Evaluating pediatrics residents’ ethics learning needs using multisource interprofessional feedback


  • Peter MacPherson Queen's University
  • Julie Emberley Memorial University of Newfoundland




education, medical, graduate, ethics, bioethics, professionalism, pediatrics


Background: Ethics education is a required component of pediatric residency training. Limited instructional time requires educators to identify and prioritize learning needs. This is the first study to identify pediatric residents’ ethics learning needs using a multisource (360 degree) assessment. We hypothesized that pediatricians or allied health care professionals would identify unperceived ethics learning needs.

Methods: Pediatric residents, pediatricians, respiratory therapists (RTs), and registered nurses (RNs) working at a university children's hospital rated the importance of twelve ethics themes as learning needs for trainees using a Likert-type scale. One-way ANOVA was used to determine differences between the groups, followed by post-hoc testing.

Results: Response rates were 65%, 70%, 57%, and 47% for residents, pediatricians, RTs, and RNs, respectively. Themes were categorized into three priority groupings based on mean importance ratings. Where significant differences existed between residents and other respondent groups, pediatric residents rated the theme as being more important. 

Conclusion: This study provides an interprofessional assessment of pediatric residents’ perceived ethics learning needs. High priority ethics topics were identified, allowing for targeted teaching. Pediatricians and allied HCPs did not rate any ethics themes higher than residents. Medical educators may consider using methods inspired by multisource feedback for program evaluation.

Author Biographies

Peter MacPherson, Queen's University

Dr. MacPhersson is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Queen's University. He practices General Pediatrics and is pursuing a Master of Education degree.

Julie Emberley, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Dr. Emberley is a Neonatologist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She holds a Master of Health Sciences in Bioethics.


Additional Files



How to Cite

MacPherson P, Emberley J. Evaluating pediatrics residents’ ethics learning needs using multisource interprofessional feedback. Can. Med. Ed. J [Internet]. 2017Dec.16 [cited 2021Jul.28];8(4):e86-91. Available from: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cmej/article/view/36931



Brief Reports