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ACE Curriculum

School of Medicine > Education > ACE Curriculum > Objectives and Competencies

Objectives and Competencies

The KU School of Medicine has a clear purpose to prepare graduates who have a solid foundation of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary for a life-long career in medicine, and is prepared for the next phase of their education as a resident. The faculty has developed and refined specific objectives toward achieving these goals, and remains committed to ensuring that graduates achieve them. As the curriculum is transformed to better prepare and track students as they progress towards these goals, specific competency standards and milestones for achievement have been developed, specific skills identified, and EPAs for each stage of learner development will be established.


An observable, measureable ability of the professional learner to integrate knowledge, skills, values and attributes into performance. Competencies are established by the faculty to define the desired performance of learners at specified stages of education. They cover areas such as professional behavior, knowledge acquisition and application, reflective practice and lifelong quality improvement, in addition to practical clinical skills. Graduation competencies address, but also look beyond the urgencies of the early hospital-based internship to address preparation of graduates for lifelong practice in diverse environments.


Behavioral descriptor of a level of performance in the course of achieving a given competency. Establishing milestones requires breaking down each competency into its components and setting measureable levels of performance for each component.

Entrustable Professional Activity (EPA)

Units of work (professional tasks or responsibilities) that trainees can be trusted to perform unsupervised. Achieving an EPA requires the trainee to integrate and reliably apply several competencies to a specific clinical task that must be independently conducted, observable, and have measureable process and outcomes. EPAs do not replace competencies but synthesize elements of several competencies for application to an aspect of clinical performance.

AAMC (2014). Entrustable Activities for Entering Residency.

Last modified: Sep 28, 2018
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