Teaching Medical Ethics in Iran: A Quantitative Study

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Background and Purpose: Practice of good medicine raises many ethical issues. Teaching medical ethics is essential for medical students, but it seems that the content of the core curriculum, delivery resources, and the teaching and assessment methods, do not address this need. Our study assessed undergraduate medical and dentistry students’ opinion of a presented course on medical ethics as a basic research in order to evaluate the content and presentation method of this course.Methods: This study was a cross-sectional descriptive study on 244 students, including 146 medical and 98 dentistry students. Data were gathered using a questionnaire and analyzed by SPSS software,version 18. Results: Of the 244 students, 59.8% were medical and 40.2% were dentistry students, and 72.3% were female. The mean±SD age was 23.1±2.68 years. 52.87% of the students stated that the clinical periodwas the ideal time for presenting this type of course, 42.21% stated no more than 20 students as the acceptable size for a class, and 59.4% suggested case presentation as the best teaching method. Medicaland dentistry students had different opinions regarding the capability induced by this course such as: The ability of course to empower students in recognition of the professional obligations and increasing the students’ ability to communicate with patients, their relatives and other members of the medical staff.Conclusions: According to the results of this study, it is necessary to establish an appropriate, content evaluated program with educated teachers for teaching medical ethics, especially to medical students.