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Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities

The Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities (CBMH) provides a platform to incorporate ethics and professionalism into the curriculum of UMMC schools and training programs as core values of our learning, service and research communities. Our mission, however, goes further to equip faculty, staff and students with skills to better understand the socio-cultural context in which modern health care takes place. Appreciation of this context deepens our engagement with the human aspects of disease, its treatment and its study, enriching our understanding of how patients experience illness and injury.

The CBMH achieves this mission through:
  • Ethics curriculum development
  • Professionalism education
  • Consultation regarding ethical dilemmas in health care
  • Research into social and cultural determinants of health
  • Exploration of the medical humanities including history, anthropology, literature and philosophy

Social and Cultural Determinants of Health

Health and illness are phenomena which are not experienced solely biologically. Beyond the function, or dysfunction, of biological systems there are a number of factors which affect both our health and how we experience illness and disease. These factors are known as “social determinants of health.” Research has proven that physical environment, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, and health literacy level all play important roles in the health of individuals and of communities. The Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities conducts research to further contribute to the current body of knowledge relating to health determinants.

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is an imperative on many ethical grounds. Within an academic medical center, however, the Responsible Conduct of Research, or RCR, is a primary cornerstone not only of individual academic honesty, but also of institutional integrity. RCR includes contributions, usually collaborative, across the life of a study, from its design and implementation to the accurate recording of findings and careful analysis of data by accepted methods. These analyzed outcomes must be reported truthfully in well-crafted publications and presentations that carefully designate the roles of each contributor. This presentation addresses six key concepts to aid in developing technically sound and ethically written research publications and presentations.


Professionalism Resource Catalog

The Professionalism Resource Catalog (PRC) exists as an instructional tool. Individual curriculum elements which can be imbedded into existing instruction are made available for faculty use. Each element in the curriculum can be used either by course instructors or as a presentation by a member of the CBMH staff. Topics covered in the PRC include professionalism, ethics, and engagement. Elements include PowerPoint presentations, small group activities, films and literary works.