School of Medicine

Medical Ethics Education

Education: Core Curriculum

The Division of Medical Ethics and Humanities is involved in the education of Medical Students at the University of Utah in a variety of ways. The following are courses within the SOM Core of Curriculum where you can find our educational input:

Layers of Medicine 

“Layers of Medicine” course is a required course designed to run longitudinally throughout the first two years (MS 1 and MS2) of medical school. Gretchen Case, PhD, and Karly Pippit, MD, are the 2015 unit directors. This course is an ongoing dialogue about the interdisciplinary complexities and challenges of health care. This dialogue is rooted in both the very large and the very small.  Medical Students attend to the 'big picture' conceptualization of what medical care means and the broader socio-cultural factors that shape its delivery. At the same time, students attend closely to the unique particularities of the patient-doctor relationship: analyzing ethically and practically challenging scenarios and examining issues of professionalism in medicine. Some of what we cover:

  • Sex- and gender-specific medicine
  • Health care delivery
  • Culture and medicine
  • Global health
  • Public health
  • Ethics
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Professionalism and Communication
Foundations of Medicine 

“Foundations of Medicine” is a required course at the University of Utah School of Medicine for first year medical students. (MS1) Ethics and humanities topics are integrated into the curriculum of this course. Each ethics unit ties in with the medical school themes and relates back to the ethics themes previously introduced. A capstone case study unit at the end integrates the ethics and legal concepts taught throughout the course. In Fall 2015 the following units are taught by various Division of Medical Ethics and Humanities faculty:

  • Values in the Practice of Medicine (Jeff Botkin, MD, MPH)
  • Classic Cases (Jeff Botkin, MD, MPH)
  • Privacy and Confidentiality (Leslie Francis, JD, PhD)
  • Informed Consent (Jeff Botkin, MD, MPH)
  • Justice Issues in Medicine  (Jim Tabery, PhD)
  • Ethical Theory with practical decision making as small groups (Peggy Battin, PhD, MFA)
  • Real Life (and death) (Peggy Battin, PhD, MFA)
  • Intro to Legal Issues (Teneille Brown, JD)
  • Patient Decision Making (Leslie Francis, JD, PhD)
  • Research ethics (Jim Tabery, PhD)
  • "Person-centered care when death may be near" (Samuel Brown, MD)
  • Ethics Capstone (integrating into case study the above ethical and legal concepts)(Jeff Botkin, MD, MPH)
Host & Defense

“Host & Defense” is a required unit at the University of Utah School of Medicine for first year medical students. (MS1) In 2014–15 DMEH faculty were invited to teach the following in this unit:

  • Disaster Preparedness/Ebola  (Jim Tabery, PhD & Jay Jacobson, MD
  • Tuskegee & Beyond  (Jim Tabery, PhD & Jeff Botkin, MD, MPH)
Molecules, Cells, & Cancer 

“Molecules, Cells, and Cancer” is a required unit at the University of Utah School of Medicine for first year medical students. (MS1) In 2014-15, DMEH faculty were invited to teach the following in this unit:

  • “Ethical issues surrounding genetic syndromes (using Li-Fraumeni) co-taught by Josh Schiffman, MD and Jeff Botkin, MD, MPH)
Pediatric Clerkships

Pediatric Clerkships (MS3): Ongoing sessions in informed consent are facilitated by Jeff Botkin, MD, MPH.