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Selection of medical students according to their moral orientation.
Med Educ. 2005 Mar; 39(3):266-75.ME

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Consideration has been given to the use of tests of moral reasoning in the selection procedure for medical students. We argue that moral orientation, rather than moral reasoning, might be more efficacious in minimising the likelihood of inappropriate ethical behaviour in medicine. A conceptualisation and measure of moral orientation are presented, together with findings from 11 samples of medical school applicants and students.

AIM

To provide empirical evidence for the reliability and validity of a measure of moral orientation and to explore gender, age, cultural and educational influences on moral orientation.

METHODS

A questionnaire designed to measure a libertarian-dual-communitarian dimension of moral orientation was completed by 7864 medical school applicants and students in Australia, Israel, Fiji, New Zealand, Scotland and England and by 84 Australian psychology students between 1997 and 2001.

RESULTS

Older respondents produced marginally higher (more communitarian) moral orientation scores, as did women compared to men. Minor but significant (P <0.05) cultural differences were found. The Israeli samples produced higher mean moral orientation scores, while the Australian psychology student sample produced a lower (more libertarian) mean score relative to all other samples. No significant change in moral orientation score was observed after 1 year in a sample of Australian medical school students (n=59), although some differences observed between 5 cohorts of Australian medical students (Years 1-5; n=234) did reach significance. Moral orientation scores were found to be significantly correlated with a number of personality measures, providing evidence of construct validity. In all samples moral orientation significantly predicted the moral decisions made in response to the hypothetical dilemmas embedded in the measurement instrument. Discussion The results provide support for the conceptualisation of a libertarian-dual-communitarian dimension of moral orientation and demonstrate the psychometric properties of the measurement instrument. A number of questions concerning the use of such tests in selection procedures are considered.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia. Miles.Bore@newcastle.edu.auNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Multicenter Study
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15733162

Citation

Bore, Miles, et al. "Selection of Medical Students According to Their Moral Orientation." Medical Education, vol. 39, no. 3, 2005, pp. 266-75.
Bore M, Munro D, Kerridge I, et al. Selection of medical students according to their moral orientation. Med Educ. 2005;39(3):266-75.
Bore, M., Munro, D., Kerridge, I., & Powis, D. (2005). Selection of medical students according to their moral orientation. Medical Education, 39(3), 266-75.
Bore M, et al. Selection of Medical Students According to Their Moral Orientation. Med Educ. 2005;39(3):266-75. PubMed PMID: 15733162.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Selection of medical students according to their moral orientation. AU - Bore,Miles, AU - Munro,Don, AU - Kerridge,Ian, AU - Powis,David, PY - 2005/3/1/pubmed PY - 2005/4/5/medline PY - 2005/3/1/entrez KW - Bioethics and Professional Ethics KW - Empirical Approach SP - 266 EP - 75 JF - Medical education JO - Med Educ VL - 39 IS - 3 N2 - INTRODUCTION: Consideration has been given to the use of tests of moral reasoning in the selection procedure for medical students. We argue that moral orientation, rather than moral reasoning, might be more efficacious in minimising the likelihood of inappropriate ethical behaviour in medicine. A conceptualisation and measure of moral orientation are presented, together with findings from 11 samples of medical school applicants and students. AIM: To provide empirical evidence for the reliability and validity of a measure of moral orientation and to explore gender, age, cultural and educational influences on moral orientation. METHODS: A questionnaire designed to measure a libertarian-dual-communitarian dimension of moral orientation was completed by 7864 medical school applicants and students in Australia, Israel, Fiji, New Zealand, Scotland and England and by 84 Australian psychology students between 1997 and 2001. RESULTS: Older respondents produced marginally higher (more communitarian) moral orientation scores, as did women compared to men. Minor but significant (P <0.05) cultural differences were found. The Israeli samples produced higher mean moral orientation scores, while the Australian psychology student sample produced a lower (more libertarian) mean score relative to all other samples. No significant change in moral orientation score was observed after 1 year in a sample of Australian medical school students (n=59), although some differences observed between 5 cohorts of Australian medical students (Years 1-5; n=234) did reach significance. Moral orientation scores were found to be significantly correlated with a number of personality measures, providing evidence of construct validity. In all samples moral orientation significantly predicted the moral decisions made in response to the hypothetical dilemmas embedded in the measurement instrument. Discussion The results provide support for the conceptualisation of a libertarian-dual-communitarian dimension of moral orientation and demonstrate the psychometric properties of the measurement instrument. A number of questions concerning the use of such tests in selection procedures are considered. SN - 0308-0110 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15733162/Selection_of_medical_students_according_to_their_moral_orientation_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2929.2005.02088.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -