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Competencies & Graduation Requirements


The Yale School of Medicine (YSM) competencies frame our goals for the knowledge, skills, and attributes that we aim for YSM students to attain prior to graduation. The associated sub-competencies describe the skills and behaviors that are required to achieve each competency.
YSM Competencies YSM Sub-Competency (Program Objective) Number YSM Sub-Competencies (Program Objectives)
1. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention:
Students apply scientific knowledge and use clinical skills to promote health and prevent disease in individuals and communities.
HP1.1 Provide health care services to patients, families, and communities aimed at preventing health problems or maintaining health.
HP1.2 Apply principles of epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences to the study of health and disease in populations.
2. Mechanisms and Treatment of Disease:
Students acquire knowledge at the molecular, cellular, organ-system, whole body, and psychosocial levels, and integrate this knowledge with clinical science and skills to diagnose and treat disease.
MTD2.1 Apply established and emerging bio-physical scientific principles to provision of health care for patients and populations, including identification of disease, diagnosis, disease frequency, risk factors, prognosis, treatment strategies, and prevention.
MTD2.2 Apply principles of social-behavioral sciences to provision of health care for patients and populations, including assessment of the impact of psychosocial, structural, or cultural influences on health, disease, care-seeking, care compliance, and barriers to and attitudes toward care.
3. Clinical Reasoning: Students apply established and emerging principles of clinical sciences to diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making and clinical problem-solving based on a thorough understanding of the patient's history, physical exam, and diagnostic studies. CR3.1 Apply established and emerging principles of clinical sciences to diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making and clinical problem-solving based on patient information and preferences and up-to-date scientific evidence while minimizing the impact of cognitive errors. Recognize that uncertainty is part of clinical health care and respond by utilizing appropriate resources.
4. Patient Care: Students achieve competency in the care of patients at a level required to excel in residency. PC4.1 Perform all medical, diagnostic, and surgical procedures considered essential to enter residency in the area of chosen practice.
PC4.2 Gather and interpret essential and accurate information about patients and their conditions through history-taking, physical examination, and paraclinical data (lab studies, imaging, and other tests)
PC4.3 Develop and carry out patient management plans in an organized and prioritized manner to promote patient care that is safe, effective, and efficient.
PC4.4 Communicate patient information in an organized and concise manner in both oral and written forms.
5. Professional Identity Formation: Students conduct themselves in accordance with professional standards in interactions with patients, families, peers, and colleagues. They learn to prioritize patients’ needs and interests, avoid conflicts of interest, keep current with evolving science and practice standards, defer to ethical principles in difficult decision-making, and engage in self-awareness and self-care. PR5.1 Develop the ability to use self-awareness of knowledge, skills, and emotional limitations to engage in appropriate help-seeking behaviors. Demonstrate healthy coping mechanisms to respond to stress.
PR5.2 Identify and perform learning activities that address strengths, deficiencies, and limits in one's knowledge and expertise. Set learning and improvement goals and incorporate feedback into daily practice. Engage with coaches/advisors/mentors to monitor one's progress and develop strategies to reach milestones and attain competencies.
PR5.3 Work effectively as an accountable team member to enhance team functioning, the learning environment and/or the health care setting. Contribute to a culture of psychological safety rooted in mutual respect and trust.
PR5.4 Demonstrate responsiveness and accountability to patients, society, and the profession. Manage conflict between personal and professional responsibilities. Practice flexibility and maturity in adjusting to change with the capacity to alter one's behavior.
PR5.5 Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of care, confidentiality, informed consent, and business practices, including committing to uphold relevant laws, policies, and regulations which promote patient privacy and autonomy.
6. Communication: Students communicate effectively, respectfully, and compassionately in all of their professional interactions. CM6.1 Counsel and educate patients and their families to empower them to participate in their care and enable shared decision making
CM6.2 Communicate effectively using patient-centered techniques, with patients, families, and the public, as appropriate, across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Demonstrate sensitivity, honesty, and compassion in serious conversations, including those about death, end of life, adverse events, bad news, disclosure of errors, and other sensitive topics.
CM6.3 Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate care with physicians, other health professionals, and health agencies to support the health maintenance and treatment of disease in patients and communities. Make timely, appropriate, and informative referrals or handoffs, ensuring continuity of care through transitions between providers or settings. Follow up on patient progress.
7. Responsibility to Society: Students recognize barriers to achieving health equity and envision ways to reduce barriers with a commitment to improving the quality of care and health of all people. RS7.1 Appreciate the factors that contribute to patient safety and participate in identifying system errors and implementing potential solutions. Use quality improvement methods to recognize opportunities for systems improvements. Advocate for quality and equity in patient care and optimal patient care systems.
RS7.2 Identify the social and structural determinants of health that impact patients and communities and utilize these in improving care. Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to diverse patient populations, including but not limited to gender, age, culture, race, religion, disabilities, and sexual orientation and leverage your role and the roles of other health professionals to appropriately assess and address the health care needs of the patients and populations served.
RS7.3 Incorporate considerations of cost awareness and risk-benefit analysis in patient and/or population-based care
8. Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge: Students appreciate that unexplained can inspire research that advances the practice of medicine. They perform mentored scholarly research culminating in a formal thesis. This project promotes critical thinking, understand the scientific method, and contributes new medical knowledge and practices. CDK8.1 Critically evaluate and use literature, databases and primary sources to develop a strong scientific premise for a research question. Apply the scientific method to ensure robust, reproducible and unbiased study design.
CDK8.2 Rigorously analyze and interpret data using appropriate scientific and statistical methods. Convey research findings in a clear and organized manner and disseminate to communities of interest.
CDK8.3 Apply principles of responsible conduct of research to preserve the integrity of the research process and to protect the privacy and rights of research subjects
9. Physician as Scientist: Students apply existing and evolving scientific literature to inform their care of patients and promote the health of individuals and populations. PS9.1 Acquire, appraise, assimilate, and apply evidence from scientific studies related to patients' health problems. Demonstrate an investigatory and analytic approach to clinical situations. Determine the credibility and usability of the spectrum of electronic medical information resources.

Graduation Requirements

The degree of Doctor of Medicine is conferred upon students who have satisfactorily completed the requirements stated below:
  • Pass all required pre-clerkship integrated, longitudinal and clinical experience courses.
  • Pass all required clinical clerkships.
  • Complete and pass one four-week sub-internship.
  • Pass the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE) Step I and Step II CK.
  • Submit an approved dissertation by the published deadline in the year of graduation.
  • Pass the C-OSCE Clinical Skills Assessment in Year 3.
  • Schedule 33 weeks of required research and/or clinical electives during the Advanced Training Period (ATP)
  • Complete the Capstone course.
  • Meet all of the requirements of the Progress Committee and Board of Permanent Officers concerning academic standing, moral and ethical character, emotional stability, and professional conduct.