ACGME Core Competencies

  • Patient Care – that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for treating health problems and promoting health
  • Medical Knowledge – about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate (e.g., epidemiological and social-behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement – that involve investigation and evaluation of a fellow’s patient care, self-appraisal, and assimilation of scientific evidence, and improvements in patient care
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills – that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their families, and other health professionals
  • Professionalism – as manifested by a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population
  • Systems-Based Practice – as manifested by actions that demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value

These minimum general competencies were endorsed by the ACGME in February 1999 ( and all Residency Review Committees and Institutional Review Committees were to include this minimum language in their respective Program and Institutional Requirements by June 2001. The definitions are available here.

ACGME = Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.