Disability Policy
Eligibility for Services
Types of Disabilities
Student Responsibilities
Documentation Guidelines
Recommendation for Accommodations
Technical Standards

Disability Services

Disability Policy
California Northstate University College of Medicine does not discriminate on the basis of a disability and is committed to self-directed learning by offering qualified students an equal opportunity to attain a Doctor of Medicine degree. The College will make every effort toward meeting reasonable requests for accommodations to students with disabilities according to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Students with disabilities, whether a hidden or visible disability, who wish to seek special accommodations from the College must notify the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach or designee in writing before the beginning of the school year. If the disability develops during the school year and accommodations are requested, the student must notify the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach or designee in writing as soon as he/she becomes aware of the disability. Students seeking accommodation are required to provide appropriate documentation of that disability to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach or designee.

Eligibility for Services
The federal definition of “disability” encompasses a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities such as walking, breathing, seeing, hearing, learning, working, and performing manual tasks.

Types of Disabilities
Some common types of disabilities include, but are not limited to, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD).

Student Responsibility
Students enrolled at CNUCOM are required to self-identify if they would like to request services on the basis of a disability. Students are required to meet with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach or designee for an initial intake and are required to provide appropriate documentation of the disability. Students must provide documentation, at the student’s expense, of the disability before the provision of services is reviewed.

Documentation Guidelines
Both medical and functional elements of the disability must be explicitly documented. Documentation must be printed on appropriate letter head and prepared by a qualified health care provider who has professional training and practice to diagnose and treat the impairment that led to the disability.

Documentation of the disability should include, but is not limited to:
  • A diagnostic statement identifying the disability.
  • Date of the current diagnostic evaluation (must be within the past three (3) years).
  • Date of the original diagnosis.
  • A description of the diagnostic criteria used.
  • A description of the current functional impact of the disability.
  • Treatments and medications, assistive devices currently prescribed or in use.
  • A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability over time.
  • Specific recommendations for accommodations and an explanation of why each recommendation is needed.
  • Impact the disability has on specific major life activities.
  • Credentials of the diagnosing professional.
In addition to the above documentation, students are required to submit additional documents based on the specific disability.

Students applying for services and accommodations on the basis of a learning disability should submit a comprehensive report of a psycho-educational assessment performed by a licensed psychologist. The assessment, usually performed in the junior or senior level of high school, should contain the following:
  • A complete intellectual assessment with all subtests and standard scores reported.
  • A comprehensive academic achievement battery with subtests, standard scores, current levels of academic functioning in reading, mathematics, and oral and written language.
  • Short and long-term memory, sequential memory, auditory and visual processing, processing speed, executive functioning, and motor ability.
  • A clinical summary of the supported judgment of the health care provider conducting the assessment justifying the diagnosis and suggested accommodations that would be appropriate to strengthen the students relative learning deficits.

Students applying for services and accommodations on the basis of a psychiatric disability should submit a comprehensive report completed by a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist who has experience diagnosing and treating the student’s condition. The assessment should include the following:
  • DSM-IV diagnosis.
  • Psychological test(s) and all scores used to support the diagnosis.
  • Medications needed, side effects affecting academic performance, and compliance with the therapeutic plan.
  • Any accommodation(s) that may jeopardize therapeutic interventions.

Students applying for services and accommodations on the basis of ADD/ADHD should submit a comprehensive report of a psycho-educational assessment performed by a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, and/or licensed medical doctor who has expertise in diagnosing and treating ADD/ADHD. The assessment should include the following:
  • DSM-IV diagnosis.
  • Description of supporting past and present symptoms.
  • Summary of assessment procedures.
  • Fluctuating symptoms and prognosis.
  • Medications needed, side effects affecting academic performance.
  • Recommendations for reasonable accommodations.

Recommendation for Accommodations
The student’s request for accommodations is assessed by CNUCOM-appointed administrators who determine eligibility. Approval of the recommendations requested are based on the diagnostic report submitted by an appropriate health care provider rather that the student’s request alone. Prior history of accommodations does not solely guarantee provisions of a similar accommodation.

Once registered, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach works collaboratively with the student and faculty to provide the best reasonable accommodations for the student to achieve academic success.

Accommodations are not retroactive and begin only after appropriate documentation is received and a reasonable time for accommodation development exists.

Technical Standards
CNUCOM educates physicians who are capable of entering residency training (graduate medical education) and meet all requirements for medical licensure. All candidates are evaluated according to the same standards and criteria.

Delineation of technical standards is required for the accreditation of medical schools by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The technical standards describe the essential abilities required of all candidates.

Reasonable accommodation in achievement of the standards is defined under U.S. federal statutes applied to individuals with disabilities. Such accommodations are intended to support the successful completion of all components of the MD degree.

