Admissions Requirements

The School of Medicine endorses the general policy of the Medical Sciences Campus in encouraging its applicants to seek the broadest cultural formation available prior to their training in the field of the health professions. Candidates are admitted to the freshman class of the School of Medicine on a competitive basis. The applicant must comply and present evidence of the successful completion of the following requirements for admission:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a college or university accredited by the Council of Higher
    Education or the corresponding US accrediting agency.
  • Minimum general grade point average of 2.50, based on an A=4.00 scale
    (includes all courses in taken at college/university level).
  • Minimum science grade point average of 2.50, based on an A=4.00 scale (includes all courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics taken at college/university level).
  • Total course work must include the following:
Course

Hours

Comments

General Chemistry 8  semester  hours or 12 quarter hours
Organic Chemistry 8  semester  hours or 12 quarter hours
 

 

Physics

 

 

8  semester  hours or 12 quarter hours

These requirements  are in addition to the basic introductory courses required at some
colleges or universities.    Basic introductory courses in the Physical Sciences may not be
substituted  for  the  particular  credit  hours stipulated.
 

 

Biology

 

 

8  semester  hours or 12 quarter hours

These requirements are in addition to the basic introductory courses required at some colleges or universities.   Basic introductory
courses in the Biological Sciences may not be substituted for the particular credit hours
stipulated.
Course

Hours

Comments

 

 

Spanish

 

12 semester  hours or 18 quarter hours

Six  (6)  semester  hours  in  Advanced  or
Honor courses in Spanish acceptable to the Admissions Committee and approved with a grade of A or B per semester may substitute for the twelve (12) semester hours required.
 

 

English

 

12 semester  hours or 18 quarter hours

Six  (6)  semester  hours  in  Advanced  or
Honor courses in English acceptable to the Admissions Committee and approved with a grade of A or B per semester may substitute for the twelve (12) semester hours required.
 

Behavioral and Social Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Political Sciences, Economics, Ethics or Anthropology)

 

 

 

12 semester  hours or 18 quarter hours

These requirements are in addition to the basic introductory courses required at some
colleges or universities.   Basic introductory
courses in the Social Sciences may not be substituted for the particular credit hours stipulated.  For applicants who began their college/university  work  before  June  1996, the Behavioral and Social Sciences requirement are 6 semester hours or 9 quarter hours.

Courses included in the new MCAT content and strongly recommended prior entering to the medical school: Biochemistry, Psychology, Sociology plus the already required sciences courses such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

  • All academic requirements must be completed not later than the end of the second semester of the academic year preceding admission, excluding the summer session of that year. Admitted candidates will have their admission revoked if they fail to comply with this requirement.

  • Our curriculum is conducted in English and Spanish, and patient interactions are nearly always conducted in Spanish, therefore, demonstrated fluency in speaking, reading and writing both languages is required. Applicants must select language courses which develop writing and reading comprehension skills.
  • Working knowledge in computers and its applications (computer literacy) is required, given the integration of computer technology in the medical curriculum.
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) must be taken not later the September of the year before admission. An MCAT taken after that date will not be considered in the selection process for the entering class of a given year. The test will be valid for three (3) years. The web site is: www.aamc.org/mcat

APPLICATION PROCESS

American Medical College Application Services (AMCAS):

Applications to our School of Medicine are processed through the American Medical College Application Services (AMCAS), a centralized application service for applicants to first year classes at participating US Medical Schools. The web site is: www.aamc.org/students/amcas

The complete application must be processed by AMCAS between June 1st before December 1st of the year prior to admission. We urge candidate to submit the AMCAS Web Application with enough time in order to considered before December 1st, the absolute deadlines. DEADLINE EXTENSIONS WILL NOT BE GRANTED.

