The Dilemmas in Clinical Medicine (DCM) course is designed as a year-long experience in addressing human and ethical issues in medicine and the decision-making process. By design, it occurs within the six major clinical clerkships of the third-year curriculum, with each clerkship providing at least one 90 minute session dedicated specifically to these issues. The small group sessions are clinically oriented and usually based upon cases from the students' experience. Attendance at all sessions is required. In most clerkships, the student is required to identify and summarize one case in which the student has identified an ethical dilemma. In medicine and surgery, this must be in the form of a written discussion. Grading is based upon the appropriateness of the case identified, as well as the quality of the discussion. Course evaluations will be completed by each student.
A major objective of the course is to help students develop a sensitivity to the wide range of ethical dilemmas that occur in all medical practice. Many, if not most, clinical cases involve some element of value judgment, or normative behavior (what one “should” or “ought to” do in a given situation). Using such a broad definition of “ethical dilemma” will permit the student to identify dilemmas in each of the clinical clerkships.
Prerequisite: MS3 (this is a required third year course)
Course Director: David Kaye, MD