The need for specialty curricula based on core competencies: a white paper of the Conjoint Committee on Continuing Medical Education

J Contin Educ Health Prof. Spring 2007;27(2):124-8. doi: 10.1002/chp.111.


At present there is no curriculum to guide physician lifelong learning in a prescribed, deliberate manner. The Conjoint Committee on Continuing Medical Education, a group representing 16 major stakeholder organizations in continuing medical education, recommends that each specialty society and corresponding board reach consensus on the competencies expected of physicians in that specialty. Experts in a specialty will define content-based core competencies in the areas of patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice. These competencies, when cross-referenced with expertise, comprise a framework for specialty curricula and board maintenance of certification programs. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Board of Ophthalmology already have implemented this recommendation. Their work is reported as a model for further development. A competency-based curriculum framework offers a foundation for continuing medical education in diverse practice settings and provider organizations.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Consensus*
  • Curriculum / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • United States