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.

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 a research hypothesis and formulate questions to test the hypothesis
  3. Demonstrates ability to initiate, complete and explain his/her research

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

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


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

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. Identifies challenges between personal and professional responsibilities and develops strategies to address them
  3. 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

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. Obtains thorough and accurate information through an H&P adapting to the clinical setting
  2. Uses evidence from the patient's history, physical exam, and other data sources to formulate and prioritize clinical decisions
  3. Incorporates diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic uncertainty in clinical decision making and patient care discussions
  4. Incorporates patient perspective, values, and goals into all aspects of the clinical encounter
  5. Identifies and critically analyses relevant literature and practice-based guidelines to apply best evidence of patient care and management

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

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, and health care system resources in clinical decision-making.
  3. Applies principles of quality improvement and safety to patient 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 form others as well as self-assessments to both identify learning needs (cognitive and emotional) and practice continuous quality improvement.

Approved by Committee on Medical Education May, 27, 2021