MD Program

Contact the Medical Student Counseling Center

1240 MERF
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2600
Phone:(319) 335-8056
Fax: (319) 335-8643

  • Policies for Students with Disabilities

    The University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine makes every effort to ensure that all qualified applicants and students can participate in and take full advantage of all programs and opportunities offered within the University. The University of Iowa gives full consideration to all applicants for admission and does not discriminate in access to its programs and activities on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, disability, marital status, religion, color, or national origin.

    All students enrolled in educational programs at the UI Carver College of Medicine (COM) must possess the intellectual, ethical, physical, and emotional capabilities outlined in the Technical Standards for Admission and Retention. To remain in good academic standing, students with and without disabilities also are required to meet the achievement standards determined by the faculty and profession.

    The technical and achievement standards are not changed or diminished when the College of Medicine provides reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified students with disabilities. An otherwise qualified individual is in good standing with the technical and achievement standards of the COM, but without reasonable accommodations for his or her disability the student would not have equal access to programs and facilities of the COM. Reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and may be described broadly as adjustments in the environment that are made in order to facilitate equal access. In providing such accommodations, the UI Carver College of Medicine recognizes its professional, legal, and moral responsibilities in regard to nondiscrimination.

    The following guidelines apply to students who self-identify a documented disability after formal acceptance as well as those who are identified as or become disabled after enrollment. The Carver College of Medicine strongly encourages students with disabilities to identify themselves as early as possible so that reasonable accommodations for which they may be eligible can be determined and provided. Documents containing disability related information are confidential and are maintained securely in the College of Medicine Counseling Center.

    The UI Carver College of Medicine will be guided by the following policies and procedures:

    A. Self-Identification of Pre-Existing Disability After Acceptance

    • Disclosure of Disability: It is the responsibility of a student who has a documented disability and seeks accommodations to disclose the disability and file a request in writing by the end of the first week of classes. Upon request, students will be provided a Student Disability Disclosure Form from the College of Medicine Counseling Center. A completed copy of this form is to be submitted to the Director of the Medical Student Counseling Center. To maintain confidentiality, all materials pertaining to the disability status of students will be retained by the Counseling Center.
    • Statement of Understanding: Students will be provided and asked to sign a Statement of Understanding that specifies the need for formal documentation of their disability, how the information will be used to determine accommodations at the College of Medicine, with whom it will be shared, and the limits of confidentiality.
    • Signed Release(s) of Information: Students who do not possess the appropriate documentation of their disability will be asked to sign a Release of Information form so that a copy of the professional report documenting his or her disability may be obtained directly from the evaluating professional and forwarded to the College of Medicine Counseling Center.
    • Documentation of Disability: A qualified professional must provide complete documentation of a student’s disability, including its functional impact and recommended accommodation(s). The COM reserves the right to determine who is qualified to assess a disability and may request documentation to verify professional qualifications. The student assumes financial responsibility for the costs related to this documentation. The information provided by the professional must reflect the student’s current status, be factual, objective, and technically valid, and must establish clearly that the disability substantially limits one or more of the student’s major life activities. The professional who evaluated the student should identify specific options for the management of the disability.
    • Review of Report by Disability Accommodations Committee: After the student has signed the Student Disability Disclosure Form, the Statement of Understanding, the Release of Information Form: Formal Assessment Request (if applicable), and complete documentation of the disability has been received by the College of Medicine Counseling Center, the student seeking accommodations will be asked to sign a Release of Information Form: Disability Accommodations Committee. This document gives the Counseling Center staff permission to discuss pertinent evaluative information with the Disability Accommodations Committee so that the student’s eligibility status may be reviewed fully and confidentially.
    • Disability Accommodations Committee Decision: The Accommodations Committee will review the student’s request for accommodation(s). Unless otherwise specified by the student requesting accommodations, Committee members will hold all personal information received in confidence.  Based on information provided by the diagnosing professional, the Committee will review the student’s request and eligibility for accommodations, and will provide a written response explaining the limits of the accommodations granted, the need for additional testing, or why the request was denied. If the Disability Accommodations Committee requests additional testing to determine eligibility, the student will be responsible financially for obtaining this information. The UI Carver College of Medicine reserves the right to request as much detailed diagnostic information from the student and/or professional(s) as necessary to assess the scope of the disability and/or appropriateness of accommodations. Staff members from the College of Medicine Counseling Center will help students obtain the additional documentation and, upon request, will provide a list of professional referrals.
    • Appeals Process: A student who has requested accommodations for a disability and believes he or she improperly has been denied and/or discriminated against on the basis of his or her disability may submit a formal, written appeal to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. This document should be submitted within ten working days after receipt of the Disability Accommodations Committee’s initial decision.

    As needed, the Associate Dean may assemble an appeals committee. Within ten working days following receipt of the student’s formal appeal, the Appeals Committee will evaluate and provide to the student a written copy of the decision whether to grant or deny requested accommodations. In rare situations, the appeals committee may have the option to send the student’s request back to the Accommodations Committee for further deliberation.

