Required Abilities & Skills

Technical Standards

NCNM’s goal is to broadly prepare students for the practice of naturopathic medicine, Chinese medicine, nutrition, global health, and/or research. This goal is achieved in part by undergraduate medical education, including prerequisites for admission to NCNM; postgraduate medical education; and preparation for lifelong learning. Modern medical, health and research education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of skills, professional attitudes and behavior. Our faculty has the responsibility to graduate the best possible practitioners, physicians and researchers; thus, admission into NCNM is offered to those who present the highest qualifications for the study and practice of naturopathic, Chinese medicine, nutrition, global health, and/or integrative medicine research. Please note that retreats, classes and/or clinic shifts are regularly scheduled on weekends.

Students must possess the following general qualities: critical thinking; sound judgment; emotional stability and maturity; empathy; physical and mental stamina; and the ability to learn and function in a wide variety of educational settings. In all phases of education, students of medicine and research must use their intellectual ability and must maintain emotional stability, particularly when under stress. Graduates of NCNM must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and render a wide spectrum of patient care and research participant interaction.

Motor Skills

Students in the medical programs should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. Medical students should be able to execute motor functions necessary to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients.

Sensory and Observational Skills

Students must be able to observe demonstrations and participate in experiments and patient exams as required by the NCNM curricula. They must be able to observe a patient or study participant accurately at a distance and close at hand, and be able to obtain a medical history directly from the patient or study participant while observing the person’s medical condition. This observation necessitates the functional use of vision, hearing and other sensory modalities.

Communication Skills

Students must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and study participants, both orally and in written form. These skills must be performed in clinical settings when time for communication may be limited.

Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Skills

Measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis are skills required for physicians and researchers. Thus, students must be able to solve problems and think critically. In addition, students must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and spatial relationships of structures.

Behavioral and Social Skills and Professionalism

Empathy, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions process and throughout a student’s education. Medical students must possess the emotional well-being required for the full use of their intellect, the ability to promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the capacity to develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. All students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively when stressed. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function within the uncertainty inherent to the variety of clinical problems patients present.

The mission of National College of Natural Medicine faculty is to prepare students for the comprehensive practice of medicine and research. NCNM, in accordance with Section 504 of the 1974 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Public Law-101-336), has established the aforementioned essential functions of students and physicians. NCNM must ensure that patients and study participants are not placed in jeopardy by the students or physicians as a result of substantially impaired intellectual, physical, or emotional functions. Students will be assessed not only on their scholastic accomplishments, but also on their physical and emotional capacities to meet the full requirements of the school curricula and to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners of naturopathic and/or Chinese medicine, as well as research.

Students who believe they may not meet the criteria listed above should contact the dean of students and program dean to discuss their specific circumstances. The dean will coordinate assessment and accommodations as deemed appropriate. Unresolved issues concerning a student’s ability to meet these standards may result in delay or disqualification of the student’s