University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences Campus Application:

In addition to the AMCAS application, all applicants who are permanent residents of Puerto Rico must complete and submit between the September 1st and December 1st deadline the University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences Campus Application Form, together with the payment of the $20.00 non-refundable application fee established at our institution. Payment should be made online or by check or money order payable to the University of Puerto Rico. If payment is made directly at the Collection Office; VISA, MasterCard, American Express or ATH may also be used.

APPLICATION MAY BE REQUESTED AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

https://sistemas.rcm.upr.edu/admisiones/

APPLICATION SUBMITTED AFTER THE
DECEMBER 1ST DEADLINE, WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
DEADLINE EXTENSIONS WILL NOT BE GRANTED.

Other Required Documents:

a. One (1) official transcript from each college attended to be sent directly to the Central Office of Admissions not later than December 1st of the year prior to admission, the absolute deadline.

b. One (1) completed Premedical Evaluation Form from the Premedical Committee of the college of attendance or three (3) recommendations from your current professors to be sent directly to the Central Office of Admissions not later than December 1st deadlines. The school’s official format designed for this purpose must be used. To obtain the official format, access this link.

c. It is required that interview candidates bring a portfolio that could include documents that evidence your participation in extracurricular activities (research, community service, leadership and scholarly activities).

d. An additional official transcript including the current academic year’s first semester grades must be received at the Central Office of Admissions before February 15 of the year in which you are seeking admission. In the meantime, you must submit a copy of the personal grade report as soon as it is available at the end of the first semester.

FAILURES TO COMPLY WITH ALL THE ABOVE MENTIONED REQUIREMENTS AND DOCUMENTS BY THE ESTABLISHED DEADLINES, WILL LEAD TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE REJECTION.

Please  mail the required documents to the following address:

Admissions Office
Medicine I UPR
Medical Sciences Campus
PO BOX 365067
San Juan, PR 00936-5067

Telephone: (787) 758-2525, Exts. 5231 or 5215
Fax: (787) 282-7117

SELECTION CRITERIA

Since the University of Puerto Rico – School of Medicine is a state supported institution;
preference will be given to qualified applicants who are legal residents of Puerto Rico.

Highly qualified Puerto Rico non-residents must demonstrate strong ties to Puerto Rico. To determine strong residential ties to Puerto Rico, the Committee on Admission will review the applicant’s birthplace, high school attended, college attended and parent’s legal residence. An applicant who meets three (3) of the four (4) categories demonstrates strong ties to Puerto Rico.

Foreign national applicants with an established legal residence in Puerto Rico will only considered if, at the time of application, they are either US citizens or have been granted a permanent resident VISA in the United States.

The Admissions Committee of the School of Medicine will consider the following selection factors in screening qualified applicants, according to a formula established and approved by the Academic Senate of the Medical Sciences Campus:

Academic Performance determined by:

a. General and Science Grade Point Average
b. Science and Mathematics courses, in addition to the required ones, approved with a grade of B or above
c. Consistency in general grade point average
d. The number of withdrawals as evidenced in the official transcript

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT):

a. All test areas of assessment are taken into consideration.

Non-academic applicants characteristics (motivation, reliability, integrity, sensitivity towards other, creativity, maturity, perseverance, ability to tolerate frustration- resiliency) expressed in numerical indices, derived from two (2) sources:

a. Recommendation from the Premedical Committee or three (3) from current professors are required.
b. After an initial screening of all other selection factors, the Admissions Committee will determine which candidates will be invited for a personal interview.

ACCEPTANCE

To guarantee enrollment upon acceptance, the candidate must make a $100.00 non- refundable deposit within 15 days of receipt of notice, together with a written acknowledgment. The student must comply with the requirements specified in the letter of admission, and abide by the recommendations of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) as stated in the current edition of the “Medical School Admission Requirements” book.

TIMETABLE FOR ADMISSION

Filling of AMCAS Application, University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences Campus
Application and other required documents:

Earliest date for AMCAS: June 1st (year before admission)
Earliest date for UPR-MSC: September 1st. (year before admission) Latest date for both applications: December 1st (year before admission)

ESTIMATED FEES AND EXPENSES PER YEAR

Tuition fees are due and payable at the beginning of each school year and students will not be admitted to classes until these fees have been paid.

