The College of New Jersey Logo

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     Three Bar Menu

Core Pre-Med Competencies

What are Medical Schools Looking for in a Candidate?

Health professionals literally have people’s lives in their hands, so it is essential that health professionals be as well prepared and fully capable as possible. Therefore, the application and review process is involved, seeking to find those applicants most fitting to the core values of medical practice in general, and of the individual medical school’s mission. Students’ GPAs and admissions test scores are not the only measure of a student’s preparedness; many other criteria, sometimes referred to as “core competencies,” are considered in a holistic review of the candidate. The AAMC has developed a list of the Pre-Professional Competencies for Entering Medical Students, which spans four categories:

Professional Competencies:

  • Commitment to Learning and Growth
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Cultural Humility
  • Empathy and Compassion
  • Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Oral Communication
  • Reliability and Dependability
  • Resilience and Adaptability
  • Service Orientation
  • Teamwork and Collaboration

Thinking and Reasoning Competencies:

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

Science Competencies:

  • Human Behavior
  • Living Systems

The complete listing and description of the AAMC Pre-Med Competencies document can be found here.


Health Professions Student Group - Click to Learn More