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July 2002

Teaching EthicsA Structured Curriculum on Ethics for Ophthalmology Residents Is Not Valuable

Arch Ophthalmol. 2002;120(7):965. doi:10.1001/archopht.120.7.965

To be good is noble; to teach others to be good is nobler. . . and less trouble.—Mark Twain1

I WRITE THIS PIECE under certain assumptions. First, I assume that my esteemed colleague and good friend Susan Day, MD, is proposing that teaching ethics to ophthalmology residents can and should be done within the framework of a structured curriculum, which by definition includes lectures, problem-based learning sessions, tutorials, and some form of outcome assessment, such as multiple-choice examinations, essay examinations, and the inclusion of ethics questions on the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Program and the American Board of Ophthalmology examinations. Second, I assume that the mere idea of teaching "ethics" has arisen because ethics, or to be more precise, the lack of ethics, is a problem among our colleagues and needs to be addressed. The third assumption is that if, indeed, there is an ethics problem among our colleagues that we can solve the problem by teaching ethics in a structured curriculum, as described above.

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