Ethics Education for Canadian Medical Students

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Ethics, Education, Canada, Medical Students, Medical School, Research Survey


This study was designed to determine the nature, extent and quality of medical ethics education for students in Canadian medical schools. In 1989, a questionnaire that used primarily open-ended questions was sent to all 16 Canadian medical schools; they all responded. Significant findings include the following: 15 of the 16 schools provided some ethics education (with wide-ranging objectives); the time allotted for such instruction ranged from ten and a half hours to 45 hours (per degree, not per year), with no discernible pattern in the distribution of hours across the years; most teaching was case-based and issue-oriented; most instructors were physicians; and almost all the schools conducted assessments of students using a pass-fail standard.