Medical ethics course for undergraduate medical students: a needs assessment study


Education needs assessment is one of the essential components of curriculum development. In this study, we aimed to assess the educational needs of general physicians for medical ethics.
We conducted a three-stage Delphi study of general physicians' views on important ethical issues in their practice. In the item generation stage we retrieved 45 important educational items from a survey of general physicians, patients, well known ethical clinicians, and a review of other universities' curricula and international literature. The questionnaire was designed to ask the importance of each generated item. We then sent the questionnaire to general physicians. Items scored as highly important by more than 80% of the respondents in the first or second consensus development surveys were considered as educational priorities. Four academic medical ethics teachers reviewed and commented on the findings.
The response rate to the first consensus development survey was 38%, of whom 77% also responded to the second survey. We developed consensus on 24 medical ethics items for inclusion in medical ethics curriculum. All items were also considered important by medical ethics teachers, and they added four further items to the list.
Despite the attention given to ethical issues originating from technological advances, the most important educational needs of general physicians in medical ethics are still the traditional issues concerning the doctor-patient relationship and professionalism.

IssueVol 6 (2013) QRcode
Needs assessment Medical ethics education Delphi method General practitioners

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How to Cite
Asghari F, Samadi A, Rashidian A. Medical ethics course for undergraduate medical students: a needs assessment study. J Med Ethics Hist Med. 1;6:7-.