Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program
Johns Hopkins University
336 Garland Hall
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
The teaching of ethics in American medical schools was not commonplace until it was mandated in the mid-1980’s by the AAMC. This project sought to understand which factors led to the introduction of these courses, both nationally, as well as at the three institutions which we explored, including the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. While ethics curriculums are largely heterogeneous, geographic location, philosophy of the medical school, and a professor’s training experience appear to have impacted them tremendously. Factors that may have encouraged this trend include the rise of the HMO, consumerism, an increased use of informed consent in medical practice and biomedical research, and the explosion of scientific advancements in the latter half of the twentieth century.