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Home > Research > Research Projects List > Qualitative Study of Students' Ethical cases

Qualitative Study of Students' Ethical cases

Title: A qualitative study of Medical students’ descriptions of cases which raised ethical issues encountered on Paediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynaecology placement
Principal research question: A qualitative analysis of the students’ case reports, investigating the themes that arise in their descriptions of ethically problematic experiences and the relationship between these themes and the core curriculum.
Background: Dealing appropriately with ethical problems, including noticing when an ethical dilemma has arisen, is an important part of the work of junior doctors. In 1998, teachers of medical ethics in UK medical schools produced a consensus statement on the core curriculum that should be delivered to medical students in order to prepare them for this aspect of practice. A working group of the Institute of Medical Ethics is in the process of reviewing and updating this statement and it is anticipated that medical schools will review their teaching programmes when the new statement is published.

During their training at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, medical students submit reports of ethical problems that they have encountered, on which educational discussions of medical ethics are based. These discussions are an important means of delivering the core curriculum during attachments in Paediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynaecology. This type of small-group discussion work is also an important component of medical law and ethics education in other UK medical schools. The relationship between the topics that the students raise for discussion and those highlighted as important in the consensus statement on the core curriculum has not been described.
Methodology description: At the seminars in law and ethics, members of the research team will outline the nature and purpose of the research study, and then invite the students to indicate whether or not they give their consent for their reflective portfolio items to be included in the study dataset.

Consent will be indicated on forms to be collected and stored by the GP Unit Data Manager (see below).

For all consents, the corresponding case reports will be thematically analysed by the research team. (using what procedure?)
Sample group description: The participants will be clinical medical students in the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.
Project organisation
Start date: 1st April 2009
End date: 31st March 2010
Contact person: Elizabeth Fistein
Contact Details: Address: General Practice & Primary Care Research Unit
Institute of Public Health
University Forvie Site, Robinson Way
Telephone: 01223 330329
Fax: 01223 762515
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 November 2009 19:51