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Am J Public Health. 1999 May;89(5):768-70.

Ethics instruction at schools of public health in the United States. Association of Schools of Public Health Education Committee.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, La., USA. sic9@cdc.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

A survey of US schools of public health was undertaken in 1996 and 1997 to obtain a general picture of public health ethics curricula.

METHODS:

An explanatory letter with a list of questions for discussion was sent to the deans of the accredited US schools of public health. The deans were asked that at least 1 individual at their school who "is most knowledgeable about ethics curricula" review the list of questions and complete an ethics survey contact form.

RESULTS:

Ethics instruction was required for all students at only 1 (4%) of the 24 schools surveyed, while 7 schools required ethics instruction for some students. Two of the schools had no ethics courses. Ethics instruction was required for all MPH students at 9 (38%) of the schools and for all doctoral students at 4 (17%) of the schools. Most of the schools (19 of 24, or 79%) offered short courses, seminar series, or invited lectures on ethical topics, and 23 (96%) included lectures on ethics topics in other courses such as health law.

CONCLUSIONS:

Training programs at US schools of public health vary greatly in how much attention is given to ethics instruction. Model curricula in public health ethics should be developed to help fill this gap.

Comment in

PMID:
10224994
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1508720
Free PMC Article
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