    B. Identification and/or Disclosure of a Disability After Coursework is in Progress

    • Initial Consultation: A student who is experiencing academic difficulties and would like to consider the possibility of disability accommodations should make an appointment with one of the counselors at the College of Medicine Counseling Center. If a formal assessment is indicated, the student will be assisted in the process of finding a qualified professional to assess the scope of current difficulties. The student will assume financial responsibility for the cost of the assessment.
    • Evaluation Indicating Disability: If the student receives a professional evaluation and results
      identify the presence of an impairment/disability, then the student may elect to request accommodations.
    • Disclosure of Disability: Once a disability has been identified and a student has made the decision to seek accommodations, he/she is responsible to disclose it in writing. Students will be provided a Student Disability Disclosure Form from the College of Medicine Counseling Center. A completed copy of this form is to be submitted to one of the Director of the Medical Student Counseling Center. To maintain confidentiality, all materials pertaining to the disability status of students will be retained by the Counseling Center.
    • Statement of Understanding: A student will be provided and asked to sign a statement of understanding that specifies the need for formal documentation of his or her disability, how the information will be used to determine accommodations at the College, with whom it will be shared, and the limits of confidentiality.
    • Signed Releases of Information: A student will be asked to sign a release of information so that documentation regarding his or her disability status may be obtained directly from the evaluating professional and forwarded to the UI Carver College of Medicine Counseling Center.
    • Documentation of Disability: A qualified professional must provide complete documentation of a disability, including its functional impact and recommended accommodation(s). The COM reserves the right to determine who is qualified to assess a disability and may request documentation to verify professional qualifications. The student assumes financial responsibility for the costs related to this documentation. The information provided by the professional must reflect the student’s current status, be factual, objective, and technically valid, and must establish clearly that the disability substantially limits one or more of the student’s major life activities. The professional who evaluated the student should identify specific options for the management of the disability.
    • Review of Report by Disability Accommodations Committee: After the student has signed the Student Disability Disclosure Form, the Statement of Understanding, the Release of Information Form: Formal Assessment Request (if applicable), and complete documentation of the disability has been received by the Carver College of Medicine Counseling Center, the student seeking accommodations will be asked to sign a Release of Information Form: Disability Accommodations Committee. This document gives the Counseling Center staff permission to discuss pertinent evaluative information with the Disability Accommodations Committee so that that student’s eligibility status may be reviewed fully and confidentially.
    • Disability Accommodations Committee Decision: The Accommodations Committee will review the student’s request for accommodation(s). Unless otherwise specified by the student requesting accommodations, Committee members will hold all personal information received in confidence. Based on information provided by the diagnosing professional, the Committee will review the student’s request and eligibility for accommodations, and will provide a written response explaining the limits of the accommodations granted, the need for additional testing, or why the request was denied. If the Disability Accommodations Committee requests additional testing to determine eligibility, the student financially will be responsible for obtaining this information. The College of Medicine reserves the right to request as much detailed diagnostic information from the student and/or professional(s) as necessary adequately to assess the scope of the disability and/or the appropriateness of accommodations. Staff members from the College of Medicine Counseling Center will help students obtain the additional documentation and, upon request, will provide a list of professional referrals.
    • Appeals Process: A student who has requested accommodations for a disability and believes he or she improperly has been denied or discriminated against on the basis of his or her disability may submit a formal, written appeal to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. This document should be submitted within ten working days after receipt of the Disability Accommodations Committee’s initial decision. As needed, the Associate Dean may assemble an appeals committee. Within ten working days following receipt of the student’s formal appeal, the committee will evaluate and provide to the student a written copy of the final decision whether to grant or deny accommodations. In rare situations, the appeals committee may have the option to send the student’s request back to the accommodations committee for further deliberation.

    C. Disability Accommodations Committee Selection

    • Standing Committee: The Disability Accommodations Committee will be comprised of four to six members: two COM faculty members (one of whom is a physician), a counselor and/or a psychologist with expertise in psychological assessment procedures and interpretation, and two COM students. The Associate Dean will appoint the faculty and counselor/psychologist positions to the Accommodations Committee and the Director of the Medical Student Counseling Center will serve as a non-voting ex-officio member. Faculty members who have expressed an interest in serving on the Committee through the COM’s annual process will be given preference. Each faculty member will be appointed for a two-year term. At the discretion of the Associate Dean, faculty may be reappointed to the Committee at the conclusion of their term.

      The Associate Dean, in consultation with the Counseling Center staff, will appoint a student member to the Disability Accommodations Committee. The student will serve a term of one year; however, at the discretion of the Dean, he or she may be reappointed for additional terms.
    • Appeals Committee: As needed, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and/or the Director of the Medical Student Counseling Center will serve as the administrative representative to the Appeals Committee. In addition, the Dean will assemble a committee comprised of two COM faculty members, one of whom will be a physician, and a counselor or psychologist. At the discretion of the Associate Dean, a COM student may be appointed to the Appeals Committee. None of these appointees will have participated in the original decision of the Disability Accommodations Committee. Faculty members will be appointed in accordance with the procedures noted above.