1. K-State home
  2. »College of Veterinary Medicine
  3. »Admissions
  4. »Technical Standards

College of Veterinary Medicine

Technical Standards

A candidate for the DVM degree must possess observational, communicational, motor, intellectual-conceptual (integrative and quantitative), behavioral and social abilities skills. Technological accommodation can be made for some limitations in certain areas, but a candidate must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary is unacceptable in most clinical situations and, as such, requires that a candidate’s exercise of judgment is subject to another’s power of selection and observation. 

I. Observation: 

The candidate must be able to observe required information as presented through demonstrations and experiences in the basic and clinical sciences, including, but not limited to information conveyed through physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations in animals, microbiological cultures and microscopic images of microorganisms, and gross and microscopic evaluation of tissues in normal and pathological states. Furthermore, a candidate must be able to: 

  • Observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand, to acquire information from written documents, and to visualize information as presented in images in paper, films, slides and video. 
  • Perceive and interpret signs of fear, aggression, and other potentially dangerous behaviors made by various animal species; sense and interpret warning sounds and signs in the veterinary health care environment. 
  • Interpret x-ray and other graphic images, and digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomenon (such as EKGs) with or without the use of assistive devices. 

Such observation and information acquisition necessitates the functional use of visual, auditory and somatic sensation while being enhanced by the functional use of other sensory modalities including smell. In any case where a candidate’s ability to observe or acquire information through these sensory modalities is compromised, the candidate must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to acquire and demonstrate the essential information conveyed in this fashion.

II. Communication: 

A candidate must be able to hear and to observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in behavior, activity and posture, and perceive non-vocal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with clients and colleagues. A candidate must be able to sense and respond to directions given in emergency situations and during clinical and surgical procedures.

III. Motor: 

It is required that a candidate possess the motor skills necessary to directly perform restraint procedures, palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers, laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures. The candidate must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general and emergency medical care such as, but not limited to, airway management, placement of intravenous catheters, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, application of pressure to control bleeding, suturing of wounds, other surgical procedures, and the performance of obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch, hearing and vision. The candidate must possess enough body strength for routine restraint procedures and to lift patients, tissues, or equipment with or without help where appropriate. The candidate must be mobile in confined spaces. 

IV. Intellectual-Conceptual (Integrative and Quantitative) Abilities: 

The candidate must be able to assess, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize subjective and objective information. In addition, the candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relations of structures. Problem solving, a critical skill demanded of veterinarians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. The candidate must be able to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion. 

V. Behavioral and Social Attributes: 

A candidate must be able to exercise good judgment under stress and to complete, in a reasonable timely fashion, responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients. A candidate must be able to interact cooperatively with clients and members of the health team, including students. It is necessary that a candidate be able to tolerate physically taxing work, and to function in an environment that is notable for the uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients and the concerns of clients. 

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE considers for admission to the D.V.M. degree program any applicant who demonstrates the ability to acquire the knowledge necessary for the practice of veterinary medicine, as well as the ability to perform, or to learn to perform, the skills as described in this document. Students are judged not only on their scholastic accomplishments, but also on their physical and behavioral capacities to meet the full requirements of the school’s curriculum, and to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners of veterinary medicine.