Title

Clinical Education of Ethicists: The Role of a Clinical Ethics Fellowship

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-8-2004

Journal

BMC Medical Ethics

Volume

5

Issue

6

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6939-5-6

Abstract

Background: Although clinical ethicists are becoming more prevalent in healthcare settings, their required training and education have not been clearly delineated. Most agree that training and education are important, but their nature and delivery remain topics of debate. One option is through completion of a clinical ethics fellowship.

Method: In this paper, the first four fellows to complete a newly developed fellowship program discuss their experiences. They describe the goals, structure, participants and activities of the fellowship. They identify key elements for succeeding as a clinical ethicist and sustaining a clinical ethics program. They critically reflect upon the challenges faced in the program.

Results: The one-year fellowship provided real-time clinical opportunities that helped them to develop the necessary knowledge and skills, gain insight into the role and scope of practice of clinical ethicists and hone valuable character traits.

Conclusion: The fellowship enabled each of the fellows to assume confidently and competently a position as a clinical ethicist upon completion.