Doctor of Medicine (MD) Requirements
Applicants admitted to the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville are selected by an admissions committee composed of members of the biomedical science and clinical science faculties of the medical school and the offices of diversity, academic services and research at Prisma Health–Upstate.
In making selections from each year's group of applicants, members of the admissions committee recognize that they are selecting future physicians. The admissions procedure is therefore an effort to select applicants who possess the individual characteristics required for both the study and practice of medicine.
Prior to extending an offer to interview, the admissions committee will evaluate previous academic performance to include undergraduate GPA and MCAT scores, letters of recommendation, clinical and research experience, work and volunteer experience, leadership roles, unique accomplishments, ability to overcome adversity, long-term goals and extracurricular activities.
Following an initial review of the AMCAS application, a supplemental application (and a $95.00 processing fee) will be requested from selected applicants. The supplemental application is due in December each year. Students granted an AMCAS fee waiver are granted a waiver for the $95.00 processing fee.
At least three, and no more than five, individual letters of recommendation or a pre-medical committee evaluation packet are required. For 2020-2021 application cycle and during our evaluation of applicants, we will remain cognizant of the fact that clinical and observation experiences may be more difficult to obtain during this application cycle.
The school interviews those applicants judged to be highly qualified who exemplify our high standards. The committee determines competitiveness for admission based on aptitude and suitability for a career in medicine. In its effort to include diversity among its students, the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville is committed to selecting applicants with distinctive personal attributes and lived experiences who bring added value to an inclusive learning community.
The applicant's credentials are considered from the perspective of the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville's guiding principles. The medical school strives for a student class that exhibits diversity commensurate with the population it serves. It seeks to enroll students with diverse backgrounds who have achieved academic excellence and who exhibit exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, integrity, honesty, empathy, a propensity for team work, maturity, emotional stability, leadership, a strong work ethic, self-direction and passion for becoming a doctor.
The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
All applicants to the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville are required to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). For any given year, the MCAT must be taken during or no more than two years prior to the year of application. We will accept MCAT scores from 2018, 2019, and 2020. *For the 2020-2021 admissions cycle, those who wish to retake the MCAT after an initial score, we will accept MCAT scores through February 2021 (the MCAT must be taken by January 2021) if additional MCAT dates are not offered after September 2020*. We suggest reviewing MCAT materials.
Prerequisite courses for Admission
- Two semesters of biology with lab If using AP or IB credit, an additional semester in advanced biology such as cell biology, genetics, physiology, or molecular biology is required
- Two semesters of general inorganic chemistry with lab
- One semester of organic chemistry with lab (a second semester of organic chemistry with lab is only required if a prerequisite for biochemistry)
- One semester of biochemistry, lab is not required
- One semester of physics with lab
- Three semesters of humanities, social and behavioral sciences (including at least one semester of English composition/literature) AP or IB credit acceptable to the applicant's undergraduate college is allowed for a maximum of two semesters
- Cell biology
Technical Standards for Admission, Retention and Graduation
The UofSC School of Medicine Greenville has adopted the following technical standards: Technical Standards for Admission, Retention and Graduation. The curriculum of the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville is designed to provide a general professional education leading to the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree and to prepare students to enter graduate medical training in a wide variety of medical specialties and sub-specialties. All candidates for admission to, and all current students at the School of Medicine Greenville (herein after designated as candidates for the M.D. degree) should possess sufficient intellectual capacity, physical ability, emotional and psychological stability, interpersonal sensitivity, and communication skills to acquire the scientific knowledge, interpersonal and technical competencies, professional attitudes, and clinical abilities required to pursue any pathway of graduate medical education and to enter the independent practice of medicine.
All candidates should be aware that the academic and clinical responsibilities of medical students will, at times, require their presence during day, evening and overnight hours, seven days per week. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. Although these standards outline the necessary physical and mental abilities of all candidates, they are not intended to deter any candidate for whom reasonable accommodation will allow the fulfillment of all curricular requirements. A “qualified person with a disability” is an individual with a disability who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission to, retention in and graduation from the educational program at UofSC School of Medicine Greenville, with or without accommodations
While the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville fully endorses the spirit and intent of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, it also acknowledges that certain minimum technical standards must be present in candidates for admission, retention and graduation. Patient safety and well-being play a major role in establishing requirements involving the physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities of candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation. Those individuals who would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of themselves or others are not considered suitable candidates for admission or retention in medical school. Therefore, the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville has established the following technical standards for admission to, retention in, and graduation from, the M.D. program.
1. All candidates for admission must fulfill the minimum academic requirements for admission to the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville.
2. All candidates for the M.D. degree must complete all required courses, clerkships, and rotations at UofSC School of Medicine Greenville.
3. All candidates for admission and all candidates for the M.D. degree must possess sufficient physical, intellectual, interpersonal, social, emotional, psychological, and communication abilities to:
- establish appropriate relationships with a wide range of faculty members, professional colleagues, and patients. Candidates should possess the personal qualities of integrity, empathy, concern for the welfare of others, commitment to life-long learning, and motivation. They must possess the emotional and psychological health required for the full use of their intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities associated with the diagnosis and care of patients; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, patients' families, and professional colleagues. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to be flexible, and to function in the face of ambiguities inherent in any clinical situation. Candidates must be able to speak, to hear, to read, to write, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, to describe changes in mood, activity, posture, and behavior, and to perceive nonverbal communications. Candidates must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in the English language in oral and written form with all members of the health care team. Candidates must be mobile and able to function independently within the clinical environment.
- obtain a medical history and perform physical and mental examinations with a wide variety of patients. Candidates must be able to observe patients accurately both close at hand and at a distance. Observation requires the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities and is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell. Candidates must have sufficient exteroceptive sense (touch, pain, and temperature), proprioceptive sense (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, and vibratory), and motor function to carry out the requirements of the physical examination. Candidates must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic operations. They must be able to use effectively and in a coordinated manner those standard instruments necessary for a physical examination (e.g., stethoscope, otoscope, sphygmomanometer, ophthalmoscope, and reflex hammer). Candidates must be able to execute motor movements required to provide general and emergency treatment to patients, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, application of pressure to stop bleeding, intubation, suturing of simple wounds, and performance of obstetrical maneuvers; all such actions require coordination of both fine and gross muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
- conduct tests and perform laboratory work. Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations, collect data, and participate in dissection of cadavers; examination of specimens in anatomy, pathology and neuroanatomy laboratories; and microscopic study of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. They must be able to understand and interpret basic laboratory studies, draw arterial and venous blood, and carry out diagnostic procedures (e.g., NG tube placement; lumbar puncture; thoracentesis paracentesis).
- ultimately make logical diagnostic and therapeutic judgments. Candidates must be able to make measurements, calculate, and reason; to analyze, integrate, and synthesize data; and to problem-solve. Candidates must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. Candidates must be able to integrate rapidly, consistently, and accurately all data received by whatever sense(s) employed.
In evaluating candidates for admission and candidates for the M.D. degree, it is essential that the integrity of the curriculum be maintained, that those elements deemed necessary for the education of a physician be preserved, and that the health and safety of patients be maintained. While compensation, modification, and accommodation can be made for some disabilities on the part of candidates, candidates must be able to perform the duties of a student and of a physician in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary would compromise a candidate's judgment by another person's powers of selection and observation. Therefore, the use of trained intermediaries to assist students in meeting the technical standards for admission, retention, or graduation is not permitted.
The UofSC School of Medicine Greenville will consider for admission any candidate who has the ability to perform or to learn to perform the skills and abilities specified in these technical standards. Candidates for the M.D. degree will be assessed at regular intervals not only on the basis of their academic abilities, but also on the basis of their non-academic (physical, interpersonal, communication, psychological, and emotional) abilities to meet the requirements of the curriculum and to graduate as skilled and effective medical practitioners.
Admission and promotion at UofSC School of Medicine Greenville is conditional on the candidate’s willingness and ability to satisfy the technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation.
Admitted candidates who have a disability and require accommodations should contact the Manager of Student Affairs and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions as soon as the offer of admission is accepted. Evaluating and facilitating accommodation requests is a collaborative effort between the candidate, UofSC School of Medicine Greenville, and the UofSC Student Disability Resource Center.
It is the responsibility of a candidate with a disability to provide sufficiently current information documenting the nature and extent of his/her disability, any previous accommodation(s) received, and the functional limitations proposed to be accommodated. UofSC School of Medicine Greenville reserves the right to request new or additional information.
Should an accepted candidate or student develop a condition that would place him/her, patients or others at risk or that may require a need for accommodation, an evaluation with UofSC School of Medicine Greenville and the UofSC Student Disability Resource Center may be necessary. As in initial assessments, a complete and careful reconsideration of all the skills, attitudes, and attributes of each accepted candidate or student will be performed. This includes an assessment of his/her willingness, desire and ability to complete the medical curriculum, and will be informed by the fact that students with varied types of disabilities have the ability to become successful medical professionals.
A background check will be performed for each applicant upon acceptance to the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville. The background check is performed by an external vendor and is completed automatically when an Acceptance Action is entered into the application system, AMCAS. The background check is reviewed by the Manager of Admissions and Registration. If satisfactory, the background check will be saved to the applicant's electronic file. If the applicant does not pass one or more components of the background check, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions may meet with the applicant to discuss the results. Upon further evaluation of the background check results, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions has the authority to rescind the acceptance.
Academic Requirements for the MD Degree
Upon recommendation by the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville faculty, the UofSC will confer the degree of Doctor of Medicine upon candidates who have completed the graduation requirements as described in the Graduation Requirements policy.
- attained the School's educational objectives as evidenced by satisfactory completion of prescribed basic science modules and clinical clerkships and electives and acquisition of all required clinical skills.
- passed Steps 1 and 2-CK (Clinical Knowledge) of the USMLE.
- discharged all financial obligations to the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville and to the University of South Carolina
A medical school ensures that the medical education program has a single set of core standards for the advancement and graduation of all medical students. A medical school ensures that there is a fair and formal process for taking any action that may affect the status of a medical student, including timely notice of the impending action, disclosure of the evidence on which the action would be based, an opportunity for the medical student to respond, and an opportunity to appeal any adverse decision related to advancement, graduation, or dismissal.
This Student Evaluation, Remediation, Requirements for Promotion, and Appeal policy outlines and ensures that there is a fair and formal process for taking any action that may affect the status of a medical student, including timely notice of the impending action, disclosure of the evidence on which the action would be based, an opportunity for the medical student to respond, and an opportunity to appeal any adverse decision related to advancement, graduation, or dismissal.
Honor and Professionalism Policy
The purpose of the Honor and Professionalism System of UofSC School of Medicine Greenville is to promote and maintain the basic ethical and professional principles paramount to the success of a student preparing for the profession of Medicine. The Honor and Professionalism System obligates medical students, as future physicians and representatives of the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville, to conduct themselves with honor and integrity in all aspects of their lives. There are three aspects of the Honor and Professionalism System:
- UofSC Policy STAF 6.25: Academic Responsibility - The Honor Code
- UofSC Policy STAF 6.26: Student Code of Conduct
- UofSC School of Medicine Greenville STAF 5.01 Expectation of Personal and Professional Conduct, which includes the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville Statement of Professionalism
The Honor and Professionalism System is introduced to new medical classes each year at M1 Orientation, and each student is asked to sign a statement acknowledging that they have been informed of the Policies and Procedures of the Honor and Professionalism System. The acceptance of the Honor Code assures that the integrity of students is unquestioned and accepted by all in the academic, clinical and research communities. The Honor and Professionalism Council (HPC) is a committee of medical students elected from the second, third, and fourth year classes with endorsement by the Dean. It functions to ensure the upholding of the Honor and Professionalism System for all actions that directly bear upon students and their relationships with their colleagues, faculty, patients, the institution and the community. Every student enrolled at UofSC School of Medicine Greenville is expected to abide by the Honor and Professionalism System at all times while on the campuses of UofSC School of Medicine Greenville, partner health system campus, as well as off campus and in the community. The UofSC Policy STAF 6.26: Student Code of Conduct extends to incidents off campus which may adversely affect the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville community or which may affect the school’s pursuit of its mission. Any conduct within the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville community that undermines the spirit of the Honor and Professionalism System is a violation. Specific incidents will be considered with regard to the context in which they occur, the alleged infraction, and the magnitude of the alleged offense. Violations of the Honor Code, Professionalism or Student Code of Conduct standards include, but are not limited to:
- Lying - including any form of dishonesty or misrepresentation, omission, fabrication or falsification of documents or clinical reports
- Cheating - using or attempting to use any unauthorized materials, devices or study aids in or prior to an examination, OSCE or any other academic work. Giving or receiving any unauthorized assistance in the completion of any examination, OSCE or other academic work as well as preventing or attempting to prevent others from using authorized materials
- Plagiarism or copyright violation
- Violations of the Chemical Dependency policy
- Unprofessional behavior, including but not limited to, any breach of patient confidentiality
- Inappropriate conduct on campus, in the community or via social media (includes following UofSC School of Medicine Greenville policy related to COVID-19 related physical distancing and face covering requirements)
- Repeated lack of accountability
The Honor and Professionalism System policy further describes the reporting process, investigation, and appeal process.
