Teaching Medical Ethics to First Year Medical Students within the United Arab Emirates
An MBRU team led by Helen Henderson the Lead Simulation Educator at MBRU’s Medical Simulation, the largest simulation center in the UAE, along with Ian Ballard, Sim Center Manager, Dr. Laila Al Suwaidi, Assistant Professor of Molecular Hematology- College of Medicine, Rekha Thomas, Senior Executive at the Dean’s Office- College of Medicine, and Professor Mutairu Ezimokhai, Provost, have published an educational research paper in MedEdPublish about the appropriateness of simulation, and it’s feasibility to convey the principles of medical ethics to early-training medical students.
In summary, the paper discusses ways of teaching Medical Ethics to first year medical students. In today’s healthcare world it is important to equip medical students with the knowledge, challenges and solutions to handle ethical dilemmas. While there is no recommended format for how medical ethics should be taught it is recognized that students prefer a learner-centred approach. In a new medical college within the United Arab Emirates a simulation based medical education approach was adopted for the first year, semester one medical students to support the taught theoretical underpinnings. Simulation scenarios which focused on the main ethical principles as well as the Islamic principles particularly in relation to the beginning and end of life were developed.
Students were exposed to a variety of scenarios and were required to interact with standardized patients. Feedback from the students showed that 100% of them were in agreement that the simulation scenarios helped to support the theory taught in class.
The paper states that simulation based medical education has the opportunity to enhance the undergraduate medical curriculum as well as to raise awareness of ethical dilemmas that students will face when qualified.