the University of Minnesota Medical School must meet the technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations, which are grouped in five broad areas:

  • Perception/observation
  • Communication
  • Motor/tactile function
  • Cognition
  • Professionalism


Students must be able to perceive, by the use of senses and mental abilities, the presentation of information through:

  • Small group discussions and presentations
  • Large-group lectures
  • One-on-one interactions
  • Demonstrations
  • Laboratory experiments
  • Patient encounters (at a distance and close at hand)
  • Diagnostic findings
  • Procedures
  • Written material
  • Audiovisual material


Students must be able to skillfully (in English) communicate verbally and in written form with faculty members, other members of the healthcare team, patients, families, and other students, in order to:

  • Elicit information
  • Convey information
  • Clarify information
  • Create rapport
  • Develop therapeutic relationships
  • Demonstrate competencies used by graduate medical education, as well as the University of Minnesota Medical School Competencies required for graduation

Motor/tactile function

Students must have sufficient motor function and tactile ability to meet the competencies required for graduation and to:

  • Attend (and participate in) classes, groups, and activities which are part of the curriculum
  • Communicate in a written format
  • Examine patients (including observation, auscultation, palpation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers)
  • Do basic laboratory procedures and tests
  • Perform diagnostic procedures
  • Provide general and emergency patient care
  • Function in outpatient, inpatient, and surgical venues
  • Perform in a reasonably independent and competent way in sometimes chaotic clinical environments
  • Demonstrate the core competencies used by graduate medical education, as well as the University of Minnesota Medical School Competencies required for graduation


Students must be able to demonstrate higher-level cognitive abilities, which include:

  • Rational thought
  • Measurement
  • Calculation
  • Visual-spatial comprehension
  • Conceptualization
  • Analysis
  • Synthesis
  • Organization
  • Representation (oral, written, diagrammatic, three dimensional)
  • Memory
  • Application
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Ethical reasoning
  • Sound judgment


Students must be able to:

  • Consistently display integrity, honesty, empathy, caring, fairness, respect for self and others, diligence, and dedication
  • Promptly complete all assignments and responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients (beginning with study in the first year)
  • Develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships, not only with patients but with all members of the medical school community and healthcare teams
  • Tolerate physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding workloads
  • Function effectively under stress, and proactively make use of available resources to help maintain both physical and mental health
  • Adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and be able to learn in the face of uncertainty
  • Take responsibility for themselves and their behaviors
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