The authors explain that several years of effort, by many faculty from a variety of disciplines, were required to expand medical ethics teaching at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine beyond the preclinical years. Since 1986, faculty associated with the school's Center for Medical Ethics have begun a comprehensive ethics teaching program for all four years and the residency period; they also are attempting to develop an ethics consultation service. The authors describe the program, its promise and plans, and the significant difficulties involved in establishing and maintaining it, not only problems of long-term funding but of the uninformed and negative attitudes of some students and faculty toward ethics teaching, especially in the clinical setting. Also discussed are the pros and cons of using cases in ethics teaching and the program's approaches to evaluation and to training clinical faculty in clinical ethics issues.
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