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The Hidden Curriculum Challenges in Learning Professional Ethics Among Iranian Medical Students: A Qualitative Study

Authors Safari Y, Khatony A, Tohidnia MR

Received 15 May 2020

Accepted for publication 20 August 2020

Published 24 September 2020 Volume 2020:11 Pages 673—681

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S258723

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Azim Majumder


Yahya Safari,1 Alireza Khatony,2 Mohammad Rasoul Tohidnia3

1Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health (RCEDH), Health Institute, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran; 2Clinical Research Development Center, Imam Reza Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran; 3Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, School of Paramedical Sciences, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

Correspondence: Yahya Safari
Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health (RCEDH), Health Institute, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
Tel +989181324798
Email y.safary@kums.ac.ir

Background: Medical ethics is a vital quality for the doctors which has been seriously taken into consideration in recent years. Identifying the factors affecting medical ethics may help to develop more effective ways to promote this quality in medical education. This study was aimed to explain the challenges of hidden curriculum in learning the professional ethics among Iranian medical students.
Materials and Methods: This qualitative study was performed on 15 medical interns of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2019 using grounded theory (GT). Sampling was started by purposive sampling and continued through theoretical sampling until complete data saturation. Data collection and analysis were done simultaneously. Data were interpreted by the constant comparative method according to Strauss and Corbin’s approach.
Results: The results showed that the challenges of hidden curriculum for learning the professional ethics by medical students included a number of key concepts. Analyzing these concepts and taking into account the commonalities, we obtained six subthemes using a reduction inductive method, the main theme of which was “the challenge of hidden curriculum in learning the professional medical ethics”. The subthemes included “decreased interest in medicine”, “false beliefs”, “curriculum weakness”, “materialism and economic problems”, “avoidance of responsibility”, and “underlying problems of the medical profession”.
Conclusion: The findings indicated six challenges in the hidden curriculum for learning the professional medical ethics. These challenges can be considered a threat or an obstacle to achieving the goals of professional ethics. Therefore, curriculum planners, education policymakers, and teachers should plan and implement the professional ethics curriculum based on these factors.

Keywords: professionalism, medical education, professional ethics, curriculum

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