Survey of ethical issues reported by Indian medical students: basis for design of a new curriculum

Anuradha Rose, Kuryan George, Arul Dhas T, Anna Benjamin Pulimood, Gagandeep Kang

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2014.007


Abstract

Education in ethics is now a formal part of the undergraduate medical curriculum. However, most courses are structured around principles and case studies more appropriate to western countries. The cultures and practices of countries like India differ from those of western countries. It is, therefore, essential that our teaching should address the issues which are the most relevant to our setting. An anonymised, questionnaire-based, cross-sectional survey of medical students was carried out to get a picture of the ethical problems faced by students in India. The data were categorised into issues related to professional behaviour and ethical dilemmas. Unprofessional behaviour was among the issues reported as a matter of concern by a majority of the medical students. The survey highlights the need to design the curriculum in a way that reflects the structure of medical education in India, where patients are not always considered socio-culturally equal by students or the medical staff. This perspective must underpin any further efforts to address education in ethics in India.

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