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Core Competencies

The overall objective of the Dell Medical School curriculum is to instill graduates with the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes that will lead to their becoming capable, compassionate, and inquisitive physicians.

LEADERSHIP AND INNOVATION 1: LEADING INNOVATION THROUGH SCHOLARSHIP
Contribute to the development, application, and translation of new medical knowledge through scholarly inquiry, research, discovery, and dissemination.  

  • Utilize the scientific method to expand the understanding of the causation of disease and efficacy of traditional and non-traditional therapies.
  • Formulate a high-quality scholarly research question and hypothesis and/or project plan.
  • Apply knowledge of clinical research design to answer a novel research question. 
  • Employ appropriate research methods to answer a specific investigative question; apply appropriate quantitative analysis and statistical inferences to the resulting data.
  • Disseminate new knowledge obtained from scientific inquiry.

LEADERSHIP AND INNOVATION 2: LEADING INNOVATION IN HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS
Progressively increase perspective and experience with regional and global community and population health through technology and service-learning activities, working toward innovative solutions to system, community, and population health problems.

  • Monitor and evaluate regional and global trends in the delivery of health care, identifying those which hold promise to solve problems and drive innovation.
  • Forecast opportunities and communicate regional and global trends in the delivery of health care and opportunities with stakeholders and team members. 
  • Apply a strategic perspective to problem-solving and decision-making related to community and population health problems/health care system.
  • Demonstrate insight into situations, problems, and possible solutions when required to support innovation and problem-solving related to community and population health problems/health care system.

LEADERSHIP AND INNOVATION 3: LEADING FUTURE INNOVATIVE HEALTH CARE TEAMS
Build, inspire, and lead teams committed to innovation and improvement in health care.  

  • Compose vision and strategy, translate these into team goals, and communicate these effectively to the team.
  • Build engaged and committed teams; leverage their skills and strengths to innovate, accomplish goals, and drive for results.
  • Model flexibility in the context of change; help team members cope by explaining the rational for change; acknowledge their concerns about change.
  • Inspire and motivate team members to high levels of innovation, accountability, and performance. 
  • Collaborate with team members to assess processes and outcomes against goals in continuous improvement cycles.

PATIENT CARE COMPETENCY 1: INTAKE DATA GATHERING
Obtain essential information from patient history and past medical records and perform physical exam. 

  • Obtain an accurate medical history that covers all essential aspects of the history, including issues related to age, gender, genetic background, environment, and socio-economic status.
  • Conduct a thorough and accurate physical exam, including psychiatric, neurologic, genital, and orthopedic examinations in adults and children.
  • Effectively use clinical information systems to retrieve patient-specific information or data.

PATIENT CARE COMPETENCY 2: DIAGNOSTIC PROCESSES
Synthesize information and utilize critical decision-making skills to identify and continually update a differential diagnosis, recognizing clinical emergencies.

  • Interpret the most frequent clinical, laboratory, imaging, and pathologic manifestations of common diseases and injuries.
  • Formulate a differential diagnosis that incorporates scientific principles and sound clinical reasoning.

PATIENT CARE COMPETENCY 3: DEVELOPING AND DOCUMENTING A DIAGNOSTIC AND THERAPEUTIC PLAN
Construct appropriate management strategies for patients with common acute and chronic conditions, including medical, psychiatric, and surgical conditions, and those requiring short- and long-term care.

  • Formulate a treatment plan, demonstrating the ability to communicate the relative certainties of a differential diagnosis and the relative risks and benefits of outcomes and treatment options.
  • Articulate an initial course of management for patients with serious conditions requiring critical care.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assess and manage pain and promote comfort.
  • Perform basic technical procedures used by physicians in clinical practice. 
  • Record clinical information and formulate orders directing the further care of the patient.

MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE COMPETENCY 1: NORMAL PHYSIOLOGY AND ANATOMY
Demonstrate an understanding of the normal anatomy and function of the body.

  • Describe the normal structure and function of the body and of each of its major organ systems, as well as how the systems integrate their functions to maintain homeostasis. 
  • Explain the molecular, biochemical, and cellular mechanisms that are important in maintaining the body’s homeostasis.

MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE COMPETENCY 2: PATHOGENESIS AND ABNORMAL PHYSIOLOGY AND ANATOMY
Demonstrate and apply relevant scientific knowledge of the mechanisms of disease and of the consequences of abnormal physiology and anatomy.

  • State the genetic, developmental, metabolic, toxic, microbiologic, autoimmune, neoplastic, degenerative, and traumatic causes of major categories of disease and injury and the ways in which they present in clinical practice.
  • Relate the altered structure and function (pathology and pathophysiology) of the body and its major organ systems to various diseases and conditions. 
  • Explain the principles of pharmacology, therapeutics, and therapeutic decision-making as they relate to the mechanisms of disease.
  • Predict the consequences of environmental or genetic perturbations in the structure and function of the body.

MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE COMPETENCY 3: BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS
Demonstrate and apply relevant scientific knowledge of biopsychosocial factors that alter physiology and the effect of these factors on therapeutic interventions, disease prevention, health promotion, and health disparities.

