Medical students' attitudes to medical ethics education


ABSTRACTObjective: The aim of the study is to investigate medical students' attitudes and opinions regarding medical ethics education.Subjects and methods: The study was conducted in the College of Medicine, University of Mosul during the academic year 2011-2012. A cross-sectional study design was adopted with a self-administered questionnaire form distributed to medical students in the 5th and 6th undergraduate grades. Results: Of 150 respondents, the majority (82%) considered medical ethics teaching for medical students an important issue, and 69.3% agreed that medical ethics teaching would influence the attitudes and behaviors of doctors, and improve patient-doctor relationship. However, only 40% had general interest in learning more about medical ethics. Two thirds (64.8) of students were confident with their ability to recognize a significant ethical problems in clinical practice. Only 36% knew how to proceed when a patient is mentally incompetent. Conclusion: Medical students have a low positive attitude about the medical ethics teaching, and they may not be adequately prepared to meet the challenges of clinical practice. There should be incorporation of creative and integrated ethics curriculum to start in the first medical grade, with emphasis on ethical aspect of daily medical practice.