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


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          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.

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          Most cited references 41

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          In a Different Voice: Women's Conceptions of Self and of Morality

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              Variation of mood and empathy during internship.

              Internship is a time of great transition, during which mood disturbances are common. However, variations in mood and empathy levels throughout the internship year have not been investigated. To examine mood patterns and changes in empathy among internal medicine residents over the course of the internship year. Cohort study of interns involving completion of survey instruments at 4 points: time 1 (June 2000; Profile of Mood States [POMS] and Interpersonal Reactivity Index [IRI]), times 2 and 3 (November 2000 and February 2001; POMS), and time 4 (June 2001; POMS and IRI). Internal medicine residency program at a university-based medical center. Sixty-one interns. Baseline scores of mood states and empathy; trends in mood states and empathy over the internship year. Response rates for time 1 were 98%; for time 2, 72%; for time 3, 79%; and for time 4, 79%. Results of the POMS revealed that physicians starting their internship exhibit less tension, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion and have more vigor than general adult and college student populations (P<.001 for all). Results of the IRI showed better baseline scores for perspective taking (P<.001) and empathic concern (P =.007) and lower scores for personal distress (P<.001) among interns compared with norms. Five months into internship, however, POMS scores revealed significant increases in the depression-dejection (P<.001), anger-hostility (P<.001), and fatigue-inertia (P<.001) scales, as well as an increase in IRI personal distress level (P<.001). These increases corresponded with decreases in the POMS vigor-activity scores (P<.001) and IRI empathic concern measures (P =.005). Changes persisted throughout the internship period. We found that, in this sample, enthusiasm at the beginning of internship soon gave way to depression, anger, and fatigue. Future research should be aimed at determining whether these changes persist beyond internship.

                Author and article information

                Med Educ Online
                Med Educ Online
                Medical Education Online
                Taylor & Francis
                31 May 2017
                : 22
                : 1
                [ a ] Department of Surgery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University , Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
                [ b ] Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University , Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
                [ c ] Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University , Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
                Author notes
                CONTACT Tahra AlMahmoud uaeye27@ 123456hotmail.com College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University , P.O.Box: 17666, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
                © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 5, References: 42, Pages: 10
                Authors did not receive any grant funding or financial support for the work presented in the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Research Article


                medical ethics, professionalism, teaching and learning


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