Component Medicine I Medicine II Medicine III Medicine IV
Tuition and Academic Fees

$9,350 Tuition fee: $9,101Maintenance fee: $141Laboratory fee: $33Technology fee: $75

$9,317 Tuition fee: $9,101Maintenance fee: $141Technology fee: $75

$9,317 Tuition fee: $9,101Maintenance fee: $141Technology fee: $75

$9,317 Tuition fee: $9,101Maintenance fee: $141Technology fee: $75
Materials for
Academic
Work
 

$6,478

 

$9,849

 

$9,206

 

$5,043

Room and
Board
 

$12,645

 

$12,645

 

$12,645

 

$12,645

Transportation

$1,143

$1,143

$1,143

$1,143

Other Miscellaneous Expenses  

$1,484

 

$1,484

 

$1,484

 

$1,484

TOTAL $31,100 $34,438 $33,795 $29,632

Click on the following link to download the Application for Admission to Advanced Standing.

The UPR School of Medicine will consider applications for transfer to the third year level from students who attend Liaison Committee on Medical Education accredited medical schools in Puerto Rico or mainland USA.

Candidates must access the application for admission to advanced standing and follow the policies for application and selection to advanced standing for students from other Liaison Committee on Medical Education accredited medical schools. Candidates must consider the transfer credit equivalencies prior to application submission.Related documments could be downloaded on the Institutional Documents link.

Technical Standards for Medical School Admission, Retention, Promotion and Graduation

Overview

Schools of Medicine face the challenge to provide their students with the necessary updated scientific knowledge available, while at the same time guide them toward the acquisition of the skills and abilities, attitudes and behaviors needed for the profession. This process of medical education markedly differs from the educational process in other fields precisely in the need to develop these attributes that are specific to the medical profession.

The responsibility to select the best and most qualified candidates for medical school, as well as the development of a curricular experience that will allow these candidates to succeed and graduate as the best possible physicians, rely in the faculty. It is for this reason that the Faculty of the School of Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico (hereafter UPR-SOM) has developed rules and regulations to guide the selection process for admission. Equally, it has developed standards as pre-requisites for admission and graduation.

The UPR-SOM has clearly defined its academic standards in documents such as the Medical Sciences Campus Registrar Manual and the Policies and Guidelines for the Academic Evaluation and Advancement of Medical Students. Key academic standards defined in these documents include: the definition of good academic standing; the policies that govern academic progress, evaluation, promotion and graduation; conditions for counseling; and the determination of the maximum time allowed for completion of the M.D. degree.

The curriculum of the UPR-SOM has been divided into required (essential) courses and electives. All required or essential courses have been designed as part of a whole set of academic experiences that will lead to the acquisition of the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to become an M.D. Each level of knowledge is a pre-requisite to the next level and provides the foundations for it. Successfully participating and completing all phases of the entire medical curriculum is required for all students

Technical Standards

The M.D. degree is a broad degree attesting to the acquisition and mastery of general knowledge in all fields of medicine and the simultaneous development of specific skills, competences and abilities which are requisite for the eventual entry into the practice of the profession and postgraduate training programs. Hence, all graduates of the UPR-SOM must have the essential knowledge and skills to perform adequately in diverse settings and situations and be able to provide a wide spectrum of patient care, safely and effectively.

Technical Standards refer to criteria that go beyond academic requirements for admission (e.g. MCAT, GPA, faculty letters) and are fundamental and essential to meeting the academic requirements of the medical program. In order to fulfill the academic experiences and training at the medical school, students must be able to perform specific behavioral (mental, emotional, social), physical and cognitive/intellectual standards. These standards and expectations represent the minimum requirements for the satisfactory completion of all aspects of the curriculum and the achievement of the attributes needed for graduation. Meeting these standards is required for: entrance and matriculation, subsequent promotion, retention and graduation.

