Expanding education to help future providers better address tough situations

From the Winter 2019 edition of Vanderbilt Medicine Magazine

To better prepare future health care providers about issues related to end-of-life care, several courses are offered for both undergraduates and students at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the School of Nursing. The Clinical Ethics Consultation Service of the Center for Biomedical Ethics & Society also conducts a wide range of educational programs in ethics for faculty, staff, fellows, residents, health professionals and undergraduate students.

Highlights include:

Approaching the End of Life — A monthlong advanced elective focused on end-of-life issues is expected to be offered in the future for fourth-year medical students. Topics covered will include health policy, ethics and skill building for difficult conversations.

Advance Clinical Experience (ACE), Medical Ethics, MED 5825 — This elective course for medical students is focused on the Clinical Ethics Consultation Service of the Center for Biomedical Ethics & Society. Students are exposed to ethics questions, assist with cases and are required to do a related project.

Medical Student Certificate in Biomedical Ethics — This course includes the Medical Ethics ACE course, as well as the interdisciplinary graduate seminar, Ethics in Healthcare (IDIS 7222) and a research clerkship.

Death and Dying in America — An undergraduate course in Vanderbilt University’s College of Arts and Science taught by Joseph Fanning, MD. Students volunteer with hospice patients during the course.

Distinction in Biomedical Ethics — A yearlong course for residents and fellows throughout the Medical Center explores ethical issues and responses. Time is also spent on the Clinical Ethics Consultation Service and with the ethics committee. Each student completes an ethics-related project in their specialty.