WEH/Ethox Seminar: Postgraduate Medical Ethics Education - mapping the field

Ethics exists both in informal (what doctors should learn) and formal (what educational and professional bodies state that doctors should learn) postgraduate medical curricula. This existence has served as justification for educational and academic activity rather than any robust evidence of patient benefit. Ethics in biomedicine is huge field characterised by contextual and disciplinary diversity, and literature on the rationale content and modes of teaching and learning ethics in medicine has largely coalesced around the education of medical students in the supervised, lower stakes setting of university education. Dr Papanikitas will explore a notional field of postgraduate medical ethics education, seeking to better understand its content, meanings and key stakeholders in academia, education and practice, and consider what is PGMEE in order to look for it in professional and academic literature. A draft description for discussion and refinement (in relation to doctors in the UK) is as follows:

Teaching and learning ethics (Ethics education) in/for healthcare practice but distinct from undergraduate settings in healthcare professions in that learners have passed a certain threshold for accountability.
Learners’ ordinary professional/service commitments have priority over their identification as learners.
Ethics education with the purpose of fostering good practice and professional flourishing in contemporary healthcare
UK postgraduate medical education as falling into 3 phases in UK medicine: 1) The foundation years, 2) Core and Specialist Training 3) Post-completion continuing professional development
Ethical CPD/CME components such as knowledge and skills in research ethics may exist alongside a professional life course
Dr Papanikitas will suggest that the field of PGMEE is easier to explore than to boundary. Relevant evidence may come from specialist medical journals, education journals or bioethics, journals, or lurk, unpublished in grey literature. The field may not be stable as it is undermined by disputes about what is ethics, who should teach and learn ethics as well as if when how and why ethics should be taught to doctors and whether such a field should limit itself to doctors.

Suggested pre-reading:

McAlister C, Gupta M et al, Learning on the job: ethics in postgraduate medical education, pages 79-114 in Health Humanities in Postgraduate Medical Education, Eds Peterkin AD and Skortzweka A, OUP, 2018 NY accessible through oxford medicine online here oxfordmedicine.com/view/10.1093/med/9780190849900.001.0001/med-9780190849900
Dudzinski D, Rhodes R and Fiester A, Pedagogical Goals for Academic Bioethics Programs, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (2013), 22, 284–296. www.cambridge.org/core/journals/cambridge-quarterly-of-healthcare-ethics/article/pedagogical-goals-for-academic-bioethics-programs/64F7BF61536E58B412D7BC13454FEA0B
Please feel free to look at presentations from the TORCH funded project: Understanding postgraduate medical ethics education accessible here www.researchgate.net/project/Postgraduate-Medical-Ethics-Education/update/5c98c78b3843b03424332a84