Requirements for Graduation

Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Medicine must have fulfilled the following conditions:

Albany Medical College Graduation Objectives

Graduates who achieve the M.D. degree from Albany Medical College are expected to demonstrate the knowledge and skills to practice patient centered, culturally sensitive care while respecting the relationship between the needs of society and the needs of the individual. With this foundation for the practice of medicine, Albany Medical College requires that each graduating student demonstrate the following abilities in order to be deemed competent to undertake  further training in graduate medical education programs.

Medical knowledge
Students must demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and associated sciences (e.g. epidemiological and social-behavioral) and application of this knowledge to the practice of medicine throughout the life cycle.

The student is expected to exhibit the ability to:

  • Apply the scientific basis of normal human development, structure and function from a biologic, psychological and social perspective to concepts of health and disease.
  • Link biochemical, physiological, neurological and immunological mechanisms to the pathophysiology of the diseases of the organ systems as they relate to health and disease.
  • Gather appropriate historical information to evaluate and detect clinically significant situations.
  • Apply appropriate concepts of the epidemiology of disease on an individual and population basis.
  • Describe the significance of common diagnostic modalities to appropriate clinical situations, for example: imaging, electrocardiograms, blood and urine chemistries, pathologic studies and functional assessment tests.
  • Apply the principles and facts that enable the assessment of the health status of patient populations.
  • Recognize the differences and understand the importance of a patient’s belief system, values, language, religion and health practices that impact care for a culturally diverse population.
  • Apply pharmacological principles to medical therapeutics.
  • Apply principles of nutrition for maintaining optimal health and managing disease.
  • Discuss the scientific method as it relates to basic, scientific and translational research.
  • Assess and evaluate the role of immunology and microbiology in health and disease.

Patient care
Students must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of illness and the promotion of health.

The student is expected to exhibit the ability to:

  • Conduct a patient centered encounter that demonstrates the recognition of a patient’s needs and the time constraints of the encounter.
  • Perform a history and physical examination that is tailored to the presentation of the patient and based on an understanding of the pathophysiology and social considerations.
  • Recognize medical errors in the care of patients and develop tactics to correct, communicate and prevent them.
  • Analyze the factors that may serve as obstacles to the patient’s health maintenance and the treatment of disease.
  • Consider the genetic processes and environmental influences on preventive health, diagnosis of disease and treatment possibilities.
  • Apply risk reduction strategies for the patient that enables disease prevention and health maintenance.
  • Develop a plan to manage the patient’s health and disease from a team-based approach.
  • Access biomedical information resources to support evidenced based health care.
  • Detail an approach to patients with chronic disease that recognizes the patient’s life situation and elements of disease control.
  • Describe how the principles of complementary medicine apply to patient care.
  • Assess the urgency of a clinical situation so as to benefit the patient.
  • Revise and re-evaluate the patient’s tentative hypothesis and treatment plan based on new information.
  • Perform common medical procedures necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Interpersonal and Communication skills
Students must display interpersonal and communication skills that foster effective information exchange and build rapport with patients, their families, and professional associates.

The student is expected to exhibit the ability to:

  • Demonstrate interpersonal skills that serve as the building blocks for the patient-doctor relationship.
  • Demonstrate empathic, respectful and non judgmental approaches to patient care.
  • Accurately document and communicate clinical information to physicians, nurses, midlevel providers and the patient through notes, formal history and physical write –ups and in oral presentations.
  • Communicate medical errors to patients, health providers and families.
  • Teach peers, other health professional, patients and families
  • Collaborate with patients, families and medical care teams.
  • Address emotionally charged and sensitive issues in a compassionate, empathic and non judgmental manner, for example, giving bad news, sexual histories, screening for addiction, assessing violence and abuse etc.
  • Establish a care plan and communicate the plan to patients and their families to affect change in behavior.
  • Detail the principles necessary to obtain informed consent and demonstrate the ability to obtain informed consent.

Practice-based learning and improvement
Students must be able to examine and evaluate their patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and use this information to improve their abilities while developing strategies to use these skills to continuously improve their care of patients.

The student is expected to exhibit the ability to:

  • Demonstrate life-long learning to enable adequate care for patients, participate in patient education, and pursue scholarly endeavors.
  • Demonstrate skills in self-directed learning including the ability to: identify areas of deficiency in one’s own knowledge and skills; find appropriate educational resources; evaluate personal learning progress; and learn and apply the scientific method.
  • Incorporate computer-based techniques and electronic data bases to acquire new information and resources for learning and the care of patients.
  • Describe and assess common scientific methodologies used in clinical relevant medical research.
  • Use evidence – based approaches as tools to determine if new findings, therapies and technologies are appropriate for incorporation into practice.
  • Translate questions that arise in clinical practice into formal research hypotheses.
  • Use clinical guidelines and decision support systems to make clinical decisions.
  • Determine the validity and applicability of published data through critical appraisal.
  • Describe and utilize quality continuous improvement methodology.

Systems-based practice
Students must demonstrate knowledge of and responsiveness to the larger context of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value to the health of the individual and of the community.

The student is expected to exhibit the ability to:

  • Identify the structure and function of the health care delivery and insurance systems currently used in North America.
  • Describe how payment systems for medical care affect decision making and care provision, and discuss the delivery of quality care in the face of reimbursement restrictions.
  • Discuss the social, economic and political factors affecting the patterns of health care delivery, using the differences and similarity of rural, inner city and suburban health care in New York State as a model for discussion.
  • Describe and apply cost – effectiveness analysis to specific instances of diagnosis and treatment of disease and health promotion.
  • Detail and utilize the principles of medical record keeping.
  • Detail the principles of  the electronic medical record and demonstrate the ability to use an electronic medical record.
  • Discuss how and why consultation should be used in medical practice.
    Identify and demonstrate the use of resources and ancillary health care services for patient situations  with social and economic barriers to access
  • Describe the role of physician as a health care advocate using knowledge of the healthcare system and the financial and social constraints to its use.

Students must demonstrate a commitment to the highest standards of professional responsibility, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity in all interactions with patients, families, colleagues, and others with whom physicians must interact in their professional lives.

The student is expected to exhibit the ability to:

  • Show compassion in the treatment of patients and respect for their privacy, dignity and beliefs
  • Demonstrate personal integrity, ethical behavior and altruism
  • Deal with uncertainty
  • Demonstrate skills in effectively reconciling conflicts
  • Discuss with sensitivity the ethical issues involved in clinical practice and the use of human subjects in clinical research
  • Receive constructive feedback as part of peer and self –assessment of professional behaviors.
  • Describe and reflect on the appropriate coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, intellectual uncertainty, interpersonal conflict and issues related to power.
  • Describe and utilize basic ethical concepts and approaches to identify and analyze the ethical dimensions of common situations in medical practice.
  • Discuss the conflicts between caring for an individual patient and caring for a population.
  • Recognize and articulate the obligation of the health care system and providers to the health of society, locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Describe the importance of physicians as leaders in health care locally, regionally and nationally.

In addition,reached the age of 21 years and be of good moral character, as required by law

Been enrolled at least four academic years as full-time medical students

Completed satisfactorily the required work and passed the prescribed examinations. Students in the combined degree programs with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Union College and Siena College must successfully complete all undergraduate course requirements.

All students must pass the USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 including USMLE Step 2CS to graduate.  All students must take and record a score for the USMLE Step 1 prior to advancing to the 3rd year.

Discharged all financial obligations to the College, including the College Bookstore

Satisfied all requirements of the Student Health Service

Cleared any outstanding obligations with the:

  • Schaffer Library
  • Office of Academic Services
  • Cashier's Office
  • Security Office
  • Financial Aid Office
  • College Mail Room
  • Student Records Office

Students who have complied with these regulations are recommended to the Board of Trustees of Albany Medical College for the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Attendance at the Annual Commencement Exercises is required for all degree candidates. Degrees can be conferred in absentia only upon prior approval obtained from the Office of the Dean.

Prior to graduation, a faculty committee reviews the academic performance of all students to ascertain which students, if any, merit the receipt of the degree of Doctor of Medicine with Honors. Honors are classified as Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude. Uniformly high levels of academic performance, completion of creditable research and other academic and personal characteristics are considered in extending these honors.

MD with Distinction
The degree of Doctor of Medicine with Distinction in Research may be awarded to selected students who satisfy the rigorous requirements established for this degree. Information concerning this honor is available from the Graduate Studies Program Office.

Licensing Exams
A graduate of Albany Medical College who wishes to obtain a license to practice medicine must take the United States Medical Licensing Examinations. Graduates of the College are admitted unconditionally to these examinations.

Residency and Fellowship Programs
Upon completion of medical school and participation in the National Resident Matching Program, a student enters the world of Graduate Medical Education (GME) in one of the clinical specialties that provide three to seven years of advanced clinical training leading to eligibility for certification by the various specialty boards. Fellowships for additional clinical or research training in the subspecialty disciplines are also available at the Albany Medical Center for those residents who plan to pursue an academic, research or subspecialty-oriented career.

Guided by our mission and our strategic plan, Albany Medical Center maintains an institutional commitment to excellence in medical education, biomedical research and patient care. Our obligation to medical education and to you includes our promise that you will be offered challenges commensurate with your enthusiasm and appetite for knowledge.

Those interested in the details of residency and fellowship programs at the Albany Medical Center Hospital may write directly to:

Graduate Medical Education
Albany Medical Center
43 New Scotland Avenue, Mail Code 50
Albany, New York 12208-3478