The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and OSU College of Osteopathic
Medicine prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals based on their age,
race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender,
gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, protected veteran status,
or other protected category.
Regarding disabled (or physically challenged) individuals, the College will not discriminate
against such individuals who are otherwise qualified, but the College will expect
that minimal technical standards be met by all applicants and students as set forth
herein. These standards reflect what has been determined to be reasonable expectations
of osteopathic medical students and physicians in performing common and important
functions, keeping in mind the safety and welfare of the patients for whom our graduates
An osteopathic physician must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad
variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. In order
to perform the activities described below, candidates for the D.O. degree must be
able to quickly, accurately, and consistently learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize
To facilitate the attainment of optimum care and safety, students at OSU-COM must:
- Behave in a manner exhibiting high moral and behavioral standards reflecting the position
and status of an osteopathic physician.
- Demonstrate respect for individuals and groups with consideration to diversity, reflecting
commitment to OSU-CHS’s non-discrimination statement.
- Students of osteopathic medicine must meet minimal technical and ability standards.
The practice of medicine in general and osteopathic medicine in particular, requires
the ability to learn, process, and utilize a great deal of knowledge and experience.
Students must have the ability to see, hear and touch independently to optimally assess
the physical, mental and emotional status of patients. Where a deficiency occurs,
it must be compensated with the aid of prosthetics to the extent that the student's
functioning is equal to that of a non-impaired student. Reasonable adaptations are
those that will enable the osteopathic student to function independently and when
necessary in a team-like fashion with other health professionals in an unimpaired
Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine expects its applicants and
students to meet certain minimum technical standards as outlined below. Every applicant
and student of OSU-COM is expected to possess those intellectual, ethical, physical,
and emotional capabilities required to undertake the full curriculum and to achieve
the levels of competence required by the faculty. The holder of a doctor of osteopathic
medicine degree must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety
of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. OSU-COM has
adopted these standards with due consideration for the safety and well-being of the
patients for whom its graduates will eventually care.
The specific technical standards recommended by the Oklahoma State University College
of Osteopathic Medicine are set forth below.
Observation & Visual Integration
Applicants and students must have sufficient visual capabilities to observe demonstrations,
experiments, and laboratory exercises in the basic and clinical sciences, as well
as proper evaluation and treatment integration in order to assess asymmetry, range
of motion and tissue color and texture changes.
They must be able to observe a patient accurately at varying distances with the ability
to determine size and depth of an object in low light at 0.3cm, and with the ability
to discern non-verbal communication.
Applicants and students should be able to speak, hear and observe patients in order
to elicit information, examine patients, describe changes in mood, activity and posture,
and perceive nonverbal communication. They must be able to communicate effectively
and sensitively with patients in English.
Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing. Applicants and
students must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written
form with all members of the health care team in English.
Applicants and students should have sufficient motor function to execute movements
reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples
of movements reasonably required of physicians include, but are not limited to, cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR), administration of intravenous medication, the application of
pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple
wounds, the performance of obstetrical maneuvers and osteopathic manipulative medicine.
Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium
and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
Applicants and students of osteopathic medicine must possess an enhanced ability to
use their sensory skills. Individuals with disabilities who have significant tactile
sensory or proprioceptive disabilities may require a thorough evaluation to determine
if they are otherwise qualified, with or without reasonable accommodation. Such individuals
may include those with significant previous burns, sensory motor deficits, cicatrix
formation and malformations of the upper extremities.
Strength and Mobility
Medical treatments, such as osteopathic manipulative medicine and cardio-pulmonary
resuscitation, often require upright posture with sufficient upper & lower extremity
and overall body strength and mobility. Individuals with disabilities who have significant
limitations in these areas may require evaluation to determine if they are otherwise
qualified, with or without reasonable accommodation.
Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
Applicants and students must be able to concentrate, analyze and interpret data, and
make decisions within areas in which there is a reasonable amount of visual and auditory
distraction. They must perform these functions under a time limitation and do so under
a reasonable amount of stress, as physicians are expected to be able to perform such
duties in diverse clinical settings where others may be present and where there is
a certain degree of noise. Applicants and students must be able to accurately write
prescriptions, accurately perform basic mathematical functions, and accurately and
quickly read charts with minimal error in areas where there may be distractions. They
also must demonstrate ability to comprehend three-dimensional relationships, and to
understand spatial relationships of structures.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
Applicants and students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization
of their intellectual abilities, exercise good judgment, and promptly complete all
responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients and the development
of mature, sensitive and effective professional relationships with patients. Applicants
and students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and 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 admissions and educational processes.
