Medical students get ethical toolkit

MEDICAL students facing ethical challenges in a variety of areas such as the responsible use of social media or raising concerns about study colleagues can now turn to a new ethical toolkit produced by the BMA.

The Ethics tool kit for students provides the "latest guidance to the next generation of doctors on the ethical dilemmas they may encounter during their studies" and covers a range of topics including how to make sure that students use Twitter and Facebook responsibly, tackling ethical decisions in resource poor countries while on a medical elective and raising concerns about fellow medical students who might be experiencing problems that affect their clinical competence.

The online guide also includes a series of video clips introducing key chapters which are available on BMAtv.

Alice Rutter, Co-Chair of the BMA’s Medical Students Committee said: "Medical students are undergoing their training in an increasingly complex and pressurised world. The rise of Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites present real advantages by allowing students and other professionals to share information, knowledge and experiences.

"But they also present challenges around respecting patient confidentiality and the blurring of boundaries between the public and private lives of medical students.

"Other key areas, such as dealing with colleagues who might be struggling with their studies or coping with situations while abroad on elective, are other routine issues that medical students encounter.

"The BMA’s ethical guide for students provides the key information in an accessible format for aspiring doctors on how they cope with the clinical, social and professional dilemmas they might face. It is an invaluable guide that I would urge all students to read."