Curriculum Completion Standards

The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine faculty has developed minimum standards for entry into and progression through the medical curriculum. These standards provide guidance to achieve a Doctor of Medicine in preparation for licensure as a practicing physician and for postgraduate training. Throughout the medical education process, patient safety is of primary consideration.

Mastery of the essential functions of curriculum is required of all students. Satisfactory progression through the curriculum will be evaluated by the faculty under the following standards which encompass cognitive, physical, and behavioral requirements in six fundamental areas summarized below:

  • Use of motor skills such as palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers
  • Use of sensory skills such as observing demonstrations, obtaining a medical history directly from a patient, and observing a patient's medical condition and/or non-verbal behaviors
  • Communication with patients, physicians, and others on the medical team about a patient condition in settings where communication typically is written and in settings where the time span available for communication is limited
  • Intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities necessary for problem-solving and diagnosis
  • Activities which have a behavioral and/or social context including professional responsibility to patients, typical daily work-loads, working in an environment which is subject to rapid change without warning in unpredictable ways
  • Ethical and professional attitudes and conduct

A detailed copy of the standards for curricular completion is available from the office of admissions:

Office of Admissions
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso
Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
5001 El Paso Drive
El Paso, Texas 79905

Procedure for Students with Disabilities

Without compromising the standards required by the school or the fundamental integrity of its curriculum, the school recognizes that persons with disabilities, as that term is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act, may fulfill the standards with reasonable accommodation. The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine is committed to developing innovative and creative ways of opening its curriculum to competitive and qualified candidates with disabilities. Requests for accommodation under the standards for curricular completion will be considered on an individual basis and reasonable accommodation will be arranged if appropriate. The use of a trained intermediary to observe or interpret information is considered to compromise the essential function of the physician.

When an applicant comes for an interview at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, a copy of the detailed standards for curricular completion will be included in the orientation packet. Questions about the standards are welcomed and interviewees will be informed that they must be qualified to meet all of the standards, with or without accommodation.

If a student is offered and accepts an admissions offer from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the student must then sign a form acknowledging that he/she has read and understands that the standards for curricular completion must be met with or without accommodation. An application for accommodation may be obtained from the office of student services and must be presented in writing to the office of student affairs along with supporting documentation about the disability from an appropriate specialist and the proposed accommodation(s). The deadline for requests with supporting documentation is normally 30 days prior to the beginning of the first semester of enrollment. The school may also seek independent review from a specialist of its choice. The decision on whether or not an accommodation request will be granted is made by a committee composed of the associate dean for Student Affairs, the associate dean for admissions, the Student Affairs Committee, and ad hoc faculty knowledgeable regarding the area of disability. Such decisions are subject to review and approval by the dean. If reasonable accommodation is feasible, effort will be made to provide the accommodation as classes begin. An application that is subject to disapproval will be discussed with the ADA Compliance Office and the Office of General Counsel. If the request for accommodation is denied, the student will be notified in writing prior to the start of classes.

For requests with documentation received prior to April 15, effort will be made to notify the student of the decision regarding their request prior to May 15. The application for accommodation and supporting documentation will be sent to the ADA compliance officer for official record keeping.

In the area of learning disabilities, the student should note that they will have to petition the National Board of Medical Examiners for any accommodation on the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (Steps I, II, and III) and that this process is in addition to and separate from any request for accommodation by the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.