Resident Training in Medical Ethics

All WMed residents are invited to participate in the Medical Ethics specialty track and the Clinical Ethics elective, both through the Department of Medical Ethics, Humanities and Law. 


The aim of the track is to provide advanced education and training in medical ethics. Those who complete the track will be prepared to contribute to and provide leadership in local hospital ethics committees, resolve value conflicts in medicine, and conduct scholarship in their discipline. Participants may additionally be eligible to take the national certification exam resulting in the Healthcare Ethics Consultant-Certified (HEC-C), the nationally recognized certification issued by the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.

The aim of the elective is to introduce interested residents to the practice of clinical ethics, which includes ethics consultation, policy development, and service to the hospital. Participation in the elective will prepare the resident to contribute to the resolution of ethical conflicts bedside and within their institution.


Specialty Track

The track requires residents complete the following over a two-year period:

  1. Readings in the foundations in medical ethics and directed readings in the resident’s specialty
  2. One block of clinical ethics, which may include but may not be limited to participation in ethics consultations at Bronson and Ascension-Borgess, hospital ethics committee meetings and functions, and policy development
  3. Attendance at ten (10) medical ethics functions outside of those attended during the clinical ethics elective, such as: Conversations in Clinical Ethics (Bronson), Bioethics for Lunch (Borgess), Bioethics at the Movies, Bioethics on Tap, Grand Rounds, etc.
  4. A scholarly product, such as a research or quality improvement project leading to an abstract or manuscript suitable for a national meeting or peer-reviewed journal.

Residents may also choose to take the HEC-C exam following completion of the above four requirements.

Additionally, the Program will support a second elective block dedicated to research, if the resident so elects.

There is no requirement that requirements 1-4 be completed in that order. Residents may choose to complete the requirements in the order that best suits them. All residents should discuss their own schedule with faculty prior to beginning the specialty track.


The elective requires residents complete the following:

  1. One block on clinical ethics service (2-week electives may be available on a case-by-case basis). There is minimal preparatory reading.
  2. Participation in consults, policy development, and committee work during the elective.
  3. A scholarly product, such as an abstract or case report on a clinical ethics topic of the resident’s choosing.


Scheduling the clinical requirements of the track and elective are on a first come, first served basis. It is the resident’s responsibility to coordinate their schedule with their Program Director. At any given time, space is limited. If you want to participate in the track or elective, please schedule the clinical component as early as you can to ensure a spot.