Ethics in radiology: A case-based approach

Laura Stiles-Clarke, James Clarke


Background: Ethics training is required for all radiology residents in Canada, but this may be difficult to provide as radiology departments may not have radiologists with formal ethics training, and may not have access to educational resources focussed on teaching ethics to radiologists. We describe the implementation of a case-based approach to teaching and learning ethics, designed for Canadian radiologists. This approach can be adapted for use in other specialties through development of specialty-specific ethics case scenarios.

Methods: Ethics case study rounds specific to Canadian radiologic practice were presented at two different institutions, and using two different methods within one institution. In one method, we requested that the residents read the case study and questions ahead of time; in the other, the rounds were presented without any expectation of residents doing prior preparation.

Results: The participants, as a group, agreed with all seven survey statements describing the value of the experience. The opportunity to read the case ahead of time seemed helpful for some residents, but was not found to be overall more useful than discussing the case without prior review. Indeed, more than half of the resident participants in this group indicated that they did not make use of the advance materials at all.

Conclusion: Resident feedback indicates that ethics case study rounds are a useful and valuable experience, especially when the case is specifically tailored to their medical practice. Prior preparation was not necessary for residents to benefit from these rounds.


medical education, radiology, ethics, case-based learning

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Copyright (c) 2018 Laura Stiles-Clarke, James Clarke

CMEJ ~ Canadian Medical Education Journal
Jennifer O'Brien PhD, Managing Editor, University of Saskatchewan; E-mail:

ISSN 1923-1202