College of Medicine General Competencies and Educational Program Objectives

Patient Care

Students must provide patient-centered, individualized care that is compassionate and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.

  • Gathers essential and accurate information about the patient
  • Provides guidance to patients regarding diagnostic and therapeutic decisions based on patient information, current scientific evidence, and clinical judgment
  • Develops and carries out patient management responsibilities completely
  • Provides effective health maintenance and anticipatory guidance
  • Performs medical and invasive procedures competently
  • Uses information technology to optimize patient care
  • Counsels and educates patients and their families

Medical Knowledge

Students must demonstrate knowledge regarding clinical, and cognitive (epidemiologic and social/behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge.

  • Demonstrates an inquisitive and analytic thought process to clinical situations
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the normal and healthy structure and function of the body (as an intact organism) and each of its organs
  • Demonstrates knowledge of various causes of disease and the ways in which they impact the body (pathogenesis) including genetic, developmental, metabolic, toxic, microbiologic, autonomic, neoplastic, degenerative, immunologic, and traumatic etiologies
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the altered structure and function (pathology and pathophysiology) of the body and organ systems.
  • Therapeutics with Pharmacologic Interventions and Medication Classes
  • Recognizes acute life-threatening patient presentations and institutes fundamental life support

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

Students must investigate and evaluate their patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and improve their patient care practices.

  • Locates, appraises and assimilates evidence from scientific studies related to health problems.
  • Analyzes practice experience and performs practice-based improvement.
  • Demonstrates professional behaviors
  • Applies knowledge of study design and statistical methods to evaluate
  • Uses information technology to manage information, access online medical information, and support one's own education.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Students must be able to demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange and collaboration with patients and those important to patients (spouses, caregivers, family, trusted friends, significant others, etc.) and with professional associates.

  • Communicates effectively to create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients
  • Uses effective listening skills and elicits and provides information using effective nonverbal, explanatory, questioning, and writing skills
  • Works effectively with others as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group


Students must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population.

  • Demonstrates respect, compassion, accountability, integrity, and responsiveness to each patient's needs and to society's needs while superseding self-interest; demonstrates a firm commitment to excellence and ongoing improvement
  • Demonstrates respect for confidentiality of patient information
  • Demonstrates sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population including but not limited to diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, disabilities, and sexual orientation

Population and Community Health

Students must demonstrate knowledge of public health methods and research and the application of each to improving the care of patients in their practice. In addition, students must demonstrate knowledge of application of these same methods and research to improving the health of their local communities. 

  • Obtains and uses population health principles and information about populations of patients in the communities to provide care for both individuals and groups of patients
  • Obtains and uses information about populations of patients in the base communities of their medical education as a member of the practice team designing programs to improve local community health
  • Applies knowledge of population health study designs and statistical methods to evaluate results of clinical studies and other information on diagnosis and therapeutic interventions to create clinical decisions rules and clinical care guidelines

Systems-Based Practice

Students must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of healthcare and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of the optimal value.

  • Works as a team member and develops team leadership skills
  • Knows how types of medical practice and delivery systems differ from one another. Understands methods and the corresponding demand to control health care costs and allocates resources to maximize value-based outcomes.
  • Advocates for quality patient care and assists patients in navigating system complexities
  • Understands the impact of health care delivery on other providers, society, and systems and how these factors affect individual practices.