The student must have the ability to reason, calculate, analyze, measure, and synthesize information in order to critically evaluate the patient and the most recent evidence-based information for treatment. The student must be able to comprehend, memorize, synthesize, and recall a large amount of information without assistance, to successfully complete the curriculum and to safely and successfully practice osteopathic medicine.
The student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand spatial relationships as it pertains to body chemicals and microscopic functions to anatomical functions in order to succeed in school and to administer safe medical care. The student must be able to gain knowledge through all types of learning materials that the VCOM curriculum offers and must be able to perform pattern identification, memorization, recall information, to identify and discriminate important information, and to problem solve.
The intellectual abilities described above are necessary for the practice of osteopathic medicine. Therefore, the VCOM curriculum requires students to examine patients, calculate and make medical decisions in timed testing situations, and in the presence of noise and distraction, all of which a physician faces wherever medicine is practiced. Students must consider these requirements at the time of application and must also consider whether or not they can meet these technical standards in our curriculum and in the practice of medicine. Once enrolled, students must maintain their ability to meet these technical standards to make academic progress and succeed in the curriculum.
In order to pass the third and fourth year of medical school and to complete the first year of residency training, students and graduates will be expected and required to perform pattern identification, immediate recall of memorized material, identification and discrimination to elicit important information, problem-solving, and decision-making as to emergent diagnosis and treatment of patients in urgent and emergent settings. This type of demonstrated intellectual ability must be performed in a rapid and time-efficient manner so as not to place patients in emergent conditions at risk, which may occur in the presence of visually distracting and noisy environments. Such emergent situations include, but are not limited to, cardiopulmonary compromise, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, obstetrical and neonatal emergencies, trauma presentations, poisonings and toxic exposures, shock, and hemorrhage. For the student, these situations are simulated, taught, and tested in the classroom, clinical setting, and in the simulated medicine testing laboratories.
Ability in Standardized Test Taking: In addition, VCOM’s accreditor, the COCA, requires students to pass COMLEX Level I, Level 2-CE, and Level 2-PE exams prior to graduation; therefore, students must be able to perform satisfactorily on timed, computerized, and clinical performance comprehensive standardized exams. NBOME determines the student’s ability to receive accommodations (or not) for this exam and; therefore, the student’s ability to pass the board exams with the accommodation level awarded by NBOME is the technical standard. Students may ask NBOME to be reviewed for accommodations.