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The Association of American Medical Colleges has created a set of 15 Core Competencies that they feel are required for all entering medical students.  They define competency as the habitual use of certain skills and knowledge for the benefit of the community.  Although these competencies were developed for students interested in pursuing medical school, they are suited for all other healthcare careers as well.  Any student interested in a healthcare career should review these competencies (see below) and then determine how best to attain them and how best to demonstrate them on an application.  More information is provided in the tutorial for competencies.


  • Service Orientation
  • Social Skills
  • Cultural Competence
  • Teamwork
  • Oral Communication


  • Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others
  • Reliability and Dependability
  • Resiliency and Adaptability
  • Capacity for Improvement

Thinking and Reasoning

  • Critical Thinking 
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Written Communication


  • Living Systems
  • Human Behavior