EACME Annual Conference, Rethinking Ethics in 21st Century Europe, Oxford, United Kingdom, 12 - 14 September 2019
Ethics teaching is globally considered as an essential part of medical education which should foster professionalism. It does not only provide knowledge for good conduct of medicine, but also raises medical students as virtuous practitioners. Although Turkey has had a considerable experience in medical ethics teaching, we were far from grasping the bigger picture over the country. To this aim, we designed a survey study to inquire the recent situation of ethics education in Turkish medical schools. Our questionnaire focused on teaching years, content, teaching, measurement and assessment methods, work power and infrastructure. We requested faculty members, officials and administrators to fill it out. The response rate was 78%.
The findings suggest deficiency of teaching personnel in many medical schools, although most institutions had an undergraduate ethics curriculum. Furthermore, there was an imbalance of the dissemination of the work force among institutions. There was demand for multidisciplinary ethics teaching, but bureaucratic obstacles were the way of institutionalizing such collaborations. Clinical ethics education was lacking or ineffective. Although most bioethics topics were covered in the curriculum, the content was usually conveyed to students theoretically. Multiple-choice tests were widely used to assess and evaluate student attainments.
This study points out strengths and needs for improvement. Competent teaching staff and ethics education integrated into medical curriculum conducted by a multidisciplinary team seem the most urgent necessities. To achieve these goals determined administrative support and clearly defined objectives are needed. Presenting a picture of ethics education, we hope to initiate reflections on its effects.