GME Curriculum Policy

POLICY #: 8240.16


To establish uniform curriculum policies and procedures regarding educational goals and objectives, ACGME competencies and residents’ scholarly activities.  


1. All Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Graduate Medical Education training programs are required to develop and implement curriculum in accordance with ACGME Common Program Requirements as outlined below.

2. It is recognized that each program may have further requirements as set forth by their specific Review Committee and that these requirements represent the minimum.

3. The curriculum must contain the following educational components:

A) A set of program aims consistent with the Sponsoring Institution’s mission, the needs of the community it serves, and the desired distinctive capabilities of its graduates;

i. The program’s aims must be made available to program  applicants, residents and faculty members.

B) Competency-based goals and objectives for each educational experience designed to promote progress on a trajectory to autonomous practice. These must be distributed, reviewed, and available to residents and faculty members.

C) A broad range of structured didactic activities;

i. Residents must be provided with protected time to participate in core didactic activities.

D) Delineation of resident responsibilities for patient care, progressive responsibility for patient management, and graded supervision;

E) Advancement of residents’ knowledge of ethical principles foundational to medical professionalism; and,

F) Advancement in residents’ knowledge of the basic principles of scientific inquiry, including how research is designed, conducted, evaluated, explained to patients, and applied to patient care.

4. ACGME Competencies – The Program must integrate the following ACGME competencies into the curriculum:

A) Professionalism – Residents must demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and an adherence to ethical principles. Residents must demonstrate competence in:

i. Compassion, integrity, and respect for others;

ii. Responsiveness to patient needs that supersedes self-interest;

iii. Respect for patient privacy and autonomy;

iv. Accountability to patients, society and the profession; and,

v. Respect and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, disabilities, national origin, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation.

vi. Ability to recognize and develop a plan for one’s own personal and professional well-being; and,

vii. Appropriately disclosing and addressing conflict or duality of interest.

B) Patient Care & Procedural Skills – Residents must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health. [The Review Committee must further specify]

i. Residents must be able to perform all medical, diagnostic, and surgical procedures considered essential for the area of practice. [The Review Committee may further specify]

C) Medical Knowledge – Residents must demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences, as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care. [The Review Committee must further specify]

D) Practice-based Learning and Improvement – Residents must demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate their care of patients, to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and to continuously improve patient care based on constant self-evaluation and life-long learning. Residents must demonstrate competence in;

i. Identifying strengths, deficiencies, and limits in one’s knowledge and expertise;

ii. Setting learning and improvement goals;

iii. Identifying and performing appropriate learning activities;

iv. Systematically analyzing practice using quality improvement methods, and implementing changes with the goal of practice improvement;

v. Incorporating feedback and formative evaluation into daily practice;

vi. Locating, appraising, and assimilating evidence from scientific studies related to their patients’ health problems; and,

vii. Using information technology to optimize learning;

viii. [The Review Committee may further specify by adding to the list of sub-competencies]

E) Interpersonal and Communication Skills – Residents must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and health professionals. Residents must demonstrate competence in:

i. Communicating effectively with patients, families, and the public, as appropriate, across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds;

ii. Communicating effectively with physicians, other health professionals, and health related agencies;

iii. Working effectively as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group;

iv. Educating patients, families, students, residents, and other health professionals;

v. Acting in a consultative role to other physicians and health professionals; and,

vi. Maintaining comprehensive, timely, and legible medical records, if applicable. (as further specified by the RC)

vii. Residents must learn to communicate with patients and families to partner with them to assess their care goals, including, when appropriate, end-of-life goals.

[The Review Committee may further specify by adding to the list of sub-competencies]

F) Systems-based Practice – Residents must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care, including the social determinants of health, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources to provide optimal health care. Residents must demonstrate competence in:

i. Working effectively in various health care delivery settings and systems relevant to their clinical specialty;

ii. Coordinating patient care across the health care continuum and beyond as relevant to their clinical specialty;

iii. Incorporating considerations of cost awareness and risk-benefit analysis in patient and/or population-based care as appropriate;

iv. Advocating for quality patient care and optimal patient care systems;

v. Working in interprofessional teams to enhance patient safety and improve patient care quality; and

vi. Participating in identifying system errors and implementing potential systems solutions; and,

vii. Understanding health care finances and its impact on individual patients’ health decisions.

viii. Residents must learn to advocate for patients within the health care system to achieve the patient’s and family’s care goals, including, when appropriate, end-of-life goals.

[The Review Committee may further specify by adding to the list of sub-competencies]

5. Curriculum Organization and Resident Experiences

A) The curriculum must be structured to optimize resident educational experiences, the length of these experiences, and supervisory continuity. [The Review Committee must further specify]

B) The program must provide instruction and experience in pain management if applicable for the specialty, including recognition of the signs of addiction. [The Review Committee may further specify – including required didactic and clinical experiences]

6. Scholarship

A. Program Responsibilities

i. The program must demonstrate evidence of scholarly activities consistent with its mission(s) and aims.

ii. The program, in partnership with its Sponsoring Institution, must allocate adequate resources to facilitate resident and faculty involvement in scholarly activity [The Review Committee may further specify.]

iii. The program must advance residents’ knowledge and practice of the scholarly approach to evidence-based patient care.

B. Faculty Scholarly Activity – Among their scholarly activity, programs must demonstrate accomplishments in at least three of the following domains:

i. Research in basic science, education, translational science, patient care, or population health

ii. Peer-reviewed grants

iii. Quality improvement and/or patient safety initiatives

iv. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, review articles, chapters in medical textbooks, or case reports

v. Creation of curricula, evaluation tools, didactics, educational activities, or electronic educational materials

vi. Contribution to professional committees, educational organizations, or editorial boards

vii. Innovations in education

The program must demonstrate dissemination of scholarly activity within and external to the program by the following methods: [The Review Committee will choose to require either or both listed below]

  • Faculty participation in grand rounds, posters, workshops, quality improvement presentations, podium presentations, grant leadership, non-peer-reviewed print/electronic resources, articles or publications, book chapters, textbooks, webinars, service on professional committees, or serving as a journal reviewer, journal editorial board members, or editor;
  • Peer-reviewed publication

C. Residents’ Scholarly Activities

i. Residents must participate in scholarship [The Review Committee may further specify.]


RECOMMENDED BY: A. Gersoff, MD DATE: 11/14
APPROVED BY: E. Wroblewski, MD DATE: 8/19, 1/21
DATE REVIEWED: 1/12, 11/14, 1/18, 8/19, 1/21