Therefore, all applicants and medical students must meet both the academic standards and the technical standards in order to progress through the medical curriculum and graduate.

The UPR-SOM acknowledges the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and at the same time affirms that technical standards and attributes must be present in all prospective candidates to the M.D. degree. Students with or without disabilities applying to Medical School will be expected to have met the same requirements and will be held to the same fundamental standards. Every reasonable attempt will be made to facilitate the progress of students where it does not compromise the Medical School standards or interfere with the rights of other students and patients. Although acceptable accommodations can be made to deal with some documented handicaps, a candidate to the M.D. degree must be able to perform in an independent manner, either with or without reasonable accommodation for any disability the individual may have. The UPR-SOM believes that a reasonable accommodation that involves the use of an intermediary that would in effect require a student to rely on someone else’s power of selection and observation implies that the student’s actions, decisions and judgment are mediated by someone else and are not a result of the student’s own abilities. The use of this intermediary constitutes cognitive support, substitutes for essential intellectual and clinical skills and supplements clinical and ethical judgment, thus, is not appropriate for the student’s achievement of the curricular goals.

The use of this type of assistance in accomplishing the curricular standards listed in the five categories below, eliminate essential program elements, fundamentally alter the nature of the School’s educational program, lower academic standards and endanger the safety of patients or others. Thus, the use of this intermediary will not be permitted. The UPR-SOM reserves the right to reject any requests for this type of accommodation.
All candidates for the M.D. degree must possess essential skills, abilities and aptitudes necessary to complete the medical school curriculum successfully in five major areas:

  • Observation
  • Communication
  • Motor
  • Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
  • Behavioral, Emotional and Social Attributes

1. OBSERVATION

To carry out observation you need the functional use of the sense of vision, as well as the ability for establishing visual-spatial relations and integrating these to other sensory modalities, (smell, auditory and somatic sensations). Candidates to the M.D. program must be able to perceive and acquire, by the use of senses and mental abilities, defined levels of information as presented through demonstrations and experiences in the learning environments, both in the basic and clinical sciences. Specific examples include, but are no limited to:

  • Visually recognize, understand and interpret instructional materials; efficiently read written documents, books, diagrams and illustrations; observe demonstrations including audiovisual presentations, projected slides, films, videos, overheads, case presentations and patient interviews; efficiently conduct online computer searches.
  • Observe demonstrations, participate actively and conduct experiments in all laboratory exercises, such as anatomic dissection of preserved tissues and cadavers, chemical reactions and representations, physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, microbiologic cultures, gross and microscopic studies of organisms, animal and human tissues, both in normal and pathologic states.
  • Observe, assess and comprehend the condition of all patients assigned, accurately and completely, close at hand and at a reasonable distance, noting non-verbal as well as verbal signs, in order to elicit information for description, examination, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Perceive with acuity and accurately discriminating findings on laboratory data, x-rays and other diagnostic and imaging studies.
  • Detect and identify significant changes in colors of fluids and skin; observe and differentiate changes in body movement and anatomic structures.
  • Discriminate numbers and patterns associated with diagnostic instruments and tests, such as sphygmomanometers and electrocardiograms, and use instruments competently, such as the otoscope, ophthalmoscope, microscope and stethoscope.

