Bioethics Principles, Informed Consent, and Ethical Care for Special Populations: Curricular Needs Expressed by Men and Women Physicians-in-Training

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, 3rd Floor, Tosa Center, 1155 N. Mayfair Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.
Psychosomatics (Impact Factor: 1.86). 09/2005; 46(5):440-50. DOI: 10.1176/appi.psy.46.5.440
Source: PubMed


Physicians-in-training today are learning in an ethical environment that is unprecedented in its complexity. There is a call for new approaches in preparing medical students and residents for the ethical and professional issues they will encounter. The perspectives of physicians-in-training at different levels regarding the level of curricular attention needed for emerging bioethics concepts, practical informed consent considerations, and the care of special populations are unknown.
The authors performed a hypothesis-driven, confidential survey study to assess perceived needs and preferences among medical students and residents related to medical ethics education at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
A total of 336 physicians-in-training volunteered (62% response rate). Overall, strong interest was expressed for increased curricular attention to the domains of bioethics principles, informed consent, and care of special populations. Women students expressed greater interest generally. For certain domains, clinical students expressed relatively less curricular need and psychiatry and primary care residents expressed relatively greater curricular need. Two of the four hypotheses were supported, a third received partial support, and a fourth was not supported by the findings.
To be valuable and effective, new ethics curricular approaches must be responsive to the current complex ethical environment and attentive to the preferences of medical students and residents of both genders, at different stages of training, with different patient care responsibilities. This hypothesis-driven study provides guidance for the inclusion of novel and important ethics domains in training curricula across medical school and diverse residency programs.

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Available from: Teddy D Warner, Oct 09, 2015
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    • "Such ethics training is important in order to define the critical role that the four principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice play in clinical practice [19]. Several reports have been published that extol the virtues of medical ethics training in psychiatry residency training programs [20]. "
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