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Ethics Teaching Rounds: A Paradigm for all Teaching Hospitals

Peter A. Clark, Rajiv Bhattarai, David W. Temme, Jr

Institute of Catholic Bioethics, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Med Sci Rev 2015; 2:55-66

DOI: 10.12659/MSRev.894709

Available online:

Published: 2015-06-30

ABSTRACT: Background: To address the need to close gaps left open in medical teaching, the Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania designed and implemented a new form of teaching rounds, Ethics Teaching Rounds, in 2003. Ethics Teaching Rounds have been implemented at four hospitals within the Mercy Health System: Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, Mercy Suburban Hospital, and Nazareth Hospital. These rounds provide interns, residents, and nurses with the ethical and legal background often missing from a traditional medical education.
Material and Methods: The use of this form of teaching rounds within the Mercy Health System was evaluated via the creation and evaluation of surveys distributed to the interns and residents who attend rounds and the interdisciplinary ethics team who facilitate rounds.
Results: Survey respondents generally agreed that the implementation of Ethics Teaching Rounds has benefitted the medical education of the interns and residents participating in rounds. Specifically, their implementation has assisted interns and residents in dealing with ethical, legal, and social issues while also providing quality treatment and care to patients. Respondents also generally agreed that some form of Ethics Teaching Rounds should be implemented in all teaching hospitals. These results were complemented by a 60% decrease in the number of ethics consultations requested since the time of the implementation of this form of rounds.
Conclusions: Ethics Teaching Rounds have improved the medical education of interns and residents. Likewise, implementing some form of Ethics Teaching Rounds at all teaching hospitals will improve the medical education of interns and residents.

Keywords: Bioethics, Education, Medical, Continuing, Education, Medical, Graduate