Experience of Medical Ethics in Practice: A Qualitative Study among Medical Students in South of Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Sociology, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

2 Health Policy Research Center, Institute of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Clinical Education Research Center, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Studying ethics teaches students to think critically about life, carefully evaluate the activities, choices, and decisions that are encountered at different stages of life, and also take a deeper look at the world. Other dimensions of education have been less investigated than moral aspects of education. The current study aims to investigate the experience of medical ethics in practice among medical students. Methods: This is a qualitative study that investigates zone 5 of medical education in Iran. This is a conventional content analysis carried out in 2017. The participants consisted of 44 medical students from five central colleges located in the southern regions of Iran who were selected by the purposeful sampling method. The process of data collection was performed using Focus Group Discussions, and then an inductive data analysis was carried out. Results: Five themes and 11 subthemes emerged from the data. The themes included one-dimensional teaching methods, uselessness, negative hidden curriculum, suppression, and ignoring virtual education. Conclusion: It was shown that the ethics of education in this context was in crisis because the main purposes of medical education were ignored and led to unexpected outcomes that did not follow the main purposes. Medical students were made the focal point of medical education, but they were overlooked in this context. Theoretically, medical instructors had to update their instructional methods to achieve joint interests and mutual understanding with their students. However, it was found that the health system in Iran required a practical curriculum reformation based on the requirements of medical students and the nature of the social environment. It was concluded that medical instructors should change their instructional points of view and behaviors.


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