Rationale: Numerous accrediting organizations are calling for competency-based medical education that would help define specific specialties and serve as a foundation for ongoing assessment throughout a practitioner's career. Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine are two distinct subspecialties, yet many individual physicians have expertise in both because of overlapping content. Establishing specific competencies for these subspecialties identifies educational goals for trainees and guides practitioners through their lifelong learning.
Objectives: To define specific competencies for graduates of fellowships in Pulmonary Medicine and Internal Medicine-based Critical Care.
Methods: A Task Force composed of representatives from key stakeholder societies convened to identify and define specific competencies for both disciplines. Beginning with a detailed list of existing competencies from diverse sources, the Task Force categorized each item into one of six core competency headings. Each individual item was reviewed by committee members individually, in group meetings, and conference calls. Nominal group methods were used for most items to retain the views and opinions of the minority perspective. Controversial items underwent additional whole group discussions with iterative modified-Delphi techniques. Consensus was ultimately determined by a simple majority vote.
Measurements and main results: The Task Force identified and defined 327 specific competencies for Internal Medicine-based Critical Care and 276 for Pulmonary Medicine, each with a designation as either: (1) relevant, but competency is not essential or (2) competency essential to the specialty.
Conclusions: Specific competencies in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine can be identified and defined using a multisociety collaborative approach. These recommendations serve as a starting point and set the stage for future modification to facilitate maximum quality of care as the specialties evolve.