The technical standards for the MD degree are applied in concert with other policies of the university, including academic policies, academic standards established by the faculty, and student conduct policies.

The technical standards include the following:
  • The College of Medicine supports a broad, undifferentiated degree attesting to the acquisition of general knowledge in all fields of medicine and the basic skills requisite for the practice of medicine.
  • The guidelines for admission as set forth by LCME must continue to govern the decisions of medical school faculties.
  • The medical education process, which focuses on the safety and well-being of patients, differs markedly from post-secondary education in fields outside the health sciences.
  • The primary responsibility for the selection of students and the content of the curriculum rests with the medical school and its faculty.
  • All candidates in the College of Medicine must possess physical, cognitive, and emotional capabilities required to undertake the full curriculum and to achieve the levels of competence required by the faculty.
  • Candidates who meet the academic criteria and who demonstrate the ability to meet the technical standards listed in this document are eligible for consideration for admission, progression, and graduation.

Admission to CNUCOM is conditional based on the ability to meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation. Candidates are asked to certify that they are able to meet the technical standards of the program.

Individuals with questions regarding technical standards are encouraged to contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach for the College of Medicine. The Office of Student Affairs and Admissions provides strategies to candidates with disabilities. Case-by-case consideration of alternate styles of achievement are applied to candidates in advanced stages of screening for admission and those who are enrolled.

Standards in five areas must be met by all candidates: Observation, Communication, Motor Function, Cognitive, and Professional.

Candidates are reasonably expected to:
  • Observe demonstrations and participate in experiments in the basic sciences
  • Observe patients at a distance and close at hand.
  • Demonstrate sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing, and smell and the somatic sensation necessary to perform a physical examination.
  • Integrate findings based on these observations and to develop an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan.

Candidates are reasonably expected to:
  • Communicate in verbal and written form with health care professionals and patients, including eliciting a complete medical history and recording information regarding patients’ conditions.
  • Perceive relevant non-verbal communications such as changes in mood, activity, and posture as part of a physical examination of a patient.
  • Establish therapeutic relationships with patients.
  • Demonstrate reading skills at a level sufficient to individually accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care for patients using written information.

Accommodation through use of a trained intermediary or other communications aide may be appropriate when this intermediary functions as an information conduit.

Motor Function
Candidates’ motor and sensory functions must be sufficient to diagnose and deliver effective patient care by consistently, quickly, and accurately integrating all data gathered through whatever sense(s) employed.

Candidates are reasonably expected to:
  • Perform physical examinations and diagnostic procedures, using such techniques as inspection, percussion, palpation, and auscultation.
  • Under supervision, complete routine invasive procedures as part of training, using universal precautions without substantial risk of infection to patients.
  • Perform basic laboratory tests and evaluate routine diagnostic tools such as EKGs and X-rays.
  • Respond in emergency situations to provide the level of care reasonably required of physicians.
  • Participate effectively in physically taxing duties over long hours and complete timed demonstrations of skills.

Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Candidates must have sufficient cognitive abilities and effective learning techniques to assimilate the detailed and complex information presented in the medical curriculum.

They are reasonably expected to:
  • Measure, calculate, analyze, synthesize, extrapolate, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments.
  • Recognize and draw conclusions about three-dimensional spatial relationships and logical sequential relationships among events.
  • Formulate and test hypotheses that enable effective and timely problem-solving in diagnosis and treatment of patients in a variety of clinical modalities.
  • Understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine
  • Remain fully alert and attentive at all times in clinical settings.

Problem-solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate behavior and social attributes that enable the effective practice of medicine.

Candidates are reasonably expected to:
  • Demonstrate the judgment and emotional stability required for full use of their intellectual abilities.
  • Possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the College of Medicine curriculum and prepare to enter the independent practice of medicine.
  • Exercise good judgment in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
  • Complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients within established timelines.
  • Function within both the law and ethical standards of the medical profession.
  • Work effectively and professionally as part of the health care team.
  • Relate to patients, their families, and health care personnel in a sensitive and professional manner.
  • Participate effectively in physically taxing duties over long work hours, function effectively under stress, and display flexibility and adaptability to changing and uncertain environments.
  • Maintain regular, reliable, and punctual attendance for classes and clinical responsibilities.
  • Contribute to collaborative, constructive learning environments, accept constructive feedback from others, and respond with appropriate modification.

Compassion, integrity, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admission and educational processes.

All candidates are responsible for meeting acceptable standards for behavior and intellectual functioning. Only minimal accommodation is foreseen with regard to the professional section of the technical standards.

California Northstate University College of Medicine ♦ 9700 West Taron Drive ♦ Elk Grove, CA 95757 ♦ Phone: (916) 686-7300