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Ethics training in dermatology residency programs: a survey of dermatology residency program directors and assistant/associate program directors

      Abstract

      Professionalism, defined as a demonstrated adherence to professional and ethical principles, is one of the six core competencies of dermatology graduate medical education. We sought to assess the current educational landscape for ethics training in dermatology residency programs by surveying dermatology residency program directors and assistant/associate program directors. A sixteen-question survey was designed and distributed to dermatology program directors and assistant/associate program directors via an email list. The estimated response rate was 43.17%. Most (54.55%) dermatology residency programs did not have an ethics curriculum. Among programs with an ethics curriculum, about three-fourths were implemented in the past ten years. The most common settings for teaching ethics were “formal didactics” (31.91%) and “ad hoc during clinical encounters and other clinical settings” (27.66%). Cited barriers to implementing and/or maintaining an ethics curriculum were “lack of time” (30.10%), “lack of faculty with expertise in ethics” (24.27%), and “lack of useful resources” (20.39%). Despite requirements for ethics training, most dermatology residency programs did not report having an ethics curriculum. This study's results highlight the need for an increased emphasis on ethics training in US dermatology residency programs.

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