Curricular Journey on Ethics and Professionalism and its Impact on Students’ Attitudes
Keywords:Ethical sensitivity, professionalism, medical curriculum, person centred medicine, reflective practice, early patient contact
AbstractIn traditional medical schools, patient contact is made through specialized clinical services that provide the students with a fragmented view of medicine, and ethical and professional issues are handled separately from clinical practice, in many cases as a theoretical debate unconnected to clinical reality. Under these conditions, it is difficult for future doctors to get a style of person-centered practice, combining both the scientific and humanistic aspects of the profession (relational and communication skills, professional attitudes and values, ethical criteria, etc).Currently there are no established guidelines on the most effective ways of supporting medical students to develop high standards of medical ethics and professionalism. Francisco de Vitoria University has developed its own curricular pathway to promote them. The curricular journey focuses on five main areas to support the development of ethics and professionalism in medical students: student selection, curriculum design, role modeling, new teaching and learning methods as well as assessment methods.The School of Medicine of Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid, Spain, started its Medicine Degree in the the 2010-2011 academic year. The first cohort of 50 medical students, currently on the third academic year, has been following this medical ethics and professionalism pathway. Our experience confirms the idea of structuring a formal program in five main themes as a way of supporting the development of professionalism in medical students.
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