Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 3(11), pp. 834 - 842
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2015.031109
Reprint (PDF) (255Kb)


Influence of Course in Medical Ethics and Law on Career Plans of Medical Students


Shi-Yann Cheng 1,2,*, Lih-Hwa Lin 3,4, Chung-Han Kao 5, Tzu-Min Chan 2,6
1 School of Medicine, China Medical University, Taiwan
2 Department of Medical Education and Research, China Medical University Beigang Hospital, Taiwan
3 Graduate Institute of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taiwan
4 Division of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Beigang Hospital, Taiwan
5 Anesthesia, China Medical University Beigang Hospital, Taiwan
6 General Education Center, Taiwan Shoufu University, Taiwan

ABSTRACT

Background: The significant increase in medical disputes and lawsuits in recent years in Taiwan has severely affected behavior and ecology in medical practice. For this reason, we designed integrated courses on ethics and law and conducted a questionnaire-based career plan study to understand whether these issues influence their specialty selection process. Method: We randomly selected sixth-year medical students that rotated to our hospital to take an integrated course on medical ethics, laws and regulations, and problem-based learning. The students completed the same questionnaire before and after the course. We used a five-point Likert scale for agreement. In addition to calculating the proportion of agreement, we used paired t-tests in the question items before and after the course at a 0.05 level of significance. A qualitative analysis was also made. Results: This study included 98 medical students, 65 of whom were male, and 33 were female. In terms of reasons for studying medicine, the question item with the highest agreement proportion was "I chose to study medicine because being a doctor will enable me to lead a stable life"; in terms of career plans, it was "I will choose my specialty based on my personal aspirations and interests". On agreement scale, significant increases were presented in "I will choose my specialty based on my personal aspirations and interests" and "I will choose my specialty based on my sense of accomplishment". However, a significant reduction was found in "I will choose my specialty based on quality-of-life considerations". Qualitative analysis indicated that the students learnt that "acquiring good communication skills and fulfilling the obligation to obtain informed consent are the fundamental means of preventing medical disputes". Conclusion: After completing the course, medical students put greater emphasis on personal aptitude, interests, and sense of accomplishment, and less on quality-of-life in choosing a specialty.

KEYWORDS
Career Plan, Medical Ethics, Medical Law, Integrated Course, Problem-based Learning

Cite this paper
Shi-Yann Cheng , Lih-Hwa Lin , Chung-Han Kao , Tzu-Min Chan . "Influence of Course in Medical Ethics and Law on Career Plans of Medical Students." Universal Journal of Educational Research 3.11 (2015) 834 - 842. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2015.031109.