MD Admissions

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. Once the University of South Florida updates your record in AMCAS stating that you are conditionally admitted 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 required for Admission, 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 prerequisite, non-academic requirements for admission, progression and graduation from the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. Definition of technical standards is required for the accreditation of U.S. medical schools by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). All required courses in the curriculum are designed to develop the essential skills necessary to become a competent physician.

Historically, undergraduate medical education in the U.S has been structured as a broad general training, which is intended to produce "undifferentiated physicians". Graduates of medical school must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad range of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. The Morsani College of Medicine intends for its students and graduates to become competent and compassionate physicians through an undifferentiated medical degree and who are capable of entering residency training (graduate medical education) while meeting all requirements for medical licensure. Criminal background checks and urine drug screens will be conducted as part of the process of admission, participation, promotion, and/or graduation. For purposes of this document and unless otherwise defined, the term “candidate” means candidates for admission to the MD program as well as enrolled medical students who are candidates for promotion and graduation.
The University of South Florida is committed to the principles of equitable and accessible education and to providing reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. The University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine endeavors to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities who apply for admission and are enrolled as medical students.

Should, despite reasonable accommodation (whether the candidate chooses to use the accommodation or not), a candidate’s existing or acquired disability(ies) interfere with patient or peer safety, or otherwise impede their ability to complete USF MCOM’s educational program and advance to graduation, residency training, or licensure, the candidate may be denied admission or may be separated or dismissed from the program.

Candidates in Years 1 through 4 will be responsible for providing or arranging transportation between their residence and the University of South Florida and locations at its affiliates within driving distance for assigned clerkships and courses.


A candidate for the M.D. degree must have abilities and skills in five domains: 1) observation and perception; 2) communication; 3) motor coordination and function; 4) cognition and integrative abilities; and 5) professionalism (mature and ethical conduct), and must continue to meet these Technical Standards throughout their enrollment. Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in these domains, but a candidate must 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, a trained intermediary cannot be used to assist candidates in accomplishing curricular requirements in the five domains specified above.

  • 1) Observation and Perception

Candidates must be able to accurately perceive, by the use of senses and mental abilities, the presentation of information through:

•    Small group discussions and presentations
•    Large-group lectures
•    One-on-one interactions
•    Demonstrations
•    Laboratory experiments
•    Patient encounters
•    Diagnostic findings
•    Procedures
•    Written material
•    Audiovisual material

Representative examples of materials/occasions requiring observational / perceptual abilities beginning in years 1 and 2 include, but are not limited to: books, diagrams, discussions, physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations, microbiologic cultures, gross and microscopic studies of organisms and tissues, chemical reactions and representations, photographs, x-rays, cadaver dissections, live human case presentations, and patient interviews.
Examples from year 3 and 4 include but are not limited to: physical exams; rectal and pelvic exams; examinations with a stethoscope, otoscope, fundoscope, sphygmomanometer, and reflex hammer; verbal communication and non-verbal cues (as in taking a patient's history or working with a medical team); live and televised surgical procedures; childbirth; x-rays, MRIs, and other diagnostic findings; online computer searches and virtual clinical cases.

  • 2) Communication 
Candidates must be able to communicate skillfully (in English) with faculty members, other members of the healthcare team, patients, families, and other students, in order to:

  • Elicit information
  • Perceive, acknowledge, and respond to nonverbal communication
  • Convey information, verbally and in writing
  • Clarify information 
  • Create rapport 
  • Develop therapeutic relationships

Examples of areas in which skillful communication is required beginning in years 1 and 2 include, but are not limited to: answering oral and written exam questions, eliciting a complete history from a patient, presenting information in oral and written form to preceptors and patients, participating in sometimes fast-paced small-group discussions/interactions, participating in group dissections, participating in pathology labs, and interacting with and responding to course administrators and directors.

Examples of areas in which skillful communication is required in years 3 and 4 include, but are not limited to: participating in clinical rounds and conferences; writing patient H&Ps (histories and physicals); making presentations (formal and informal) to physicians and other professionals; communicating daily with all members of the healthcare team; talking with patients and families about medical issues; interacting in a therapeutic manner with all patients, including psychiatric patients; providing educational presentations to patients and families; participating in video-recorded exercises and synchronous distance learning; interacting with and responding to clerkship administrators and directors; writing notes, papers and completing assignments on a web-based educational platform.

  • 3) Motor Coordination and Function 
Candidates must have sufficient gross and fine motor function and tactile ability to:
•    Attend (and participate in) all classes, groups, and activities in the curriculum
•    Examine patients
•    Perform basic laboratory procedures and tests
•    Perform diagnostic procedures
•    Provide general and emergency patient care
•    Function in outpatient, inpatient, and surgical venues
•    Perform in a reasonably independent and competent way in sometimes chaotic clinical environments


Examples of activities/situations requiring candidates' motor/tactile function beginning in years 1 and 2 include, but are not limited to: participating in classes, small groups, patient presentations, review sessions, dissections, laboratory work, and microscopic investigations; using a computer; performing a complete physical exam - including observation, auscultation, palpation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers; performing simple lab tests; using light microscopes; performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Examples of experiences requiring motor/tactile function in years 3 and 4 include, but are not limited to: accompanying staff on rounds and conferences; competently performing specific procedures, such as, venipuncture, endotracheal intubation, Foley catheter insertion, and nasogastric tube insertion; taking overnight call in the hospital; performing physical, neurological, gynecological, pediatric, and obstetric examinations (with the appropriate instruments); dealing with agitated patients in emergency situations; maintaining appropriate medical records; acting as second assistant in the operating room (retracting, suturing, etc.); wearing appropriate equipment, such as a gloves, gown, and mask, as called for by the clinical situation.

