Medical ethics educational improvement, is it needed or not?! Survey for the assessment of the needed form, methods and topics of medical ethics teaching course amongst the final years medical students Faculty of Medicine Ain Shams University (ASU), Cairo, Egypt 2010.J Forensic Leg Med. 2011 Jul; 18(5):204-7.JF
In the process of our faculty gaining accreditation, the debate concerning the necessity for initiating an integrated course in which medical ethics course is implemented have arouse. Arguments concerning what should this course include, the best timing for this course to be applied, how it should be taught, planned for and mostly for what the students are interested to get out of it.
The main purpose of this work is to identify the ethical needs and ethical dilemmas freshly graduated medical students face at the beginning of their training and their suggestions to seek better educational approaches that can be applied in teaching medical ethics proposed by the medical students themselves throughout the teaching process and after graduation.
It seemed rather appropriate at this stage to carry out an evaluation survey assessing the needs for medical ethics teaching course through the exploration of the opinions of medical students and freshly graduated doctors on ethical issues through a simple survey by using an open ended question questionnaire designed to fulfil the study targeted requirements.
100 volunteers (n = 100) randomly chosen from the fifth year students of our faculty of medicine ASU who had recently studied ethics course in the fourth year (n = 20), interns both junior and senior residents in El Demerdash hospitals (n = 80). 25 questionnaires were excluded due to inappropriate or missing answers resulting in 75% response rate. 60% of the surveyed group favored an integrated ethics course taught throughout the whole academic years study. 56% chose the practical teaching method with problem solving strategies for the daily arising confusing ethical issues to be the best way to teach the course. While 53.4% thought that stuff specialized in medico legal issues were best to teach this course. As regards the highly confusing ethical dilemmas in which they were interested in getting updated feedback about: Confidentiality, doctor-patient relationship and informed consent came first by 69.3%.
This study revealed the essential need for a model medical ethics curriculum that responds to students' concerns in addition to providing basic training in moral reasoning and ethical decision making to be applied both horizontally and vertically across the whole years of medical school.
A Simple booklet containing recent version of the Egyptian code of ethics, common ethical dilemmas and recently evolving ethical issues should be available for all newly graduated health professionals.