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Iran J Public Health. 2012;41(4):1-8. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Public health ethics related training for public health workforce: an emerging need in the United States.

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  • 1Dept. of Health Sciences, Fribourgh Hall, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, 72204, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ethics is a discipline, which primarily deals with what is moral and immoral behavior. Public Health Ethics is translation of ethical theories and concepts into practice to address complex multidimensional public health problems. The primary purpose of this paper was to conduct a narrative literature review-addressing role of ethics in developing curriculum in programs and schools of public health, ethics-related instruction in schools and programs of public health and the role of ethics in developing a competent public health workforce.

METHODS:

An open search of various health databases including Google scholar and Ebscohost yielded 15 articles related to use of ethics in public health practice or public health training and the salient features were reported.

RESULTS:

Results indicated a variable amount of ethics' related training in schools and programs of public health along with public health practitioner training across the nation. Bioethics, medical ethics and public health ethics were found to be subspecialties' needing separate ethical frameworks to guide decision making.

CONCLUSIONS:

Ethics based curricular and non-curricular training for emerging public health professionals from schools and programs of public health in the United States is extremely essential. In the current age of public health challenges faced in the United States and globally, to have an ethically untrained public health force is arguably, immoral and unethical and jeopardizes population health. There is an urgent need to develop innovative ethic based curriculums in academia as well as finding effective means to translate these curricular competencies into public health practice.

KEYWORDS:

Competencies; Ethics; Public health Ethics; Public health workforce; USA

PMID:
23113159
PMCID:
PMC3481609
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