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May 25 2010

Board encourages compliance with the ‘Six Core Competencies’

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This issue of the Forum concludes the Board's threepart series on the ACGME's six core competencies. The Board hopes its licensees have found this feature informative and useful.

The Board continues to use the competencies--adopted by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education in 1999 as a means of gauging the competence of medical residents--as a framework for discussing disciplinary cases. Board members have found that licensees involved in disciplinary cases typically exhibit deficiencies in one or more competency. The Board hopes making licensees more familiar with the competencies will encourage compliance, prevent misconduct and improve the quality of patient care.

In this issue: Professionalism and Systems-based Practice
Read the detailed definitions below for information on what behaviors and skills demonstrate proficiency within a particular competency. To see detailed descriptions of the competencies featured in previous issues of the Forum, visit Go to "Professional Resources" and select "Forum Newsletter." The first two competencies appeared in the Fall 2009 issue; the next two appeared in the Winter 2009 issue.

Professionalism: “How you act”
Practitioners must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population. Practitioners are expected to:
  • Demonstrate respect, compassion, and integrity; a responsiveness to the needs of patients and society that supercedes self-interest; accountability to patients, society, and the profession; and a commitment to excellence and on-going professional development.

  • Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, and business practice.

  • Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to patients' culture, age, gender, and disabilities

Systems-based Practice: “How you work within the system”
Practitioners must 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. Practitioners are expected to:
  • Understand how their patient care and other professional practices affect other health care professionals, the health care organization and the larger society and how these elements of the system affect their own practice.

  • Know how types of medical practice and delivery systems differ from one another, including methods of controlling health care costs and allocating resources.

  • Practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise quality of care.

  • Advocate for quality patient care and assist patients in dealing with system complexities.

  • Know how to partner with health care managers and health care providers to assess, coordinate and improve health care and know how these activities can affect system performance.

A complete list of the six competencies appears below
• Patient Care
• Medical Knowledge
• Practice-based Learning and Improvement
• Interpersonal and Communication Skills
• Professionalism
• Systems-based Practice

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