  • Recognize the important non-biological determinants of poor health, including the psychological and social factors that contribute to the development and/or exacerbation of illnesses.
  • Describe the epidemiology and risk factors of common illnesses within defined populations, and the systematic approaches useful in reducing the incidence and prevalence of those illnesses.
  • Assess the major social determinants of health and identify, at the population level, local, national, and global disparities.
  • Examine and apply strategies for physician advocacy and principles of ethical and effective community engagement to reduce health disparities and improve population health.

MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE COMPETENCY 4: SCIENTIFIC LITERACY
Demonstrate scientific literacy, including the ability to gather and evaluate information sources, evidence, and research design.

  • Determine the nature and extent of the information needed and effectively search databases to gather information.
  • Apprise existing literature in the field of inquiry and its sources.
  • Apply the requirements for ethical conduct of scientific inquiry.
  • Utilize an evidence based approach to gathering and applying information..

COMMUNICATION 1: PATIENTS, FAMILIES, AND OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS
Communicate effectively and in a timely fashion, both orally and in writing, with patients, families, and other health care professionals.

  • Communicate effectively with patients and families at an appropriate level of health literacy across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
  • Communicate with patients and families in culturally appropriate ways regarding sensitive issues such as sexuality and sexual function, domestic violence, substance abuse, socio-economic obstacles to health, end-of-life issues, and other topics that affect patient well-being.
  • Communicate accurately and effectively, orally, in writing, and through electronic health records, with anyone with whom physicians must exchange information in carrying out their responsibilities.

PRACTICE-BASED LEARNING AND IMPROVEMENT 1: CONTINUOUS SELF-IMPROVEMENT OF KNOWLEDGE GAPS
Appraise one’s own medical knowledge and clinical skills, accept limitations, identify goals, and incorporate new information for continuous, lifelong learning and improvement

  • Synthesize performance feedback and use it to improve gaps in knowledge and skills.
  • Construct a plan for growth and improvement based on the appraisal of one’s own knowledge and skills.
  • Commit to lifelong learning, incorporating new information to improve care.

PRACTICE BASED LEARNING AND IMPROVEMENT 2: EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Demonstrate emotional intelligence in management of self and others.

  • Recognize manifestations of emotion and stress in oneself and others and demonstrate healthy coping mechanisms in response.
  • Manage conflict between personal and professional responsibilities.
  • Practice flexibility and maturity and demonstrate the capacity to alter one’s behavior to be appropriate in a variety of situations.
  • Demonstrate trustworthiness and equanimity.
  • Demonstrate situational and self awareness and use that information to guide thinking and behavior in the practice of medicine.
  • Integrate new knowledge, skills, values, and behaviors with one’s own unique identity and core values to develop a professional identity.

SYSTEMS-BASED PRACTICE 1: INTERPROFESSIONAL CARE
Apply team-based interprofessional practice in the delivery of safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, person-centered, population-based health care.

  • Demonstrate respect for the roles of other health care professionals and willingness to collaborate with others in caring for individual patients and in promoting the health of defined populations. 
  • Practice team-based interprofessional care and establish and maintain a climate of mutual respect, dignity, integrity, inclusiveness and trust among all team members.

SYSTEMS-BASED PRACTICE 2: HEALTH CARE SYSTEM CONTEXT
Incorporate contextual awareness of the larger health care systems, medical products, and pharmaceutical industries and resources by providing optimal health care and advocacy for patients.

  • Describe the structure, function, and finance of the health care, public health industry, academic, and research systems and the role of physicians within them.
  • Appraise and apply systematic, population-based approaches useful in reducing the incidence and prevalence of common conditions.
  • Analyze positive and negative consequences resulting from the involvement of industry in health care delivery, scientific research, and medical product development.
  • Recognize the tension between the obligation to meet the needs of individual patients with a societal obligation to practice evidence-based medicine and resource stewardship.

SYSTEMS-BASED PRACTICE 3: PATIENT SAFETY/QUALITY IMPROVEMENT/VALUE-BASED CARE
Employ quality-improvement principles and tools to improve patient safety or patient care.

  • Retrieve (from electronic databases or other resources), manage, and utilize biomedical information for solving problems and making decisions that are relevant to the care of individuals and populations.
  • Employ quality-improvement principles and common patient safety/quality tools/value-based care to improve patient care.
  • Evaluate the validity of information and apply statistical and quantitative understanding to the interpretation of data as related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease.

PROFESSIONALISM 1: PRACTICE WITH INTEGRITY AND RELIABILITY
Practice with integrity, accountability, quality, and reliability.

  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity in all interactions with patients, families, colleagues, and others with whom physicians interact in their professional lives.
  • Advocate for the interests of one’s patients over one’s own interests. 
  • Demonstrate respect for patient confidentiality and privacy of protected health information.
  • Demonstrate respect for people of diverse cultures and belief systems.

PROFESSIONALISM 2: PRACTICE COMPASSIONATE CARE WITH A COMMITMENT TO DIGNITY
Practice ethical, compassionate, person-centered care with a commitment to dignity.

  • Show compassion and respect in treatment of patients, while maintaining appropriate boundaries.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to advocate and provide care for patients from underserved or vulnerable populations.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to service in response to community need.
  • Discuss major theories and principles of medical ethics, including the approach to resolution of major ethical dilemmas in research and clinical practice.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the threats to medical professionalism posed by the conflicts of interest inherent in various financial and organizational arrangements for the practice of medicine.