A pilot study of knowledge retention by pre-clinical (year 2) medical bioethics students
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AbstractBackground and Purpose
Traditionally, medical students have tended to make core subjects such as anatomy and physiology their study priorities because they believe these areas will help them build up the background knowledge and skills required to practice medicine. For many medical students, medical bioethics is a novel and abstract concept that they are required to learn at different stages of their education. Medical bioethics requires the application of certain values and principles that doctors need to face in many real-life cases. In year 2 bioethics teaching, students read specially formulated cases and apply these principles. In this novel study, we examine whether year 2 medical students can retain knowledge and comprehend bioethical definitions through the discussion of cases.

Method
Eighty-five medical students were asked three questions at the end of their third tutorial (module 3) in early December 2016. The aim of the first question was to test whether all students could recall the four core principles of bioethics learnt in year 1: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. The remaining questions were more case-based with the aim of determining whether most of the students could:
Q2. recall at least 3 social determinants of health (module 1); and
Q3. extract the essence of an article written by Michael J. Sandel (an American philosopher) on the definition of a ‘true human lifeform’ (module 2).
The students were asked to write down their answers on a blank card, and raw data was collected, summarised and analysed.

Results and Conclusion
Our data show that 94% of the students could recall all four core bioethical principles. The top three social determinants mentioned by most students were social gradient, unemployment and transportation. Comprehension of Sandel’s article (Q3) differed among the students who answered the question. In conclusion, our data show that students retain material learnt a year previously better than newly acquired information.
All Author(s) ListIsabel HWANG, Wilmann LIANG
Name of ConferenceThe Chinese University of Hong Kong - Medical Education Conference (CU-MEC) 2017
Start Date of Conference10/03/2017
End Date of Conference11/03/2017
Place of ConferenceHong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital
Country/Region of ConferenceHong Kong
Year2017
Month3
Pages38
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsbioethics teaching

Last updated on 2018-16-10 at 17:29