Competency is a set of knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes required for the performance of a task or activity. In competency-based medical education, those competencies are referred to as the medical education program objectives or EPOs. There are several fundamental features of a competency-based assessment program: 

  1. Determination of an expected level of performance (benchmark) for each EPO at the end of each phase of training.  
  2. The use of multiple types of assessments (exams, writing assignments, clinical and peer assessments, standardized patients, etc.) to gather information about your knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes.  
  3. Gathering that performance information within and across courses. 
  4. Review of that performance both compared to the benchmark and also the trend or pattern of performance.   
  5. Making a final decision about competency attainment by a committee based on all of the aggregated information over time.

Competency-based learning objectives

The educational program is designed to ensure that graduating students master the skills necessary to practice medicine at the highest level of excellence. The skills are organized into categories known as the Competency-Based Learning Objectives:

  • Medical knowledge
  • Patient care
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-based practice
  • Practice-based learning and improvement

Visit the Bulletin of the School of Medicine website for details »


A number of policies governing student evaluation are available on the Bulletin of the School of Medicine website, including:

View all policies on the Bulletin of the School of Medicine website »