2. COMMUNICATION

Skillful communication implies speech, hearing and/or listening, observation, reading and writing, (speak, write, hear, see, read and use a keyboard). A candidate must be able to relate and perceive/assess verbal and non-verbal communication in a sensitive and effective manner with patients, their families, the health team and others under diverse circumstances. In our school a candidate must be able to quickly, clearly, effectively and efficiently communicate and elicit information in both English and Spanish. Communication in both languages includes oral and written, not only with patients, but also with all members of the academic and health care communities.
Medical education presents exceptional challenges in the volume and breadth of required reading and writing; the necessities to elicit, convey, clarify and impart information; create rapport; develop therapeutic relationships and demonstrate competencies. Specific examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Answer oral and written exam questions; present information in oral and written form to preceptors; participate in sometimes fast-paced small-group discussions/interactions; participate in group dissections and pathology labs.
  • Elicit a complete history and physical examination from a patient; detect, understand and interpret physical findings; communicate findings and record histories, physicals, diagnosis, treatment plans and observations legibly and accurately in documents such as the patient record.
  • Accurate describe observed changes in mood activity and posture; recognize and promptly respond to emotional communications such as sadness, worry, agitation, and lack of comprehension of physician’s communication, including facial expression, body language and affection changes.
  • Review and interpret notes prepared by other members of the health care team; complete forms according to directions in a complete and timely fashion.
  • Prepare and communicate concise but complete summaries of individual encounters, including hospitalizations; participate in clinical rounds and conferences; make presentations (formal and informal); daily communications and interactions with healthcare teams; interact in a therapeutic manner with psychiatric patients; talk with patients and families about medical issues; provide educational presentations to patients, families and the community; write notes and papers.

3. MOTOR AND SENSORY

Candidates must have sufficient and adequate gross and fine motor function, coordination, equilibrium and functional use of the senses to be able to gather information from patients as well as to perform certain diagnostic maneuvers and demonstrate competencies. They must be able to elicit information with acuity, accuracy and facility when performing a complete physical examination by observation, palpation, percussion and auscultation. Candidates must have adequate exteroceptive (smell, touch, pain and temperature) and proprioceptive senses (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis and vibratory) as well as the ability to manipulate with precision, at a fine level of movement, patients, medical instruments and equipment.
Medical education requires all candidates to perform in a reasonably independent and competent way, sometimes in chaotic clinical environments, dealing with difficult medical situations, where they must be able to perform movements required to provide general care as well as emergency treatment to patients. Specific examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Transporting themselves from location to location in a timely matter in order to attend and participate in classes, groups and activities which are part of the curriculum; this includes a variety of settings, such as clinical rotations and ambulatory care, medical emergencies, inpatient rounds and overnight calls within the hospital, which require prolonged and rapid movement.
  • Arrive quickly when called to initiate adequate cardiopulmonary resuscitation, intubations and the opening of obstructed airways. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation may require moving an adult patient, repeatedly applying considerable chest pressure, delivering an adequate volume of artificial respiration, and calling for help.
  • Administration of intravenous, intramuscular or subcutaneous medications; application of pressure to stop bleeding; suturing wounds; performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers.
  • Manipulate equipment and instruments to perform basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, complete blood count) and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures (stethoscope, ophthalmoscope, phlebotomy, arterial blood gas drawings, lumbar puncture, arthrocentesis, venipunctures, thoracenteses, paracenteses, endotracheal intubations, tube insertions).
  • Measure angles and diameters of various body structures using tape measure, measure blood pressure and pulse, and interpret graphs describing biologic relationships.
  • Maintain appropriate medical records; acting as assistant in the OR; Use of a computer; use of light microscopes.

4. INTELLECTUAL-CONCEPTUAL, INTEGRATIVE, QUANTITATIVE ABILITIES

Candidates must be able to demonstrate conceptual, intellectual, and integrative abilities necessary for clinical and ethical reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving, and diagnosis (critical skills demanded of physicians). Also, they must demonstrate abilities to carry out and resolve quantitative procedures quickly and accurately (recognize letters and numbers, calculation of doses, interpretation of lab results). This requires abilities for measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, sound judgment, integration, application, collection, organization, assimilation, conceptualization, representation, memorization and synthesis. All candidates must be able to understand and comprehend three dimensional spatial relationships of structures, such as those demonstrated in the anatomy class.

