Professional Bioethics in Graduate Medical Education: a Curricular Innovation to Improve Communication and Professionalism (Published 2015)
Apr 06, 2016
Broom M, Guild C, and Ahmadi Nasab Emran S
This paper describes a novel hybrid Professional Bioethics in Graduate Medical Education course, which utilised both online modules and small-group discussions to teach bioethics and professionalism.
Introduction: There are requirements for resident training in professionalism, but without much specification, and variation exists with regards to how these requirements should be met. We describe a novel hybrid Professional Bioethics in Graduate Medical Education course, which utilized both online modules and small-group discussions to teach bioethics and professionalism.
Methods: Pediatric, internal medicine, neurology, and psychiatry residents were given the opportunity to complete online modules prior to participating in a series of small-group discussions. Topics included patient hand-offs, difficult patients, medical mistakes, patient-physician relationships, and physician-influence from industry. Residents completed anonymous evaluations upon completion of the modules and at course completion.
Results: 140 residents (42 pediatric, 52 internal medicine, 22 neurology, and 24 psychiatry) enrolled in the course and completed 191 surveys evaluating the modules. Resident surveys indicated that small-group discussions were an important method of learning (80%). Surveys noted that having frank, open discussions with other residents was a useful format (85%). Although residents reported that they enjoyed the online modules, only 10% routinely accessed the posted materials.
Conclusion: Although online modules are accessible and useful for certain aspects of learning, small-group discussions may provide a more successful forum to provide this education in bioethics and professionalism.
An interesting and well structured paper that describes a mixed methods approach to the teaching of ethics. With so many teaching approaches being used in these present times, I feel that authors now need to address why their approach is probably either more appropriate or achieves better outcomes. This can be achieved by looking at the affect upon the practitioner over time and how it influences practice, rather than relying on Kirkpatrick level 1 evaluation, as this paper did.