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Postgraduate Student Education

The Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities is dedicated to developing and providing ethics training and education on the social and psychological elements of morality for all students who attend UMMC. While we are still in the process of developing curriculum and determining best practices, we have made great progress on several programs.

Medical/health care students

Medical students receive training and critical thinking education in ethics and moral psychology through ethics modules developed for the Introduction to the Medical Professions (IMP) core course all medical students take. Led by Patrick Hopkins, the ethics education is being developed into a comprehensive and coherent program that will cover all four years of medical education. The curriculum for M1 and M2 students has been developed and implemented, an elective course in clinical ethics has been produced for M4 students, and we are currently working on M3 and more M4 opportunities to create a 4-year program that is not a general pastiche of ethics issues (as many programs are) but is a consistent, focused, program that builds over time and is directly relevant to the needs, concurrent coursework, and concerns of medical students.

  • M1: Principles of medical ethics, basics of moral psychology, medical ethics decisions contexts, case analysis skills, regional history of medicine, research ethics, reconciling religious faith with medical ethics, practical ethics case discussions.
  • M2: Philosophy of medicine, definitions of life and death, patient/physician interaction, physician’s personal life management, small group case discussions, medical law, clinical ethics in three stages of life, case analysis, USMLE ethics questions practice.
  • M3: Developing.
  • M4: Optional clinical ethics course covering a variety of current clinical ethics issues, including brain death, reproductive technology, maternal/ fetal ethics, ethics & the law, spirituality, pediatric ethics, professionalism, research ethics, end of life.


We hope to eventually develop modules for other healthcare related professions students and scientific research professions students that will address the specific needs and issues those professions will face.