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CBHX 2400 Clinical Bioethics

Course Description 

In this longitudinal concurrent case-based course which spans the third year, students meet in small groups with a faculty tutor to discuss ethical issues presented in patient care. Students bring their own cases for discussion, and faculty provide other cases to provide the opportunity to discuss and learn about ethical principles and a method of case analysis for ethical concerns raised in patient care. Advanced communication skills are addressed in this course.

Type of Course: Concurrent, required course for MSIIIs; 1 credit
Course Directors:

Downtown Campus, Syracuse

Thomas Curran, Jr., MD

Clinical Campus, Binghamton

Domenico Prato, MD


Jay Brenner, MD
Amy Caruso Brown, MD, MSc
Thomas Curran, Jr., MD
James Dwyer, PhD
Gregory Eastwood, MD
Sondra Mott, RN, BA, MS

Demetrios Gasparis, MD
Lazarus Gehring, MD
Katherine Holmes, MD
Leann Lesperance, MD, PhD, FAAP
Marita Powell, MD
Domenico Prato, MD

Time: Tuesdays, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

This course supports the following Medical Program Objectives of the College of Medicine.

PR 2 - Ethics and Professionalism

Medical School-Demonstrate honesty, integrity, and compassion in all interactions with patients' families, colleagues, and others with whom physicians must interact in their professional lives.

Clinical Bioethics-Analyze the contribution of cultural, religious, and personal beliefs/practices on both the patient's health and the doctor-patient relationship.

IICS 3 - Interpersonal and Interprofessional Communication Skills

Medical School-Provide information to, and practice shared decision-making and behavioral change techniques with patients and families.

Clinical Bioethics-Evaluate the relationship between patient autonomy and informed decision-making.

PR 1 - Ethics and Professionalism

Medical School-Demonstrate ethical and professional behaviors and choices in all roles and settings as a medical student.

Clinical Bioethics-1) Discuss the association between student professionalism and the primacy of the patient's welfare. 2) Describe the professional obligation to maintain patient trust by managing conflicts of interest.

PR 4 - Ethics and Professionalism

Medical School-Recognize that physicians are accountable not only to patients, but also to the community, to society, and to the profession.

Clinical Bioethics-1) Describe the professional obligation individual physicians have to society. 2) Evaluate the benefits/limits of altruism in healthcare.

LI 1 - Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

Medical School-Engage in reflective practice as an intentional learner through acceptance and incorporation of feedback and commitment to personal improvement goals.

Clinical Bioethics-1) Create and implement a plan to resolve an ethically problematic situations. 2) Design and defend an ethical resolution plan in small group discussion and in a paper.

PH 1 - Systems Based Practice and Population Health

Medical School-Describe the structure, delivery and finance of major health care systems.

Clinical Bioethics-Analyze/debate whether access to basic healthcare should be a privilege or right for all citizens.

  1. The Patient First: The Clinical Experience and Respecting Patients While Learning on Them
  2. Medical Errors and Telling the Truth
  3. Cultural, religious, and personal practices
  4. Ethical Obligation to the Profession
  5. Speaking up
  6. Physicians' Responsibility to Patients at the End of Life
  7. Limits of Altruism: Difficult Patients and Professional Conscience
  8. Basic Healthcare - Right or Privilege?
  9. Discussion of Speaking Up Papers
  10. The Impaired Physician
  11. The Hidden Curriculum
  12. The Good Physician

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