  • 4) Cognition and Integrative Abilities
Candidates must be able to demonstrate higher-level cognitive abilities, which include:
•    Rational thought
•    Measurement
•    Calculation
•    Visual-spatial comprehension
•    Conceptualization
•    Analysis
•    Synthesis
•    Organization
•    Representation (oral, written, diagrammatic, three dimensional)
•    Memory
•    Application
•    Clinical reasoning
•    Ethical reasoning

Examples of applied cognitive abilities beginning in years 1 and 2 include, but are not limited to: understanding, synthesizing, and recalling material presented in classes, labs, small groups, patient interactions, and meetings with preceptors; understanding 3-dimensional relationships, such as those demonstrated in the anatomy lab; successfully passing oral, written, and laboratory exams; understanding ethical issues related to the practice of medicine; engaging in problem solving, alone and in small groups; interpreting the results of patient examinations and diagnostic tests; analyzing complicated situations, such as cardiac arrest, and determining the appropriate sequence of events to effect successful treatment; working through genetic problems.

Examples of required cognitive abilities in years 3 and 4 include, but are not limited to: integrating historical, physical, psychosocial, and ancillary test data into differential diagnoses and treatment plans; understanding indications for various diagnostic tests and treatment modalities - from counselling to medication to surgery; understanding methods for various procedures, such as lumbar punctures and inserting intravenous catheters; being able to think through medical issues and exhibit sound judgment in a variety of clinical settings, including emergency situations; identifying and understanding classes of psychopathology and treatment options; making concise, cogent, and thorough presentations based on various kinds of data collection, including web-based research; knowing how to organize information, materials, and tasks in order to perform efficiently on service; understanding how to work and learn independently; understanding how to function effectively as part of a healthcare team.

  • 5) Professionalism: Mature and Ethical Conduct
    Candidates must be able to:

    •    Consistently display academic integrity, fairness and respect for others.
    •    Promptly complete all assignments and responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients (beginning with study in the first year)
    •    Communicate with, examine, and provide care for all patients—including those whose gender, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs are different from candidates' own
    •    Develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships, not only with patients but with all members of the medical school community and healthcare teams
    •    Maintain sobriety in all academic and clinical environments, and refrain from the illegal use of substances at all times
    •    Abide by all state, federal, and local laws, as well as all University of South Florida codes of conduct
    •    Tolerate physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding workloads
    •    Function effectively under stress, and proactively make use of available resources to help maintain both physical and mental health
    •    Adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and be able to learn in the face of uncertainty
    •    Take responsibility for themselves and their behaviors

    Examples of professional behavior beginning in years 1 and 2 include, but are not limited to: showing up for required experiences on time and prepared; handing in assignments on time; refraining from plagiarizing or cheating; treating faculty, staff, and other students with respect; making an effort to understand prejudices and preconceptions that might affect patient interactions or collegial relationships (especially in the areas of race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, disability, age, and religious difference); developing successful working relationships with preceptors, staff, and peers by accepting constructive feedback.

    Examples of professional behavior in years 3 and 4 include, but are not limited to: maintaining a professional demeanor on service (e.g., white coat, name tag, appropriate attire, neat appearance, respectful speech, sobriety); representing oneself accurately; appreciating and preserving patient confidentiality; responding sensitively to patients' social and psychological issues; understanding social biases and stigmas, and not reinforcing them; developing empathic listening skills; advocating for patients when appropriate; using hospital/clinic resources responsibly; showing up prepared and on time for rounds, lectures, conferences, and procedures; getting advice when handling ethical dilemmas; taking constructive feedback from attending physicians and residents with open-mindedness and the intention to improve; contributing to the effectiveness, efficiency, and collegiality of healthcare teams. They must accept responsibility for learning, exercising good judgment, and promptly completing all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients. Candidates must be able to work effectively, respectfully, and professionally as part of the healthcare team, and to interact with patients, their families, and health care personnel in a courteous, professional, and respectful manner.

    Candidates must meet the legal requirements to be licensed to practice medicine in the State of Florida. As such, candidates for admission must acknowledge and provide written explanation of any felony offense or disciplinary action taken against them prior to matriculation at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. In addition, should the candidate be convicted of any felony offense while in medical school, they agree to immediately notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs as to the nature of the conviction. Failure to disclose prior or new offenses can lead to disciplinary action that may include dismissal.

Plan to Enroll/Commit to Enroll Deadline
Accepted students have until April 30th to hold multiple acceptances. By this date, students must notify our office of their decision to “plan to enroll” or withdraw their acceptance. You may do this by using the AAMC Choose Your Medical School tool.  

The deadline for “Commit to Enroll” is July 5th. However, the sooner an applicant chooses to “Commit to Enroll”, the better. We understand this is a very big decision for students to make and realize many accepted students may still want to remain on waitlists for other institutions.