Bioethics Electives in Phase 4 Clerkship

The Department welcomes inquiries from internal and external students* for clerkship electives.

Dal Med Phase 4 electives are two weeks in length. Suggested projects and a sample schedule are below. External electives may be 2-4 weeks in length.*

Contact the Department administrator to indicate your interest. Include your CV and, if you have completed prior ethics coursework, a writing sample. Tell us what specific topic(s) or general area you are interested in, and any specific department member(s) you are interested in working with, if you have an idea about this. After this initial contact, we will get back to you within a week or two to put you in contact with a faculty supervisor. You may submit your application as instructed by UGME.

A student with prior degree work in ethics may design their own project, including writing a paper or doing the background lit review to plan a qualitative research study.

A student without intensive prior preparation can still develop their skills and understanding with an ethics elective. A good option is a case analysis: you develop a case (based on your own experience, if applicable), research its ethical dimensions, and prepare a presentation to facilitate a case discussion. Another option is to design a practice OSCE station or case for the undergrad curriculum.

Depending on the work of our clinical and organizational ethics consultation partnerships via the Central Zone Ethics Education Committee or the Nova Scotia Health Ethics Network, a student may have the opportunity to participate in drafting a pamphlet or FAQ on an ethically challenging issue, or designing a workshop for the NSHEN. This is difficult to plan for, and so the option of a case presentation or designing educational materials should be kept in mind.

Case presentation sample elective plan:

Week 1

Day 1 - Meet with advisor to discuss scenario/policy question; the student follows up by settling the scenario by the end of the first day.

Day 2 - Meet with advisor to review scenario/policy question; refine approach to literature search, including search terms.

Days 3-5 - Student reads and reflects on the literature. (Advisor available by email for questions/interpretation.)

Week 2

Day 1 - Meet with advisor to discuss findings.

Days 2-3 - Student follows up any additional literature identified in review of findings, and crafts findings into a slide presentation (20-30 minutes). 

Day 4 - Meet with advisor to go over slides.

Day 5 - Student presents case/policy question to a small group of Department members (and anyone they would like to invite) for discussion/feedback.

*Note: External electives are closed due to COVID. Contact UGME for updates.