Unified Competency Objectives For The MD Degree


The civic and medical leaders who founded the Eastern Virginia Medical School envisioned an institution that would champion improving the health of the region. Decades later the school celebrates its record of training physicians who are committed to knowledge and skill and doubly committed to the service of others.

Distinctive characteristics of the institution have evolved over its lifetime:

  • Education is central to its mission, not peripheral to the research and clinical enterprises.
  • Principles of humanism in medicine and the biopsychosocial model of disease and health are emphasized, promoting the values of altruism and duty.
  • An ethic of community service moves students beyond formalized educational settings.
  • The learning atmosphere emphasizes cooperation among students, faculty, other health care professionals, local and international care providers and policy makers.
  • Lifelong learning and the practice of evidence based medicine are accepted as professional responsibilities.
  • The environment promotes collaboration, creativity, leadership and service.

Within the context of this institutional philosophy and culture, the faculty have articulated the following Unified Competency Objectives as the goals and objectives of the curriculum.

1. Patient Care: Provide patient-centered care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.

1.1. Information Gathering: Gather the information necessary for care of a patient in a manner which is patient-centered, efficient and effective.

1.2. Assessment and Management: Formulate an appropriate assessment and develop an appropriate management plan for each patient.

1.3. Procedures: Perform specified common procedures, demonstrating a knowledge of the indications, risks and benefits of the procedures in explanations to patients while appropriately obtaining informed consent.

1.4. Specific Patient Groups: Recognize when a patient is in a specific at-risk group and provide appropriate treatment and preventive measures.

1.5. Patient Safety: Recognize patient safety issues and describe measures for preventing errors that may harm patients.

2. Medical Knowledge: Demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical and cognate (e.g., epidemiological and social-behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge in patient care.

2.1. Foundational Knowledge: Demonstrate an understanding of the basic and clinical sciences necessary for medical practice.

2.2. Research: Demonstrate a basic understanding of medical research principles.

3. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement: Monitor and enhance the appraisal and assimilation of scientific evidence and application of such to improve practice.

3.1. Information Systems: Use information systems to optimize care delivery and improve outcomes.

3.2. Evidence-Based Medicine: For a given medical problem use evidence-based medicine principles to select the best diagnostic and therapeutic plans.

4. Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Use interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their families and other health professionals.

4.1. Communication with Patients: Demonstrate effective interpersonal and communication skills with patients and their families.

4.2. Communication with Other Care Providers: Present to other health care providers a concise, orderly and coherent oral and written communication of the patient’s unique clinical presentation in a manner appropriate to the clinical context.

5. Professionalism: Demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles and sensitivity to a diverse patient population.

5.1. Professionalism in Patient Care: Demonstrate an ethical and professional attitude toward patients and their care.

5.2. Teamwork: Function effectively as a member of the health care team, respecting the roles and skills of other team members, communicating appropriately and working effectively within the team.

5.3. Recognition of Limitations: Demonstrate a recognition of one's own limitations and a commitment to professional growth.

6. Systems-Based Practice: 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.

6.1. Coordination of Resource Use: Identify and recruit family or community resources and/or services of other members of the health care team for optimal patient care.

6.2. Health Care System Issues: Discuss important issues in the health care system beyond the practice site.

6.3. Service Learning: Participate in and learn the value of service learning opportunities.