University of Kentucky College of Medicine has a competency-based education framework that explicitly defines our curricular objectives, guides our teaching methods, and forms the basis for student assessment.

Six Core Competencies 

Download the 2022-2023 Update

Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes to effectively evaluate and treat common health problems and promote the health of patients.


  • PC1: Obtain an accurate medical history that covers all essential aspects of the history, including issues related to age, gender, culture and socio-economic status.
  • PC2: Conduct an appropriately focused or comprehensive physical examination, depending upon the patient’s presentation.
  • PC3: Synthesize relevant history, physical exam, laboratory and test data to develop a prioritized differential diagnosis.
  • PC4: Formulate an appropriate management strategy (both diagnostic and therapeutic) for patients with common acute and chronic conditions or problems.
  • PC5: Address disease prevention and health promotion strategies for individual patients or populations.

Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes to apply fundamental biomedical, clinical and social science to the care of patients.


  • MK1: Demonstrate a broad knowledge of fundamental biomedical and clinical principles underlying the mechanisms of disease and wellness.
  • MK2: Apply a biopsychosocial model to the care of individual patients and populations.
  • MK3: Evaluate emerging basic science and clinical research with regard to its application to patient care.

Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes to critically evaluate performance and identify opportunities for improvement.


  • PBLI1: Identify one’s own strengths, weaknesses and limitations in one’s knowledge and clinical skills.
  • PBLI2: Seek out constructive feedback from and provide constructive feedback to colleagues and other health professionals.
  • PBLI3: Develop a plan for improvement of one’s knowledge and/or skills based on individual reflection and constructive feedback.
  • PBLI4: Use information technology to access, appraise and assimilate high-quality scientific information and evidence to support clinical decision-making.

Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop effective and appropriate relationships with patients, colleagues and other health professionals.


  • ICS1: Effectively communicate and create a collaborative relationship with patients and their families, particularly during sensitive, complex or distressing situations.
  • ICS2: Effectively communicate health-related information to colleagues and other health professionals.
  • ICS3: Produce clear, concise and timely documentation after clinical encounters to optimize medical care and minimize medical errors.

Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes to carry out their professional responsibilities.


  • P1: Demonstrate responsibility and accountability in all clinical and educational activities, managing personal attributes, commitments and/or limitations that might impact one’s effectiveness as a physician.
  • P2: Demonstrate sensitivity and respect toward patient individuality, including but not limited to age, gender, ethnicity, belief system, sexual orientation and disabilities.
  • P3: Have respectful and professional interactions with patients, their families, colleagues and other health professionals.
  • P4: Demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior in academic and clinical settings.

Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes to function effectively in teams and within health organizations.


  • SBP1: Participate collaboratively in caring for the patient with the interprofessional healthcare team.
  • SBP2: Incorporate organizational, financial and health system factors into clinical decision-making to deliver effective, safe, timely, patient-centered, cost-sensitive and efficient medical care.
  • SBP3: Identify barriers to safe and appropriate care, analyze for potential health system limitations, and propose solutions.