Lincoln Memorial University

Technical Standards for Admission and Retension

LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) seeks candidates who will be able to serve the needs of society by becoming skilled and effective Osteopathic physicians. To that end, LMU-DCOM requires its students to meet certain technical standards to ensure that LMU-DCOM graduates possess a certain level of cognitive and technical skill. The technical standards go beyond the curriculum's academic criteria and apply both to candidates for admission and to continuing students.

Students must be capable of successfully completing the entire LMU-DCOM course curriculum and achieve the DO degree. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care, candidates for the DO degree must meet the established technical requirements in the following six areas: Observation; Communication; Motor; Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities; Behavioral and Social Attributes and General Health.


Technical Standards

  1. OBSERVATION: Students must have the functional ability to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences and must have sufficient use of the senses necessary to accurately observe and react to a patient at a distance and close at hand.

  2. COMMUNICATION: Students must be able to relate reasonably to patients and establish sensitive, professional verbal relationships with patients, colleagues and staff. They are expected to personally communicate the results of the history and examination to the patient and to their colleagues with accuracy, clarity, efficiency and communicate effectively in oral and written form. Students must be proficient in both communicative and receptive aspects of the English language.

  3. MOTOR: Students must perform basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures, including but not limited to; complete physical examinations, Osteopathic Manipulation, cardio-pulmonary resuscitations, application of pressure to stop bleeding, and basic general surgical procedures.

  4. INTELLECTUAL, CONCEPTUAL, INTEGRATIVE and QUANTITATIVE ABILITIES: Students must be able to learn to analyze, synthesize, solve problems, and reach reasonable diagnostic and therapeutic judgments. Students are expected to be able to display good judgment in the assessment and treatment of patients. They must be able to respond with prompt and appropriate action in clinical situations.

  5. BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES: Students must accept criticism and respond with appropriate modification of their behavior. Students must possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency necessary to complete the medical school curriculum and enter the independent practice of medicine within a reasonable timeframe. They must demonstrate professional and ethical demeanor, exhibit inter-personal skills and exemplary behavior in all dealings with peers, faculty, staff and patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, honesty and law abiding ethical behavior are essential for the successful functioning physician.

  6. GENERAL HEALTH: The student must have sufficient physical and mental stamina to perform strenuous workloads for long periods. As part of the application process and as a prerequisite for acceptance into the DCOM clinical training programs at other institutions, students must provide a medical history and physical examination form, and must receive certain immunizations (see DCOM's Student Handbook for more information). A student who has a disease that poses a risk of eminent or serious harm to the student, other students, faculty or patients or that prevents the student from safely performing the clinical duties required by the DCOM curriculum will not be admitted or permitted to continue in the program.


Osteopathic Principles and Practice and Essentials of Patient Care

In addition to these technical requirements, students are also required to participate in Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) and Essentials of Patient Care laboratory sessions during all four years of their enrollment in LMU-DCOM.


During the first two years of the program, active participation in all laboratory sessions is required. Active participation by a student involves not only practicing palpation skills on others, but also allowing other students to practice their skills on him or her. This provides the student with a greater awareness of how the patient feels when palpated and enables the student to provide proper feedback to his or her lab partners. Each student will learn to palpate people of both genders and of different body types to simulate the diversity of patients a student can expect to encounter in a practice setting. So that students can learn Osteopathic Principles and Practice and the Essentials of Patient Care, they will be assigned partners in the laboratories. Partners will be assigned without regard to gender.

These laboratory sessions involve the evaluation and treatment of all external body surfaces except the genital areas. Students will be instructed on professional touch and respect of privacy. In order to ensure that the areas of the body are accessible for palpation and treatment, students must wear the official LMU-DCOM uniform (LMU-DCOM t-shirt and shorts) during OPP laboratory sessions and clinical skills sessions.

Occasionally a student may have a physical problem (such as a previous surgery) which may contraindicate examination and manipulation of a specific anatomic location. In such situation, the student should contact the head of the OPP department before the beginning of the course and submit documentation of the problem. A member of the OPP faculty or a consultant (at the student's expense) will examine the student during the first week of school. If the problem is confirmed through examination and review of documentation, special arrangements may be arranged. The student is expected to actively participate in all laboratory sessions not directly affected by the problem.


Students with Disabilities

LMU-DCOM is committed to ensuring that otherwise qualified disabled students equally enjoy the benefits of an osteopathic professional education. Upon request by a student with a disability, the University will make every reasonable accommodation to enable the student to meet the standards as long as such accommodation does not unreasonably interfere with or substantially alter the LMU-DCOM curriculum or interfere with the rights of other students or with the studentb's ability to adequately care for the patient.


The affiliate organizations, such as hospitals, that administer the clinical and practical portion of the DCOM curriculum, expect our students to perform their duties in a timely manner as such ability is a critical and essential part of the DCOM curriculum and of the practice of medicine in general. Therefore, extra time will generally not be granted to students in clinical scenarios including rotations and the clinical performance exam. Similarly, the use of trained intermediaries will generally not be approved in clinical situations. LMU will make a determination regarding whether or not to grant an accommodation based on the individual circumstances.

Students wishing to request an accommodation for a disability should refer to LMU's Student Handbook setting forth the University's Disability Policy and the procedure for identifying and submitting documentation of a disability and for requesting an accommodation.


LMU-DCOM Admissions Office
phone: 1.800.325.0900 ext. 7090
fax: 423.869.7172


423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752