The rapid emergence of programmes in health informatics, medical informatics and biomedical informatics implies a need for core curricula in these diverse disciplines. This study investigated the recommended competencies for health and medical informatics, aiming to develop a framework for use in curricular development. Current health and medical programmes around the world were analysed to assess how these competencies are reflected in current curricula and to identify new competencies. Several preferred skills and knowledge sets were identified and 40 programs were analysed. Diverse curricular designs were found in these programmes. Competencies such as research skills, knowledge in health information systems and methods for informatics/computer science were the most frequently taught. Knowledge or skills in interpersonal communications, social impact of IT on health, and data mining may represent important skills for future informaticians. The suggested framework and the data analysed may be important for developing a competency-based modular curriculum.