Public Health Ethics Education in a Competency-Based Curriculum: A Method of Programmatic Assessment [Book Review]

Journal of Academic Ethics 9 (1):33-42 (2011)
Public health ethics began to emerge in the 1990s as a development within bioethics. Public health ethics education has been implemented in schools of public health in recent years, and specific professionalism and ethics competencies were included in the Master of Public Health (MPH) competency set developed nationally and adapted by individual schools of public health around the country. The University of Texas School of Public Health approved the present set of MPH competencies in 2005. After 4 years of experience, we now report information measuring the extent to which Professionalism and Ethics competencies and subcompetencies are being met in the MPH degree program. To this end we have audited the MPH Professionalism and Ethics competency forms for FY2009 MPH graduates (n = 61). Eight courses, including required MPH core courses plus the practicum and culminating experience, were found to have substantial professionalism and ethics content. Further, 67.2% of graduates met eight or more of the 13 competencies and subcompetencies, but only 36.1% met all thirteen, indicating a need to identify topic areas to be added to, or enhanced in, the MPH curriculum. In addition, these findings will inform ongoing efforts to enhance ethics education in our health science center. Assessment of these competencies and subcompetencies is an essential step in strengthening ethics education at our institutions and in better preparing our graduates for a challenging future. We report our efforts here to demonstrate one way of carrying out programmatic assessment of ethics education in a school of public health
Keywords Public health ethics  Ethics education  Ethics competency  Assessment  MPH core competencies
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DOI 10.1007/s10805-011-9130-7
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