Competencies and Education Program Objectives

The medical education programs at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine are based on nine core competencies. The following competencies and Educational Program Objectives describe the knowledge, skills and behaviors a student must demonstrate to qualify for an MD degree.


Demonstrates commitment to high standards of ethical, respectful, compassionate, reliable and responsible behaviors in all settings, and recognizes and addresses lapses in professional behavior.

  1. Meets obligations in a reliable and timely manner.
  2. Exhibits professional behavior or addresses lapses in professional behavior.
  3. Consistently demonstrates compassion, respect, honesty and ethical practices.

Teamwork and Interprofessional Collaboration:

Demonstrates knowledge, skills and attitudes to promote effective teamwork and collaboration with health care professionals across a variety of settings.

  1. Performs effectively as a member of a team.
  2. Respects and supports the contributions of individuals on an Interprofessional health care team to deliver quality care.

Reflective Practice:

Demonstrates habits of ongoing reflection and analysis to identify learning needs, increase self-awareness, and continuously improve performance and personal growth.

  1. Demonstrates habits of ongoing reflection using feedback from others as well as self-assessments to both identify learning needs (cognitive and emotional) and practice continuous quality improvement. 

Interpersonal and Communication Skills:

Demonstrates effective listening, written and oral communication skills with patients, peers, faculty and other health care professionals in the classroom, research and patient care settings.

  1. Effectively communicates knowledge as well as uncertainties.
  2. Uses effective written and oral communication in clinical, research, and classroom settings.
  3. Demonstrates effective communication with patients using a patient-centered approach.

Knowledge for Practice:

Demonstrates knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care.

  1. Demonstrates appropriate level of clinical, basic, and health systems science knowledge to be an effective starting resident physician.
  2. Demonstrates ability to apply knowledge base to clinical and research questions.

Patient Care:

Demonstrates proficiency in clinical skills and clinical reasoning; engages in patient-centered care that is appropriate, compassionate and collaborative in promoting health and treating disease.

  1. Demonstrates knowledge, skills, and behaviors to perform history taking, physical examination and procedures appropriate to the level of training and clinical setting.
  2. Uses evidence from the patient’s history, physical exam, and other data sources for clinical reasoning to formulate management plans.
  3. Incorporates diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic uncertainty in clinical decision making and patient care discussions.
  4. Identifies and critically analyses relevant literature and practice-based guidelines to apply best evidence of patient care and management.
  5. Incorporates a patient’s perspective, values, context, and goals into all aspects of the clinical encounter.

Research and Scholarship:

Demonstrates knowledge and skills required to interpret, critically evaluate, and conduct research.

  1. Analyses and effectively critiques a broad range of research papers.
  2. Demonstrates ability to generate research questions and formulate methods to answer these questions. 
  3. Demonstrates ability to initiate, complete and explain his/her research.

Personal and Professional Development:

Demonstrates the qualities required to sustain lifelong personal and professional growth.

  1. Critically reflects on personal values, priorities, and limitations to develop strategies that promote personal and professional growth.
  2. Recognizes when personal views and values differ from those of patients, colleagues, and other care givers and reflects on how these can affect patient care and research.
  3. Identifies challenges between personal and professional responsibilities and develops strategies to address them.

Systems-based Practice:

Demonstrates an understanding of and responsiveness to health care systems, as well as the ability to call effectively on resources to provide high value care.

  1. Applies knowledge of health care systems to patient care discussions.
  2. Demonstrates awareness of context of care, patients’ values, health care system, and environment in clinical care.
  3. Applies principles of quality improvement and safety to patient care.

Approved by Committee on Medical Education on July 27, 2023