Technical Standards for MD Program

Our educational process at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai prepares our students to be physicians, in accord with the objectives defined by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the U.S. accrediting agency for medical schools. Our admissions standards, therefore, are rigorous and exacting. We extend offers of admission only to those who are best qualified to meet the standards set forth below.

We expect that candidates for the MD degree have abilities and skills in five domains: observation, communication, motor, conceptual/integrative and quantitative, and behavioral and social. While ISMMS can make technological or other accommodations for some disabilities in certain areas, candidates should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. You can use an intermediary for the collection of a patient's history, including but not limited to sign-language interpretation or use of technological devices. But you must be able to perform a full physical examination; must consistently, quickly and accurately integrate all information received by whichever sense(s) are employed; and must have the intellectual ability to learn, gather information, communicate, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data. Specifically, you must be skilled in the following areas.

You must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences including, but not limited to, physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, and microbiologic cultures and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. You must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation requires the functional use of the senses of vision and somatic sensation.

You should be able to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; and perceive nonverbal communication in interactions with patients. You must be able to communicate effectively, professionally, and sensitively with patients. In addition, a candidate must be able to communicate effectively, professionally, and efficiently with all members of the health care team in both immediate and recorded modes.


You should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. You should be able to perform basic laboratory tests (e.g., urinalysis, complete blood count), carry out diagnostic procedures (proctoscopy, paracentesis), and evaluate electrocardiograms and X-rays. You should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, and application of pressure to stop bleeding. These actions require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.


These abilities include measurement, calculations, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, you should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures.

You must possess the emotional health required for full use of your intellectual abilities and to exercise good judgment and promptly completing diagnosis and care of patients. You must be able to develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. You must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. You must be able to adapt to changing environments and function in the face of the uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. You must possess compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation.

We expect that candidates for the MD degree can gather data from, communicate with, and care for, in a non-judgmental way, persons whose culture, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs are different from their own. Throughout the clinical curriculum, you must be able to consistently perform a complete history and physical exam on any patient regardless of the patient's race, color, national origin, marital status, military status, citizenship, disability, genetic predisposition, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age, or sexual preference.