“Patient Care” is the first listed core competency of the six new core competencies recently formulated by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and, arguably, the most important. To assist emergency medicine (EM) program directors in incorporating and assessing this competency, the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD-EM) held a consensus conference in March 2002. Definitions of this competency were generated that are specific for the training of practitioners in EM. These built upon the ACGME base definition, but include elements unique to or critically important in EM. In addition, all of the ACGME assessment tools were examined and prioritized for use in assessing the competency of EM residents in the area of patient care. Suggestions for an implementation process are also described.