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Ethical Conflicts Experienced by Medical Students


The current study aimed to identify and analyze the prevalence of ethical conflicts experienced by medical students. This study is a cross-sectional and analytical research that was conducted in a public school in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The instrument used for the data collection was a self-administered questionnaire. The data collected were presented in absolute and percentage values. For the analytical statistical treatment of the data, the level of significance was considered p <0.05. The outcome variables were: Experiences of ethical conflicts in interpersonal relations within the medical course and Ethical conduct in health care. The identification of the prevalence of ethical conflicts in the undergraduate program adopted the perspective of different interpersonal relations (academic-teaching, academic-academic, academic-employee, academic-patient, teacher-teacher, teacher-patient, teacher-employee and employee-patient). (Importance of identifying themselves to the health services user and requesting consent to perform the physical examination, assistance without the supervision of the teacher, issuance of health documents without the signature of the professional responsible and use of social networks to share data Of patient). It was verified the association of the outcome variables with sex, year of graduation and course evaluation. A total of 281 undergraduate students enrolled in all undergraduate courses in Medicine of both sexes, with a predominance of female (52.7%). The students reported having experienced conflicting situations in interpersonal relations with teachers (59.6%), provided assistance without proper supervision of a teacher (62.6%), reported having issued health documents without the accompaniment of teachers (18, 5%). The highest frequency was observed among those enrolled in the most advanced years of the undergraduate program (p <0.05). The use of social networks for the purpose of sharing patient data (25.1%) was prevalent in the most advanced years of medical graduation and among those who evaluated the course as regular (p <0.05). It is concluded that undergraduate medical students experienced ethical conflicts during their medical training, with a prevalence of conflicts in the advanced years of the course. From this perspective, it is necessary to provide a space for discussion and collective reflection on the ethical problems experienced by students, during their graduation in Medicine, in order to build a professional ethical practice.

Medical Ethics; Bioethics; Medical Education; Medical Students

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