Guidelines for Technical Standards for Fellowship Training


The sponsoring institution supports the concept of reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities accepted to graduate medical education programs.



  • Each program is responsible for the development of technical standards necessary to complete their graduate medical education program. In general, individuals must have abilities and skills in five categories: observations, communication, motor, intellectual, behavioral and social. Individuals applying to a fellowship are encouraged to discuss disabilities with the program director during the interview process.


  • Although each program may have specialized skills necessary to complete the program (i.e. motor skills in surgery), the College of Medicine has adopted the following technical standards for medical school admissions and these should form guidelines for each program to develop specialty-specific technical standards.
    • 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. In detail, observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities.
    • Communications: A candidate must 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. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate rapidly, effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the healthcare team.
    • Motor: Candidates must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate must 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: The administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding and the opening of obstructed airways. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision. As mandated by the ACGME program requirements, pediatrics fellows must achieve competence with certain procedures.  Therefore a candidate must be able to execute motor movements required to perform the following procedures.  Basic and advanced life support, endotracheal intubation, placement of intraosseous lines, placement of intravenous lines, venipuncture, arterial puncture, umbilical artery and vein catheterization, lumbar puncture, bladder catheterization, gynecologic evaluation, wound care, suturing, reduction and splinting of simple dislocations/fractures, subcutaneous, intradermal, and intramuscular injections.
    • Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis of complex information.
    • Behavioral and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her 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, to display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admission and education processes.