UNTHSC Logo Catalog 2010-2011

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Academic Policies

Each student enrolled at the Health Science Center is individually responsible for knowing current academic and administrative policies and the procedures and operational policies that apply to enrollment in his or her chosen degree program. This section of the catalog provides selected academic and administrative policies governing the DO degree program. Other general policies are stated elsewhere in this catalog. Academic policies and guidance also are presented in other official Health Science Center documents and specific program publications.

The Health Science Center reserves the right to amend or add to the academic policies and scholastic regulations at any time during the enrollment period. Such changes or additions are intended to improve the quality of education and are introduced in a fair and deliberate manner with timely notice provided to all students affected by the changes.


Registration is conducted annually during the summer for first-, second-, third-, and fourth-year TCOM students. Registration consists of paying tuition and fees and completing registration forms for the Office of the Registrar, Office of Financial Aid, Student Financial Services and Office of Student Affairs. Students may register for and attend only those courses and clinical rotations listed on their official academic schedule of classes, as approved by the dean of TCOM. Students may not be enrolled in two or more courses meeting at the same time.

Only students properly enrolled by the registrar or who have been approved to audit may attend classes. Any examinations or other materials completed by an individual who is not officially enrolled will be destroyed. No record will be kept of examinations or other academic work done by individuals whose enrollment in a course has not been authorized by the registrar.

Examinations or other course materials completed by a dismissed student who is attending classes while under an official appeal will not be scored and will be retained by the registrar pending outcome of the appeal.

Late fees are assessed for each day following the designated date of registration. A check returned because of insufficient funds will incur a penalty and also may result in a charge for late registration. (See Fiscal Policies for more information.)

Health and Technical Standards

All candidates must meet health and technical standards to be admitted and to participate in the medical education programs of TCOM. Because the doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree signifies that the holder is a physician prepared for entry into the practice of medicine within postgraduate training programs, it follows that the graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and be able to provide a wide spectrum of patient care.

A candidate for the DO degree must have abilities and skills in each of the following areas: observation; communication; psychomotor; conceptual, integrative, quantitative; behavioral and social. Reasonable accommodations will be made as required by law; however, the candidate must be able to meet all technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation. The use of a trained intermediary means that a candidate's judgment must be mediated by someone else's power of selection and observation and is not a permissible accommodation.

  • Observation: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences including, but not limited to, physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, microbiologic cultures and microscopic studies of microorganisms, and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation requires the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensations. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.
  • Communication: A candidate should be able to speak, hear, and observe patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in verbal and written form with all members of the health care team. 
  • Psychomotor: Candidates should have sufficient coordinated motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to perform basic laboratory tests  and carry out diagnostic procedures ,  A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care, osteopathic manipulation, and emergency treatment to patients.. Such actions shall require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
  • Intellectual: Conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities, including measurement, calculations, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures.
  • Behavior and Social Attributes: Candidates must have the emotional health required for full use of their intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in 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 will be assessed during the admission and education processes.


This page last modified May 11, 2010

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