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Med Educ Online. 2017;22(1):1328257. doi: 10.1080/10872981.2017.1328257.

Ethics teaching in a medical education environment: preferences for diversity of learning and assessment methods.

Author information

1
a Department of Surgery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences , United Arab Emirates University , Al Ain , United Arab Emirates.
2
b Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences , United Arab Emirates University , Al Ain , United Arab Emirates.
3
c Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine and Health Sciences , United Arab Emirates University , Al Ain , United Arab Emirates.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ethics and professionalism are an integral part of medical school curricula; however, medical students' views on these topics have not been assessed in many countries.

OBJECTIVE:

 The study aimed to examine medical students' perceptions toward ethics and professionalism teaching, and its learning and assessment methods.

DESIGN:

A self-administered questionnaire eliciting views on professionalism and ethics education was distributed to a total of 128 final-year medical students.

RESULTS:

A total of 108 students completed the survey, with an 84% response rate. Medical students reported frequently encountering ethical conflicts during training but stated only a moderate level of ethics training at medical school (mean = 5.14 ± 1.8). They noted that their education had helped somewhat to deal with ethical conflicts (mean = 5.39 ± 2.0). Students strongly affirmed the importance of ethics education (mean = 7.63 ± 1.03) and endorsed the value of positive role models (mean = 7.45 ± 1.5) as the preferred learning method. The cohort voiced interest in direct faculty supervision as an approach to assessment of knowledge and skills (mean = 7.62 ± 1.26). Female students perceived greater need for more ethics education compared to males (p = < 0.05). Students who claimed that they had experienced some unprofessional treatment had a more limited view of the importance of ethics as a subject (P = 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

Medical students viewed ethics education positively and preferred clinically attuned methods for learning.

KEYWORDS:

Medical ethics; professionalism; teaching and learning

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