We suggest that students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge, skills and aptitudes as the course progresses. Given that the length and organisation of the course varies among medical schools, the following suggestions are intended only to be indicative and should be interpreted flexibly and with common sense.
Years 1 and 2:
- Recognition and understanding of core ethical and legal topics
- Application of common ethical arguments using constructed case scenarios
- The ability to understand and discuss differing viewpoints
- Awareness of the requirements of GMC on student fitness to practice
Years 3 and 4:
- Familiarisation with the GMC's professional codes of conduct
- Recognition of ethical and legal issues and ability to apply common ethical arguments to actual clinical encounters in different specialties and public health interventions
- Recognition of and conformity to professional and legal obligations in practice
- The ability to reflect on ethical practice of self, peers and teachers
Years 5 (and 6 where applicable):
The ability to:
- integrate ethical analysis of actual clinical encounters with clinical knowledge and skills and legal obligations
- elaborate on common ethical arguments
- propose action/decision based on this synthesis
- display professional attitudes and behaviours consistent with Good medical practice
- be aware of own values.
In the foundation years and their subsequent careers, doctors should be able to demonstrate increasing competence in how to identify, acknowledge and deal with ethical, legal and professional issues on which good medical practice is based. Teaching and learning should be attuned to the learners’ needs appropriate to both their particular stage of training and relevant specialty-specific ethical issues.