Domains of Competence for SUNY Downstate College of Medicine

SUNY Downstate Medical School's competencies state what skills, attitudes and knowledge our graduates need to demonstrate to go on to residency training and to becoming independent physicians.

Domains of Competence:

These are six broadly defined groups of knowledge, skills and attitudes required of all graduates at the end of 4 years as depicted in the following graphic. They are also referred to as the competencies.

flow chart

Description of the Domains of Competence

Systems-based Practice

Graduates must demonstrate an awareness of the relationship between themselves and the patient, community, and healthcare system as well as recognize the impact on optimizing patient care.


Graduates must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population. Graduates must also assess personal values and priorities in order to maintain an appropriate balance of personal and professional commitments.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Graduates must be able to demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their patients families, and professional associates.

Practice-based Learning and Improvement

Graduates must be able to investigate and evaluate their patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and improve their patient care practices.

Patient Care

Graduates must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.

Medical Knowledge

Graduates must demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate (e.g. epidemiological and social-behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care.