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December 1990

Medical House Officers' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Confidence Regarding Medical Ethics

Author Affiliations

From The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Md.

Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(12):2509-2513. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390230065008

• As part of a trial of ethics education in a university-based, categorical, internal medicine training program, we surveyed all medical house officers at our institution regarding their knowledge of medical ethics, their attitudes and beliefs about selected issues in medical ethics, and their confidence in dealing with ethical problems. In a multivariate linear regression model, house officer knowledge scores were negatively correlated with postgraduate year, and positively correlated with age and with reporting a Jewish religious identity. A multivariate linear regression model predicting house officer confidence in dealing with ethical issues revealed a positive correlation with self-reported quality of ethics training in medical school and with being in the experimental group of house officers receiving ethics education. Attitudes and beliefs were largely uncorrelated with training or demographic characteristics. These results have implications for ethics education of both medical students and residents.

(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:2509-2513)