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Physician Competencies

Program directors who complete final residency evaluations should keep in mind the definition of a qualified applicant as determined by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medication Education (ACGME).

An applicant must demonstrate the following competencies determined by the ABP as they pertain to infants, children and adolescents:

Patient Care and Procedural Skills

  • Gathering essential and accurate information; performing a complete history and physical examination; and ordering appropriate diagnostic studies.
  • Making informed diagnostic and treatment decisions; analyzing and synthesizing information; and knowing one's limits of knowledge and expertise and when to obtain appropriate consultation.
  • Developing and carrying out patient care management plans; prescribing and performing procedures; effectively counseling patients and families and, in so doing, allaying fears and providing comfort.

Medical Knowledge

  • Knowing, critically evaluating and using current medical information and scientific evidence for patient care.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  • Demonstrating interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families and professional associates.


  • Demonstrating a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adhering to ethical principles and being sensitive to diversity.

Practice-based Learning and Improvement

  • Investigating and evaluating patient care practices; appraising and assimilating scientific evidence and using that evidence to improve patient management; demonstrating a willingness to learn from errors.

Systems-based Practice

  • Practicing quality, cost-effective health care and advocating for patients within the health care system.

    An applicant who receives an unsatisfactory evaluation in any one of the competencies will be disapproved for the certifying examination and will be required to complete satisfactorily an additional year of training in an accredited training program in the United States or Canada before reapplying to the ABP. Residents must complete an additional year of general pediatrics at the R-3 level. Fellows must satisfactorily complete an additional year of clinical fellowship. The director of the program where the additional training occurs must complete a separate evaluation.

    At the program director's recommendation, and at the ABP's discretion, a period of observation may be required in lieu of additional training for an applicant who receives an unsatisfactory evaluation in professionalism only. A rigorous plan for remediation must be submitted for review and approval by the ABP before the period of observation may be implemented.

    To be compliant with the Program Requirements for Residency Education in Pediatrics and the Program Requirements for Subspecialties of Pediatrics established by the ACGME, the program director and the faculty must develop evaluation procedures for assessment of resident and fellow performance.


Appeals Process

Applicants who wish to appeal evaluations or final recommendations must proceed through institutional due process mechanisms. The ABP is not in a position to re-examine the facts and circumstances of an individual's performance.