Program Objectives and Attributes

Approved July 2018

These program objectives and attributes were revised from the original list of the Physician Competency Reference Set based on Curriculum Committee work during the June 20, 2018 and June 27, 2018 meetings. 

Program Objectives

University of Utah School of Medicine Graduates will be able to:

Patient Care

  1. Perform medical, diagnostic, and surgical procedures considered essential for entering residency
  2. Gather essential and accurate information about patients and their conditions through history-taking, physical examination, and the use of laboratory data, imaging, and other tests
  3. Organize and prioritize responsibilities to provide care that is safe, effective, and efficient
  4. Interpret laboratory data, imaging studies, and other tests required for the area of practice
  5. Make informed decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions using an evidence-based approach based on patient information and preferences, scientific evidence, and clinical judgment
  6. Develop and carry out patient management plans
  7. Counsel and educate patients and /or their families to empower them to participate in their care and enable shared decision making
  8. Recognize the importance of providing preventative health care services to patients, families, and / or communities


Knowledge for Practice

  1. Develop and implement approaches for generating and applying new knowledge that emphasizes inquiry, discovery, and dissemination
  2. Apply established and emerging physiologic, pathologic, molecular, biochemical, microbiologic, cellular, immunologic, pharmacologic, and genetic scientific principles fundamental to prevention, risk assessment, diagnosis, and management of disease for patients and / or populations.
  3. Apply established and emerging principles of clinical sciences to diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making, clinical problem-solving, and other aspects of evidence-based health care to patient scenarios (if applied to real patients refer to Patient Care objectives above)
  4. Apply established and emerging evidence about lifestyle changes to improve patient health outcomes
  5. Apply principles of social-behavioral sciences to provision of patient care, including assessment of the impact of psychosocial and cultural influences on health, disease, care-seeking, care compliance, and / or barriers to and attitudes toward care


Practice Based Learning and Improvement

  1. Identify strengths, deficiencies, and limits in one's knowledge and expertise
  2. Set learning and improvement goals
  3. Identify and perform learning activities that address one's gaps in knowledge, skills, and / or attitudes
  4. Locate, appraise, and apply evidence from scientific studies related to patients' health problems


Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  1. Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information with patients, families, peers and / or other team members
  2. Communicate effectively with patients, families, peers and /or other team members across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds using strategies that build rapport and promote inclusion and equity
  3. Demonstrate sensitivity, honesty, and compassion in difficult conversations, including those about death, end of life, adverse events, bad news, disclosure of errors, and / or other sensitive topics
  4. Maintain comprehensive, timely, and legible medical records



  1. Demonstrate compassion, integrity, and respect for others
  2. Demonstrate respect for patient privacy and autonomy
  3. Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to diverse patient populations and / or topics, including but not limited to diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, disabilities, and sexual orientation
  4. Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of care, confidentiality, informed consent, and business practices, including compliance with relevant laws, policies, and / or regulations


Systems-Based Practice

  1. Coordinate patient care within and across the health care system, including patient hand-offs
  2. Identify risks to patient safety and apply strategies to deliver safe patient care
  3. Incorporate considerations of cost awareness and risk-benefit analysis in patient and / or population-based care
  4. Improve the quality / value of patient care by participating in a continuous quality improvement project


Interprofessional Collaboration and Teamwork

  1. Work with other health professionals to establish and maintain a climate of mutual respect, dignity, diversity, ethical integrity, and trust
  2. Demonstrate team building skills that enhance the learning environment
  3. Provide feedback to enhance team members’ learning and performance



Program Attributes*

In order to achieve the program objectives, University of Utah School of Medicine students will:

  • Engage in appropriate help-seeking behaviors through self-awareness of knowledge, skills, and emotional limitations
  • Demonstrate healthy coping mechanisms to respond to stress
  • Manage conflict between personal and professional responsibilities
  • Practice flexibility and maturity in adjusting to change
  • Incorporate feedback into day-to-day practice
  • Utilizing appropriate resources in dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity
  • Demonstrate accountability to patients, society, and the profession
  • Demonstrate trustworthiness that makes colleagues feel secure when one is responsible for the care of patients
  • Demonstrate self-confidence that puts patients, families, and members of the health care team at ease
  • Demonstrate responsiveness to patient needs that supersedes self-interest


*Attributes are not formally assessed in the curriculum

 Approved Jul 27, 2018 by CC e-vote

Core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs)

  1. Gather a history and perform a physical examination.
  2. Develop a prioritized differential diagnosis and select a working diagnosis following a patient encounter
  3. Recommend and interpret common diagnostic and screening tests
  4. Enter and discuss patient orders/prescriptions
  5. Provide documentation of a clinical encounter in written or electronic format
  6. Provide an oral presentation/summary of a patient encounter
  7. Form clinical questions and retrieve evidence to advance patient care
  8. Give or receive a patient handover to transition care responsibility to another health care provider or team
  9. Participate as a contributing and integrated member of an interprofessional team
  10. Recognize a patient requiring urgent or emergent care, initiate evaluation and treatment, and seek help
  11. Obtain informed consent for tests and/or procedures that the day 1 intern is expected to perform or order without supervision
  12. Perform general procedures of a physician
  13. Identify system failures and contribute to a culture of safety and improvement


For any further questions please contact:

Kerri Shaffer, MEd, MLIS
Director of Curriculum and Faculty Support