VCOM College Catalog and Student Handbook

In order to pass all requirements of medical school and to complete residency training, students and graduates will be 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 clinical settings without accommodation. This type of demonstrated intellectual ability must be performed in a rapid and time-efficient manner so as not to place patients with emergent conditions at risk. Emergent situations, as well as busy clinical environments, produce visually distracting and noisy environments. Examples of emergent situations in which students must perform include, but are not limited to, cardiopulmonary compromise, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, obstetrical and neonatal emergencies, trauma presentations, poisonings and toxic exposures, shock, and hemorrhage. The intellectual abilities described above are necessary for the practice of osteopathic medicine. As such, students must be able to gain knowledge through the use of all of the types of learning materials that the VCOM curriculum offers. These abilities must also be applied to emergent situations; 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 daily wherever medicine is practiced. Students with intellectual disabilities who qualify for Section 504 accommodations may be granted reasonable accommodations in the classroom on written examinations. Such accommodations are not possible in clinical situations or in simulated clinical situations when preparing and testing students to be practice ready. See the section on eligibility for accommodations in this handbook for more information. Ability in Standardized Test Taking: VCOM’s accreditor, the COCA, requires students to pass COMLEX Level I and Level 2 CE exams prior to graduation; therefore, students must be able to perform satisfactorily on timed, computerized, multiple-choice standardized exams and on clinical standardized patient exams. NBOME determines the student’s ability to receive accommodations (or not) for these exams and; therefore, the students ability to pass board exams with the accommodations awarded by NBOME is the technical standard. Students may ask for accommodations by the NBOME; however, these are not guaranteed. V. Behavioral and Mental Health Requirements (including conditions that reduce tolerance to stressful environments and conditions related to addiction) Students must have the appropriate mental health that allows for full use of his/her intellectual capabilities at all times. This is important for the health of the patient, for whom the student will care for while a student and as a future physician. Mental health stability is required for effective communication and for professional, ethical, mature, sensitive, and compassionate patient care. Students must have the mental health stability to function effectively under the high degree of stress that is required to complete the curriculum, be successful during testing situations in medical school and in national board testing, and to be board certified after graduation. Students who have serious mental health disorders that impair their ability to function in stressful situations are not generally able to be successful in the curriculum or in the responsibilities required for safe and effective patient care. Students must be able to tolerate mentally taxing and emotionally taxing workloads. Applicants who have conditions that do not allow mentally taxing workloads must consider the long hours of study, the hours required in the classroom and laboratories, and the stress of test performance when applying. Students must have the mental and emotional stability to be able to safely and effectively care for patients without medication known to adversely affect intellectual abilities and clinical judgment. Students must have the emotional stability and motivation to deliver patient care and to make emergent decisions at all times. The ability to adapt to changing environments and stressful situations and to display compassion and integrity, while maintaining the necessary intellectual capacity to care for patients is required.


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