Participation in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Laboratory and Clinical Care Encounters
Active participation in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Laboratories and Clinical
Care Encounters is an admission, matriculation and graduation requirement. During
Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine laboratory and clinical care encounters, it is imperative
to the educational process that the body region being examined and/or treated will
need to be exposed for observation, palpation and treatment. The examination and treatment
must be conducted in a respectful and professional manner.
The development of palpatory skills used for diagnosis and treatment is significant
and required in osteopathic medical schools. Stedman’s Medical Dictionary defines
“palpation” as examination with the hands and fingers, touching, feeling or perceiving
by the sense of touch. Palpation in the osteopathic educational context is the use
of touch to examine the body. Palpatory skills are used in all areas of osteopathic
medical practice and are especially important in the evaluation and treatment of the
The development of palpatory skills and ability to perform osteopathic treatments
are initiated in the first- and second-year labs. This learning requires active participation
in all laboratory sessions where students palpate and will experience palpation by
their peers and instructors of both genders to enhance the development of their own
palpatory skills. Each student will palpate a variety of people with different body
types to simulate the diversity of patients expected in a practice setting. Fingernails
must be trimmed so as not to impair palpation or cause discomfort to the person being
The osteopathic medical profession uses a variety of treatment models through which
the student will learn the art, science and skills of osteopathic manipulative treatment.
Psychomotor skills are developed by repetition and reinforcement. Reading and observation,
while helpful in understanding the didactic concepts, do not develop the skills required
to perform palpatory diagnosis and manipulative treatment. Each student is required
to actively participate in all skill development sessions.
Dress Code in Osteopathic Principles and Practice Laboratories
The dress requirement in clinical skills training sessions is designed to promote
learning by providing optimal access to diagnostic observation and palpatory experience.
Wearing inappropriate clothing interferes with a partner’s experience of diagnosis
Appropriate attire must be clean and includes:
- Shorts which are several inches above the knee - (no jean shorts, cut-offs, mcargo,
thick-seamed shorts, spandex, short shorts or knee length shorts)
- T-shirts - both genders may be asked to remove t-shirts while acting as patients.
- Sports bras or bathing suit tops for women - these should expose the spine and ribs
(not wide t-back styles).
- Students may wear scrubs (or other apparel approved by the course director) ,over
the laboratory attire when not in the role of the patient.
- When in the role of the patient, each student is expected to remove her/his shoes
(no shoes are permitted on the tables).
- Hats or head coverings (other than for religious purposes) are not permitted in lab.
- Religious head coverings must be modified when necessary to allow palpation when they
would obscure the immediate area to be examined or treated (e.g., head, neck, upper
back). Modifications can include: adjustment of the covering permitting unobstructed
palpation beneath the covering; or substitution of a thinner material that allows
for adequate evaluation and treatment.
- Each student must be appropriately attired before class begins. Failure to be appropriately
attired for class impedes the educational process and will not be tolerated.
Any student with a pre-existing health problem that may preclude examination and/or
treatment in a clinical skills laboratory is required to submit a written request
for limitation and/or exclusion to the department chair (or designee) and present
appropriate medical documentation. A physician member of the department will review
this information on a case-by-case basis, and may require additional diagnostic measures.
The department member reviewing the case will determine any limitation or exclusion
from participation, and the student will be notified in writing of the decision.
Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
The intent of this policy is to provide each student with the opportunity to excel
academically, while creating an equitable environment conducive to learning. In doing
so, however, the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine must maintain
the integrity of its curriculum and preserve those elements deemed essential to the
acquisition of knowledge in all areas of osteopathic medicine, including the demonstration
of basic skills required for the practice of osteopathic medicine. So for example,
technology-related accommodations may be made for disabled students in some of these
areas, but a candidate must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.
One or more trained intermediaries may be provided to assist the student during the
educational program, but not under circumstances where the student’s judgment must
be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation.
This policy will be administered consistently, fairly, and in a non-discriminatory
manner in compliance with the ADA and all other applicable laws. All applicants receiving
supplementary application material for admission will be asked to certify they have
reviewed the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Technical
Standards and the Participation in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Laboratories
Any student accepted to the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
program who believes they have a mental and/or physical disability, and wish to pursue
a request for an accommodation must bring this information and all supporting documentation
to the Student’s with Disability Committee at OSU-COM in accordance with the OSU-COM
Appropriate attire must be clean and includes: