Using simulated case studies to evaluate a clinical ethics course for junior students

J Med Educ. 1982 May;57(5):380-5. doi: 10.1097/00001888-198205000-00006.


An experimental teaching program in clinical ethics was developed and evaluated. All junior medical students who rotated through a general internal medicine service (75 percent of the class) were required to attend 12 to 14 hours of a clinical ethics seminar which met on a general medicine unit. The teaching sessions were structured around actual cases presented by the junior medical students. One of the evaluation techniques developed is discussed here: the use of simulated clinical-ethical cases. The questions themselves, the method of scoring them, and the findings will be examined. On the basis of this evaluation procedure, some tentative conclusions can be drawn: (a) it is possible to develop evaluation techniques to assess objectively students' ethical reasoning after participating in such a course, and (b) junior medical students who participate in a clinical ethics course show increased reflectiveness regarding ethical decisions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Decision Making
  • Education, Medical*
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans