Medical Ethics & Professionalism (MA750)
This first year required course (MA750) provides an overview of the major ethical issues that arise in the practice of medicine, medical education, and medical research. After an initial whole-class introductory session in the amphitheater, the course is taught in separate sections of 10-11 students and run in a graduate seminar format. The weekly sessions are case-based and introduce students to the core elements of ethical reasoning around issues such as: confidentiality, truth telling, genetic testing, rationing, professional boundaries, conflicts of interest, informed consent for treatment and research, and end-of-life care. Readings are required in preparation for each session, and students are expected to participate in class discussions. In addition to the readings and class participation, each student is required to write a weekly short essay (500 words maximum) answering a question assigned for that week, which is to be submitted by e-mail no later than noon on the Wednesday preceding each Thursday's class. In most weeks, a questionnaire is also required by noon Wednesday, asking students to explain what they believe is morally appropriate in each of the cases that week based on their own beliefs after completing the readings.