Technical Skills and Abilities

A candidate for the degree of Doctor of Medicine must have abilities and skills in the five broad areas of observation; communication; motor function; intellectual-conceptual; and behavioral and social skills. 

Through independent observation, the candidate must be able to acquire information in the medical sciences, including that obtained from demonstrations and experiential activities.

The candidate must possess the auditory perception, visual perception and somatic sensation abilities, as well as the mental capacity, to be able to observe and accurately acquire information directly from the patient as well as from other sources including written documents, pictorial images, simulators, computer programs and videos, and to rapidly assimilate large volumes of technically detailed and complex information presented in formal lecture, small group discussions, individual learning activities, and individual clinical settings.

The candidate must be able to take in and process information received by whatever sensory function is employed, consistently, rapidly, and accurately.

A candidate must be able to speak, hear, and observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive nonverbal communication.

Communication includes not only speech but reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, sensitively, and efficiently, in English, in oral and written form with patients and all members of the health care team.

In responding to emergency situations in the clinical setting, candidates must be able to understand and convey information essential for the safe and effective care of patients in a clear, unambiguous, and rapid fashion.

A candidate must possess the motor skills necessary to directly perform palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers, basic laboratory tests, and diagnostic procedures. A candidate must have the ability to perform both a complete and an organ system-specific examination, including a mental status examination.

The candidate must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general and emergency medical care to patients.

Examples of emergency treatments include, but are not limited to, adult and pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation, airway management, automated external defibrillation, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to control bleeding, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require quick and immediate reactions.

Coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision are required. Candidates must have the ability to remain awake and alert. Candidates must have adequate endurance to carry out activities reasonably required of physicians in clinical activities for extended periods of time.

The candidate must be able to problem-solve in a time period appropriate for the situation. This critical skill demanded of physicians
requires the ability to learn and reason, and to integrate, analyze, and synthesize data concurrently in a multi-task setting where they
may experience a high level of stress, fatigue, and distraction. In addition, the candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional
relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, reason,
analyze, integrate and synthesize in the context of the study of medicine and in the provision of patient care. The candidate must be
able to comprehend extensive written material, evaluate and apply information, and engage in critical thinking in the classroom and
clinical setting. The candidate must be able to consider alternatives and make decisions in a timely manner for managing or
intervening in the care of a patient.

Because the medical profession is governed by ethical principles, a candidate must have the capacity to learn and understand these values and perform within their guidelines. Candidates must be able to relate to patients, as well as staff and colleagues, with honesty, integrity, non-discrimination, self-sacrifice, and dedication.

Candidates must be able to develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to identify personal reactions and responses, recognize multiple points of view and integrate these appropriately into clinical decision-making.

Candidates must be able to communicate and care for, in a non-judgmental way, persons whose culture, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs are different than their own. The candidate must be able to examine the entire patient, male or female, regardless of the candidate's social, cultural, or religious beliefs.

A candidate must possess the emotional health required to fully utilize their intellectual abilities, exercise good judgment, complete patient care responsibilities promptly, and relate to patients, families, and colleagues with courtesy, compassion, maturity, and respect for their dignity. The candidate must display this emotional health and flexibility in spite of stressful work, physically taxing workloads, changing environments, and the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.

Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admissions and education processes.

Candidates must be capable of fulfilling applicable class and clinical attendance requirements as well as meeting applicable deadlines for the completion of curricular and clinical responsibilities.

Candidates must be able to cooperate with others and work effectively as a member or leader of a healthcare team or other professional group, accept and modify behavior in response to constructive feedback from others, and take personal responsibility for making appropriate positive changes.

Candidates must be able to function effectively in new, different, and /or distant social environments including instances where they are separated from their customary support structure or family unit. They must know their limits, recognize when they should seek professional consultation, assistance, and/or supervision, and do so in a timely manner.

Candidates, like physicians, must have the capacity to self-assess their ability to function at the level necessary to provide effective and safe care of their patients and to proactively seek appropriate assistance or treatment before impairments compromise patient care and safety.

Candidates will be judged not only on their scholastic accomplishments but also on their physical and emotional capacities to meet the full requirements of the school's program of medicine and to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners of medicine. Students must be able to accomplish each of Saba University School of Medicine’s competencies, as well as all other programmatic requirements, before graduation.

All candidates accepted to the College of Medicine and current students must be able to meet the College's technical standards either without accommodation or with those limited, reasonable accommodations that the school agrees to make in its sole discretion. Candidates must also be aware that approval for accommodation at the school does not mean that similar accommodations would be granted elsewhere by post-graduate clinical training sites or by national licensing review boards.

A candidate who is unable to meet these technical standards may be denied admission or may be dismissed from the program medicine.

It is the responsibility of a candidate who seeks reasonable accommodation to contact the Office of Disability Resources at Whether to grant an accommodation will be determined by the school at its sole discretion.

* These technical standards are adapted with permission from the standards developed by Drexel University College of Medicine.


Ask a question, get in touch