Ethics education for pediatric residents: a review of the literature

Raywat Deonandan, Hafsa Khan

Abstract


Background: Ethics education and research on medical residents is needed because, unlike medical students or experienced doctors, medical residents have to perform multiple roles simultaneously – student, teacher and clinician – thus exposing them to unique ethical stressors.  In this paper we reviewed the literature concerning ethics education in postgraduate pediatrics training programs.  Our goal was not to simply describe educational strategies and programs, but also to explore measurements and experiences of current practices to address gaps in ethics education during residency.

Method: We conducted a structured literature review to explore the extent of ethics education in pediatric residency programs. 

Results:  Twelve relevant studies were found.  The studies suggest that existing training regimens are insufficient to meet the real life ethical challenges experienced in actual practice, particularly with respect to palliative care and the commission of clinical errors. 

Conclusions: The increasing diversity of culture and beliefs in the clinical workplace is also serving to complicate educational needs. An interdisciplinary approach, spread over the entirety of a physician’s training, is a proposed solution worthy of more attention.


Keywords


Ethics; Pediatrics; Education; Medicine; Graduate

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CMEJ ~ Canadian Medical Education Journal
Jennifer O'Brien PhD, Managing Editor, University of Saskatchewan; E-mail: cmej.manager@usask.ca


ISSN 1923-1202