Other Requirements for the MD Degree
The UofSC School of Medicine Greenville requires that all students, upon matriculation and annually thereafter, have certain immunizations as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and our partner health system.
As part of the onboarding process and prior to matriculation, students will be required to upload (to myClinicalExchange) immunization records that have been verified by a licensed health provider. In order to ensure the health and safety of students and patients in both the classroom and clinical settings, students must provide the following immunization records or laboratory serology titers:
- Measles (Rubeola), Mumps, Rubella (MMR): Two doses of MMR vaccine or positive serology documenting immunity to each.
- Polio: Positive titer or at least three doses of IPV and/or OPV.
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap): One dose of adult Tdap vaccine; if last Tdap is more than 10 years old, date of last Td and Tdap must be provided. •
- Tuberculosis (TB): Students must provide documentation for one of the following:
- Two-Step PPD test completed within 90 days of start of M1 Orientation OR
- Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) test drawn within 90 days of start of M1Orientation.
- Chest X-ray: Only required when a student has a history of a positive PPD or IGRA. Chest xray must be performed within 90 days prior to orientation. A TB Screening Form must also be completed.
- Note: A student with a history of BCG vaccination must still provide evidence of TB screening. •
- Varicella: Two doses of Varicella vaccine or positive serology.
- Hepatitis-B: One of the following:
- 3-series vaccine and a Quantitative Hep B Surface Antibody (titer) documenting immunity
- 2-series vaccine (documentation must include the brand of the vaccine – Heplisav) and a Quantitative Hep B Surface Antibody (titer) documenting immunity
- Vaccine non-responder: Evaluation by Health System Partner
- Meningococcal: Students are strongly encouraged to obtain the conjugated meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) prior to matriculation.
- Hepatitis A: Students are strongly encouraged to obtain two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine prior to matriculation.
- Influenza: Annually, students are required to obtain an influenza vaccination.
The Employee Health & Wellness department at the Health System Partner provides vaccination clinics for all campus employees and medical students. Students may obtain their vaccination from Employee Health & Wellness or another provider and submit documentation to the Office for Student Affairs and Admissions. Information on allergies or other contraindications to any of the above immunizations is available from Employee Health & Wellness department at the Health System Partner. More details are available regarding the Required Immunization policy here.
Required Health and Disability Insurance
All UofSC School of Medicine Greenville students are required to have health insurance and disability throughout the duration of their education. Student health insurance is automatically added to each semester’s tuition bill. Students who have an equivalent/alternate health insurance plan may waive the university student insurance and its associated fee by submitting a fee waiver request and documenting proof of adequate medical insurance. Students must opt out of the student insurance each semester or it will be automatically billed to their tuition. At matriculation, students are automatically enrolled in a third-party disability insurance plan; annual premiums are added as a fee to the fall semester tuition bill. The disability plan pays a monthly benefit if a student becomes disabled due to a qualifying event and includes a provision to pay off the student’s loans (maximum of $200K). More information about the benefits and cost of the health and disability insurance plans, including information about requesting a waiver to the University-sponsored health insurance plan is available on the UofSC Student Health Services website and the Required Health and Disability Insurance policy here.
Mandatory HIPAA training is required during medical school orientation and annually thereafter. Compliance with the training schedule is tracked by the Office for Student Affairs and Admissions.