A Critical Review of Current Medical Ethics Education in Korea
Department of Medical Education, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine
There are numerous problems with the medical ethics education currently practiced in Korea. In the first place, there is a lack of consensus regarding the goals of medical ethics education. Some educators seek to promote morality or good character in medical students, while others focus on advanced bioethical issues such as euthanasia or organ transplantation. Secondly, there is confusion concerning teaching methods. Lectures, small group discussions, so called "dilemma discussions", PBL, TBL, and public service components are all used without any clear educational purpose and strategy. Thirdly, there are problems with evaluation; few know how to evaluate students' performance or measure the effects of medical ethics education.
In this article, I argue that the promotion of medical ethics competency based on the medical professionalism should be recognized as the ultimate goal of basic medical ethics education. Medical ethics competency is composed of knowledge, problem solving skills, and professionalism, and it covers three different domains: medical ethics, bioethics, and professional ethics. Instructional tools and methods should be constructed and implemented to achieve this goal of medical ethics competency, which will in turn help to promote medical professionalism in Korea.
Key Words : medical ethics education, professionalism, medical ethics competency