Moreover, the effective physician often must deal with several tasks or problems simultaneously (multi-tasking) and must be able to prioritize and perform these abilities quickly, especially in emergency situations, remaining awake and alert. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Understand, synthesize and recall material presented in classes, labs, small and large groups, patient interactions and meetings with preceptors; recall and retain information in an efficient and timely manner.
  • Successfully pass oral, written, laboratory and computer exams; complete forms according to directions in a complete and timely fashion.
  • Good judgment in patient assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic planning; identify, interpret and integrate significant findings from history, physical examination and laboratory data into differential diagnosis and treatment plans; provide a reasoned explanation for likely diagnoses, construct a reasoned and cost-effective diagnostic plan, and prescribe medications and therapy. Understand indications for various diagnostic tests, treatment modalities and methods for various procedures.
  • Analyze complicated situations, such as cardiac arrest, and determine the appropriate sequence of events to effect successful treatment.
  • Think through medical issues and exhibit sound judgment in a variety of clinical settings, including emergency situations.
  • Make concise, cogent and thorough presentations based on various kinds of data collection, including web-based research; know how to organize information, materials and tasks in order to perform efficiently on service.
  • Identify and communicate the limits of their knowledge to others when appropriate.
  • Incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature in formulating diagnoses and plans.
  • Understanding how to work and learn independently and how to function effectively as part of a healthcare team.
  • Understand ethical issues related to the practice of medicine; getting advice when handling ethical-legal dilemmas; work through genetic problems.
  • Use hospital/clinical resources responsibly.

5. BEHAVIORAL, EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES

Candidates must consistently demonstrate certain personal qualities during admission and during the educational process. These include empathy, compassion, caring, sensitivity to the needs of others, integrity, honesty, fairness, diligence, interest, motivation, good interpersonal skills, dedication, respect for self and others and concern for others. Candidates must be able to develop, and maintain, mature, sensitive, effective and professional relationships with patients, families, members of the medical school community and health care teams.

In addition to these qualities, and in all clinical and academic settings, they must possess the emotional health required to promptly carry out and complete all assigned tasks, to fully utilize their intellectual abilities and to exercise good judgment. At times, this requires the ability to be aware of and appropriately react to one’s own immediate emotional responses. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Show up for required experiences on time and prepared; hand in assignments on time.
  • Refrain form plagiarizing or cheating; respect Institutional Rules and Regulations.
  • Maintain a professional demeanor on service, and be able to function at a high level in the face of personal fatigue, dissatisfied patients and families, tired colleagues and large workloads.
  • Provide comfort and reassurance to patients and families when appropriate while protecting patient confidentiality.
  • Maintain professional conduct when interacting with patients and the families of patients suffering from catastrophic illness, trauma and death; develop empathic listening skills.
  • Possess adequate endurance to tolerate physically, emotionally and mentally demanding workloads; to function effectively under stress, and proactively make use of available resources to help maintain both physical and mental health.
  • Be able to work for extended periods, occasionally with rotating shifts, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.
  • Take responsibility for themselves and their behaviors.
  • Develop successful working relationships with preceptors, staff and peers by accepting constructive feedback, suggestions and criticism and if necessary, with open-mindedness and the intention to improve and modify behavior, if necessary.
  • Contribute to the effectiveness, efficiency and collegiality of healthcare teams.

SUMMARY

In summary, a candidate must be able to integrate information received by the different senses and demonstrate the intellectual ability to learn from it, integrate, analyze and synthesize it to be able to provide and communicate effective and adequate care of patients. The candidates must also be able to demonstrate professionalism, that is, the behaviors and attitudes pertinent to the profession, which will enable them to provide solutions to their patients’ problems.

Candidates must be able to perform all of the above skills within specific timeframes appropriate for academic and clinical settings, in a complete and timely fashion. All students must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner, with or without recommended accommodations for documented disabilities.

All applicants will be asked to review these standards and to sign a form certifying they have read, understand and are able to meet all the Technical Standards of our School.

Any applicant who has a question whether he or she can meet these standards and expectations is strongly recommended to contact the Office for Student Affairs (Office A-873, Tel. 787-764-5740).