Washington University School of Medicine Policy for Review of Student Attainment of Competency

—This policy applies to Gateway Curriculum students.—


In collaboration with the Office of Medical Student Education, the Office of Medical Student Affairs, and the Office of the Registrar and charged by the Committee for Academic Promotion, the Competency Attainment Committee (CAC) and the Clerkship Competency Committees (CCCs) at Washington University School of Medicine regularly review and render decisions of competency attainment and recommendations about the academic progress of all medical students in the Gateway Curriculum. This policy is in line with LCME element 9.9: Student Advancement and Appeals Process. 


Students for whom this policy applies include students enrolled in any phase of the Gateway Curriculum and students enrolled in dual and joint degree programs currently participating in the Gateway Curriculum. 

In order to successfully complete their studies at the Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM), students must demonstrate the ability to become a safe and effective physician by demonstrating competence in the WUSM Medical Student Program Objectives. Attainment of competence in these educational program objectives is determined by the CAC in partnership with the individual CCCs in Phase 2 of the curriculum based on the totality and sufficiency of evidence regarding a student’s performance. 

Competency decisions of not competent, competent, and competent with distinction (where applicable) and the subsequent promotion recommendations are presented to the Committee for Academic Promotion, which is the committee charged with ratifying final competency decisions and promotion recommendations. Promotion recommendations include one of the following for each student: 

  1. Promotion, with or without ongoing remediation 
  2. Remediation without promotion 
  3. Dismissal or other sanctions, including but not limited to probation or suspension, which may occur throughout the enrollment of a student 
  4. Qualification to receive the Doctor of Medicine degree 

Students considering an appeal of any of the above decisions and/or recommendations are referred to the WUSM Policy for Student Promotion and Appeals and the Formal Appeal Procedures for Competency Attainment and Promotion Decisions

Situations may exist in which a committee member has a conflict of interest such that the committee member is unable to perform their duties to objectively render a decision about a particular student. In such a case, the committee member must recuse themselves from participation in deliberations and decisions regarding that student. Please see the conflict of interest policy for full details. 

The responsibility for maintaining and overseeing this policy resides with the Committee on the Oversight of Medical Student Education. 

Last approved on May 12, 2022

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