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Improving global access to medical ethics education: a free self-paced online course on the Peoples-uni website

Roger P Worthington , Rajan Madhok , Richard F Heller

DOI: DOI:10.20529/IJME.2020.031


Abstract

In an attempt to increase global access to education about medical ethics, a free fully online course was developed on the Peoples-uni Open Online Courses site. Students came from 60 countries and were more likely to be medical practitioners, have come from the global North, and to have heard about the course through the web than other students enrolled in the Peoples-uni Open Online Courses site. Students scored high marks on the five quizzes. A third of the students gained a certificate of completion. Course feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Students stated that they learned the most from the lesson on professionalism, while other topics such as patient rights and autonomy, legal issues, and healthcare organisation and public health were also frequently mentioned. The course is an example of how open online courses can play a role in increasing awareness of medical ethics. Based on its analysis, the study identifies a need to attract interest in this area from low- and middle-income countries.

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