The College has approved the following policy that defines the non-academic criteria for admission into, continued enrollment in, and graduation from the Doctor of Dental Medicine program.
Policy on Technical Standards for Dental Students
(Approved by UK Senate on 12/14/98) Miscellaneous Academic Policies: Policy on Technical Standards for Dental Students
Policy Objective: To define the non-academic criteria for admission into, continued enrollment in, and graduation from the Doctor of Dental Medicine program.
The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry is committed to ensuring that the opportunity to pursue oral health education is available to all qualified persons. In this spirit, all qualified individuals will be considered for admission. Moreover, the College will work to ensure that all qualified students, consistent with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, will have the opportunity to succeed in the College's programs of study.
The College recognizes that the Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree carries with it the full authority of the institution and communicates to those who might seek the services of the bearer that he or she is competent to practice dentistry. The D.M.D. degree is unique in that the graduate is prepared and, when licensed, is allowed to practice all disciplines of the dental profession. Therefore, the student must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that the faculty has determined are essential for the practice of dentistry. The student must acquire both cognitive and technical skills to negotiate the curriculum.
The following technical standards describe the essential functions that students must demonstrate in order to fulfill the requirements of a general dental education, and thus, are prerequisites for entrance, continuation, and graduation from the College. Students must possess the skills and abilities that will allow them to successfully complete the course of study and receive the full benefit of dental education. While enrolled in dental school, students must direct and perform treatment of the College's patients. The College has the responsibility for ensuring the safety of the patients. Treatment must be completed safely and within an acceptable time.
The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry will consider for admission any applicant who demonstrates the ability to perform or to learn to perform the skills listed in this document. Continued enrollment and graduation will depend on the successful demonstration of both the knowledge and the skills listed in this document. The College's Academic Performance Committee will monitor each student's demonstration of such knowledge and skills. Applicants are not required to disclose the nature of their disability(ies) to the Admissions Committee; however, any applicant with questions about these technical standards is strongly encouraged to discuss the issue with the Admissions Committee Chair before the interview. Upon the request of an applicant or a student, reasonable accommodations will be provided.
1. Motor Skills
GENERAL: A student should have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care to patients.
SPECIFIC: A student must possess the motor skills to directly perform palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers, basic laboratory tests, and diagnostic procedures. Such actions require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional uses of the senses of touch and vision.
SPECIFIC: A student must be able to perform basic life support including CPR, transfer and position disabled patients, physically restrain adults and children who lack motor control, and position and reposition himself or herself around patient and chair in a sitting or standing position. A student must not hinder the ability of co-workers to perform prompt care. A student must be able to operate controls, move high-speed or low-speed dental drills with precision of less than one millimeter, and use hand instrumentation including scalpels for surgical procedures.
GENERAL: A student must be able to acquire a predetermined level of required information through demonstrations and experiences in basic and dental science courses.
SPECIFIC: Such information includes, but is not limited to, information conveyed through: 1) physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations in animals; 2) microbiological cultures; 3) microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states; and 4) demonstration of techniques using dental models. A student must be able to acquire information from written documents, and to evaluate information presented as images from paper, films, slides, or video. A student must be able to interpret x-ray and other graphic images. A student must be able to benefit from electronic and other instrumentation that enhances visual, auditory, and somatic sensations needed for examination or treatment.
GENERAL: A student must be able to accurately observe a patient, at a distance and close at hand, and observe and accurately interpret non-verbal communications when performing dental operations or administering medications.
SPECIFIC: A student must be able to perform dental examinations and treatment that requires the use of sight and touch. He or she must be able to see fine detail, focus at a variety of distances, and discern differences and variations in color, shape, and texture that are necessary to differentiate normal and abnormal soft and hard tissues. He or she must be able to use tactile senses to diagnose directly by palpation and indirectly by sensations transmitted through instruments. A student must also possess the visual acuity to read charts, records, radiographs, small print and handwritten notation, and distinguish colors intra- and extra-orally.
GENERAL: A student must be able to: communicate effectively and sensitively with patients; convey or exchange information at a level allowing development of a health history; identify problems; explain alternative solutions; and give directions during treatment and post-treatment. Communication includes speech and writing. A student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written English with all members of the health care team.
SPECIFIC: A student must have sufficient facility with English to: retrieve information from texts and lectures and communicate concepts on written exams and patient charts; elicit patient backgrounds; describe patient changes in moods, activity, and posture; and coordinate patient care with all members of the health care team. A student must be able to communicate in lay language so that patients and their families can understand the patient's conditions and, thereby, be more likely to comply with treatment and preventive regimes.
SPECIFIC: In any case where a student's ability to communicate through these sensory modalities is compromised, he or she must demonstrate alternative means of communicating with instructors, patients, and other members of the health care team.
GENERAL: A student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, and synthesize.
SPECIFIC: A student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. Problem solving, a critical skill demanded of dentists, requires all of these intellectual abilities. A student must be able to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion.
GENERAL: A student must possess the emotional health required for full use of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients.
SPECIFIC: A student must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. He or she must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interests, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and educational processes. A student must be able to manage apprehensive patients with a range of moods and behaviors in a tactful, congenial, personal manner so as not to alienate or antagonize them. A student must be able to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior.
Responsible Agent: The Dean