Core Competencies in Dermatology

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The American Board of Dermatology (ABD), as a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), embraces the core competencies as defined by the ABMS below:

Patient Care and Procedural Skills—Provide care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective treatment for health problems and to promote health.

Medical Knowledge—Demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical and cognate sciences and their application in patient care.

Practice-based Learning and Improvement—Able to investigate and evaluate their patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence and improve their practice of medicine.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills—Demonstrate skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their families and professional associates (e.g. fostering a therapeutic relationship that is ethically sound, uses effective listening skills with non-verbal and verbal communication; working as both a team member and at times as a leader).

Professionalism—Demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles and sensitivity to diverse patient populations.

Systems-based Practice—Demonstrate awareness of and responsibility to larger context and systems of healthcare. Be able to call on system resources to provide optimal care (e.g. coordinating care across sites or serving as the primary case manager when care involves multiple specialties, professions or sites).

The ABD recognizes that these 6 core competencies are the same 6 competencies identified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).  Details of the ACGME competency requirements for residency training can be found in the ACGME Program Requirements for Dermatology.


The American Board of Dermatology, in conjunction with the Accreditation Council
for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), developed outcomes-based milestones as a
framework for determining resident and fellow performance within the six Core

A milestone is a significant point in development. For accreditation purposes, the Milestones are competency-based developmental outcomes (e.g., knowledge, skills, attitudes, and performance) that can be demonstrated progressively by residents and fellows from the beginning of their education through graduation to the unsupervised practice of their specialties.

Additional information on milestones is available on the ACGME's website.



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American Board of Dermatology
2 Wells Avenue
Newton, Massachusetts 02459
Office Hours: Mon-Fri,
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET
(617) 910-6400 (Phone)

Our Mission

To serve the public and profession by setting high standards for dermatologists to earn and maintain Board certification.