Health Professions Competencies
As you explore your interest in the health professions, newly-articulated guidelines help you gauge your interest in your chosen profession better and serve as a roadmap to your self-reflection, academic, clinical, research and other activities. To strengthen their holistic approach to the application process, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), with input from medical professionals and educators, developed a set of competencies essential for success in medical and other health professions schools. This is great news for students and future applicants. It ensures that admission committees evaluate applicants holistically, not only based on grades and test scores. The new MCAT takes an integrative approach to the sciences and incorporates knowledge in the social and behavioral sciences to reflect the same holistic approach. This list of competencies also provides clear guidelines to the types of knowledge and personal qualities that would be helpful as you explore your interest in health and medicine. Use these competencies first to reflect on the career direction you are taking and then to guide your choices of clinical, research, service or other volunteer activities, as well as courses and concentration(s) while at Brown.
Allopathic (M.D.) schools have started to adapt their admission expectations to reflect this- a process that will take a number of years. Osteopathic (D.O.) and other health professions schools similarly look for such qualities, knoweldge and skills although they have not articulated them specificlaly in this manner. At a later stage in your studies, while enrolled in a health professions program, you would also work toward developing competencies defined by the educational organization for your particular health profession (e.g., Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Allopathic Medicine, etc.). Beginning to plan now to develop qualities, knowledge and skills that address these personal competencies through your self-reflection, courses and co-curricular activities will be most helpful to you as an applicant in the future. All details of our website and advising focus on the development of these during your years at Brown.
- Service Orientation:
Demonstrates a desire to help others and sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings; demonstrates a desire to alleviate others’ distress. Recognizes and acts on his/her responsibilities to society, locally, nationally, and globally.
- Social Skills:
Demonstrates an awareness of others’ needs, goals, feelings, and the ways that social and behavioral cues affect peoples’ interactions and behaviors; adjusts behaviors appropriately in response to these cues; treats others with respect.
- Cultural Competence:
Demonstrates knowledge of social and cultural factors that affect interactions and behaviors; shows an appreciation and respect for multiple dimensions of diversity; recognizes and acts on the obligation to inform one’s own judgment; engages diverse and competing perspectives as a resource for learning, citizenship, and work; recognizes and appropriately addresses bias in themselves and others; interacts effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.
- Oral Communication:
- Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others:
Works collaboratively with others to achieve shared goals; shares information and knowledge with others and provides feedback; puts team goals ahead of individual goals.
Effectively conveys information to others using spoken words and sentences; listens effectively; recognizes potential communication barriers and adjust approach or clarifies information as needed.
Behaves in an honest manner; cultivates personal and academic integrity; adheres to principles; follows rules and procedures; resists peer pressure to engage in unethical behavior and encourages others to behave in honest and ethical ways; and develops and demonstrates ethical and moral reasoning.
- Reliability and Dependability:
Consistently fulfills obligations in a timely and satisfactory manner; takes responsibility for personal actions and performance.
- Resilience and Adaptability:
Demonstrates tolerance of stressful or changing environments or situations and adapts effectively to them; is persistent, even under difficult situations; recovers from setbacks.
- Capacity for Improvement:
- Critical Thinking:
Sets goals for continuous improvement and for learning new concepts and skills; engages in reflective practice for improvement; solicits and responds appropriately to feedback.
THINKING AND REASONING COMPETENCIES
Uses logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Quantitative Reasoning:
- Scientific Inquiry:
- Written Communication:
- Living Systems:
- Human Behavior:
External Information & Preparation Resources
To learn more about competency-based medical education explore:
- AAMC’s Behavioral and Social Science Foundations for Future Physicians
- AAMC’S MR5 Innovation Lab Working Group Recommendations. Note that when the latter was released, the personal competencies were only 6, instead of the current 9.
- AAMC's Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students. A summary of the 15 personal, cognitive and scientific competencies.