Competency Domains

Patient Care

Fellows are taught how to deliver high-quality care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective.

Medical Knowledge

Proficiency in this competency includes knowledge of biomedical, clinical, and epidemiological domains. Individual fellows will be taught and evaluated based on their ability to acquire and access new knowledge, interpretation of information, and then how to apply this information to clinical settings, specifically the individual patient.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

This competency domain contains two areas – communication skills, and interpersonal skills. Communication skills include effective verbal, nonverbal, and written communication with patients, interdisciplinary team members, and the public. Interpersonal skills involve teamwork and relationship-building skills. Effective communication creates and sustains a professional and therapeutic relationship across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

Life-long learning and quality improvement is at the core of this competency domain. Fellows are trained to engage in Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles for quality improvement in their individual practice. The skills and practice of evidence-based medicine is incorporated.


Proficiency in this competency is integral to the other competencies. Fellows must demonstrate an adherence to ethical principles. They must make a commitment to their professional responsibilities and demonstrate sensitivity to their patients and the interdisciplinary team members.

Systems-Based Practice

This competency domain recognizes the multiple layers within the health care system. It includes the user – patient and families; the purchaser – employers, government; insurers – Medicare, Medicaid, commercial; delivery systems – hospitals, physician networks, drug and technology companies, community resources; work group – local entities providing care such as hospitalist service; and providers – physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals as individuals or groups/team.