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Health and Technical Standards

Technical Standards for Matriculation, Retention and Graduation

The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine indicates the holder is a physician who is prepared to enter into supervised practice in a graduate medical education training program.

In order to be qualified for the D.O. degree, future training and subsequent licensure, the candidate must have demonstrated competency in five requisite areas: observation and sensory; communication; motor; intellectual-conceptual; and behavioral and social attributes. Matriculants are required to demonstrate said competencies to provide safe and effective medical care in a wide variety of clinical environments.

The Heritage College requires that matriculants be capable of meeting the technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations, as a condition of enrollment in the osteopathic medical program. Reasonable accommodations, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended, include those assistive devices and strategies that enable matriculants to successfully meet the established standards of academic performance and requirements of the osteopathic curricular program. These assistive devices and strategies do not alter the essential requirements of the osteopathic curricular requirements and do not change the established standards of performance determined to be acceptable. The use of trained intermediaries to obtain and interpret data from patients will not be considered as acceptable or reasonable assistive strategies. National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners technical requirements may have more stringent standards than outlined in this document. Students seeking accommodations during the application process or after matriculation are encouraged to contact Student Accessibility Services at 740.593.2620.

Observation and Sensory

The matriculant must be able to participate in demonstrations and experiments in the biomedical sciences including, but not limited to, microbiologic cultures, microscopic examination of microorganisms and tissues, cadaver dissection, and interpretation of ECGs and radiographic images. The matriculant must be able to observe a patient by gathering visual and olfactory information to detect disease and dysfunction. Additionally, matriculants must be able to use touch and detect changes of temperature and pressure to complete required physical examinations and perform osteopathic structural assessments.


A matriculant shall be able to assess and communicate with patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in affect, activity and posture; and perceive nonverbal communications. A matriculant must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. The matriculant must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all members of the health care team.


The matriculant must be able to independently perform physical examination maneuvers such as auscultation, palpation and percussion in order to learn to detect disease and dysfunction. The matriculant must be able to independently perform a variety of procedures required for general and emergency patient care including, but not limited to, venipuncture, bladder catheterization, arthrocentesis, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, application of pressure to stop severe bleeding, management of obstructed airways, suturing of simple wounds and performance of routine obstetrical and gynecologic procedures. Additionally, the matriculant must be able to perform these procedures within prescribed time limitations relative to the context of the practicing physician. The matriculant must be able to independently perform therapeutic touch including osteopathic manipulative medicine techniques and must be agreeable to have these modalities performed upon them as part of the curriculum requirements for the D.O. degree. The matriculant must be able to assist in surgical procedures for prolonged periods of time, participate in simulation exercises and participate in medical/surgical rounds on hospital wards.

Intellectual - Conceptual

The matriculant must be able to demonstrate the ability to observe, measure, calculate and utilize information in order to engage in critical thinking and problem solving in both individual and group contexts that are essential to the function of a physician. Matriculants must also be able to comprehend multidimensional spatial relationships.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Matriculants must exercise good judgment and act professionally, complete all responsibilities promptly and effectively, and  attend to the diagnosis and care of patients while maintaining mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. Matriculants must be able to function effectively under stressful conditions, adapt to changing environments and function in the face of the uncertainties inherent in the clinical care of patients. Compassion, integrity, empathy, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the educational process.

Patient Safety Measures

Infectious Diseases: Health care providers in contact with patients are at risk for contracting and transmitting infectious diseases. All health care providers must maintain immunization requirements that are established for their own protection and that of served populations against preventable communicable illness.

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine requires documentation of appropriate immunization and vaccination of all students. Requirements are guided by current recommendation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for health care personnel.

Prior to matriculation, students are expected to receive required immunizations/vaccinations and provide documentation of proof of immunity. Influenza immunization is required during flu season. Clinical affiliates may have other, more stringent requirements for immunizations and vaccinations.

If a student is unable to provide documentation, he/she is considered unvaccinated. Tuberculosis screening is also required of all incoming students and students participating in summer programs involving clinical activities through the Heritage College.

Please consult the Immunizations, Proof of Immunity and TB Screening Requirements for details.

Students who are accepted to the Heritage College and students on the alternate list will receive a letter explaining immunization and serologic proof of immunity requirements and the Immunization Status Report form from the Office of Medical Education.

Charges for immunization and antibody titers are the responsibility of the student.

Criminal Background Check

The matriculant must submit to a criminal background check that includes both Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification and Federal Bureau of Investigation searches. The college mandates the criminal background check of the matriculant to be in compliance with the requirements of the state of Ohio and the clinical affiliates of the college. A criminal background check will be required every two years the matriculant is enrolled in the college.

More information on how and when to request a criminal background check can be found here.