Morsani College of
Medicine Admissions

For Admitted Students

Background Checks

In association with an AAMC background check pilot program, the University of South Florida will be requiring background checks of all students who reach conditional admissions status with the University or are put onto our alternate list. Once the University of South Florida updates your record in AMCAS stating that you are conditionally admitted or are an alternate for the University, Certiphi Screening, Inc. (a Vertical Screen® Company) will email you. This email will request that you follow a link to a website where you will authorize them to perform a criminal background check on you. Within five days of your authorization you should then receive a second email from Certiphi with the results of your background check and directions on how to contest your results if you find that necessary. If you feel the need to contest your report you will be given ten (10) days to initiate the process. If this is not necessary you will be able to authorize Certiphi to send your report to us immediately. Certiphi will automatically forward your background check report to us within ten (10) days if they receive no correspondence from you.

For more information on this process please refer to the officially published background check details provided by AMCAS.

Technical Standards for Admission, Academic Progression and Graduation

Medical education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of skills, professional attitudes and behavior. Medical school faculties have a responsibility to society to matriculate and graduate the best possible physicians. Thus, admission to medical school has been offered to those who present the highest qualifications for the study and practice of medicine. Technical standards presented in this document are prerequisites for admission, progression and graduation from the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. All courses in the curriculum are required in order to develop essential skills required to become a competent physician.

Graduates of medical school must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. The University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine acknowledges Section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and PL 101-336, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and also ascertains that certain minimum technical standards must be present in the prospective candidates.

A candidate for the M.D. degree must have aptitude, abilities, and skills in five areas: observation; communication; motor; conceptual, integrative and quantitative; and behavioral and social, and must continue to meet these Technical Standards throughout their enrollment. Technological compensation can be made for some handicaps in these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary would mean that a candidate’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation. Therefore, third parties cannot be used to assist students in accomplishing curricular requirements in the five skill areas specified above. Reasonable accommodation can be made as appropriate, for disabilities.

  • Observation 

The candidates and students must be able to observe demonstrations and participate in 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/student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.

  • Communication 
The candidates and students should be able to speak, to hear and to observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. Candidates and students must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech, but reading and writing. The candidates and students must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the healthcare team. Candidates and students must possess reading skills at a level to be able to independently accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care for patients.

  • Motor Coordination and Function 
Candidates and students should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. Candidates and students should be able to do basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, etc.), carry out diagnostic procedures (proctoscopy, paracentesis, etc.) and read EKGs and X-rays. Candidates and students should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medication, application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions 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 
Candidates and students should exhibit abilities including measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidates and students should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

  • Behavioral and Social Attributes 
Candidates and students must possess 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 and students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively when stressed. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Empathy, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that should be assessed during the admission and educational processes.

Candidates for and students of the M.D. degree must have somatic sensation and the functional use of the senses of vision and hearing. Candidates’ and students’ diagnostic skills will also be lessened without the functional use of the senses of equilibrium, smell and taste. Additionally, they must have sufficient exteroceptive sense (touch, pain and temperature), sufficient prioceptive sense (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis and vibratory) and sufficient motor function to permit them to carry out the activities described in the section above. They must be able to consistently, quickly, and accurately integrate all information received by whatever sense(s) employed, and they must have the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data.

The University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine will consider for admission to medical school any applicant who demonstrates the ability to perform or to learn to perform the skills listed in this document. Students 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 curriculum, and to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners of medicine.

  • Technical Requirements 

The candidates and students must, within reason, be able to do or perform each of the following:

a. Observe demonstrations and participate in experiments in the basic sciences.

b. Analyze, synthesize, extrapolate, solve problems, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic               judgments.

c. Sufficiently use the senses of vision and hearing and the somatic sensation necessary to             perform a physical examination. The candidate must be able to perform palpation,                       auscultation, and percussion.

d. Relate to patients and establish sensitive, professional relationships with patients.

e. Communicate the results of the examination to the patient and to his/her colleagues with             accuracy, clarity and efficiency.

f. Learn and perform routine laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures.

g. Perform routine invasive procedures as a part of training using universal precautions without       substantial risk of infection to patients.

h. Perform with precision, quick and appropriate actions in emergency situations.

i. Display good judgment in the assessment and treatment of patients.

j. Possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the medical school                curriculum and enter the independent practice of medicine.

k. Accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior.